The Russian prince Yakov Svetoslav sought protection in Bulgaria from the Tatar-Mongolian invasion in the thirties of 13 c. He achieved a respected status by marrying King Ivan Assen II's granddaughter in 1258 or 1259 (she was Emperor Theodor II Laskaris and Helena's daughter ). It is very probable that Yakov Svetoslav supported the Bulgarian King Constantine Tych - Assen in his struggle against one of the pretenders for the throne, Mitso, and that's why he received the second most important title in the kingdom - despot.
Later, he skillfully maneuvred between the Turnovo Kingdom and the Hungarian kingdom, and became one of the main pretenders for the Bulgarian throne, due to his wife's relation to the Assen dynasty. That was the reason Queen Maria, Constantine Tych's wife, who was forced under the circumstances to adopt Yakov Svetoslav as her own son, to order his murder, probably poisoning him in 1276.
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