The battle of Kulikovo (pronunciation: koo-LYIK-uh-vuh) took place in 1380. It was the first victory of Grand Duke Dmitri Donskoi of Moscow over Khan Mamai and the Golden Horde. The battle was fought on a plain by the Don River near the present village of Kurkino, Russia, southeast of Tula. Although the victory was the first Russian defeat of the Tatars, it did not eliminate Mongol rule, which endured for another century. However, as a result of the battle, the image of the unconquerable Mongols was wiped away.
In late August of 1380, Moscow Prince Dmitri realized the necessity to consolidate forces and contend against the Tatars. He gathered regiments from the entire neighborhood, prepared them for the campaign, and together with all the princes and boyars went to St. Sergius' Monastery for the last blessing. St. Sergius foretold of a bloody battle, but a great victory. He aspersed all the military leaders with holy water and let two monks (Alexander Peresvet and Andrei Oslaba) join them in inspiring the army with enthusiasm. Before entering the monastery, these two monks had been famous for their courage and bravery, and for their feats of valor had been considered heroes. St. Sergius placed schemas on their heads and said: "This armor is imperishable, let it be as helmets for you."
The Russian army met the enemy's troops, which outnumbered them, on Kulikovo Field near the River Don on the 8th of September. A warrior of giant stature called Chelubei rode out of the Tatar's side and a horseman separated from the Russian files and went to meet him. It was Alexander Peresvet--he was recognized by the schema, flapping in the wind. With his lance drawn down he rushed to the enemy. The two heroes collided in a deathblow and fell dead.