Ryazan was the first Rus city to be besieged by the Mongol invaders under Batu Khan.
In the autumn of 1237 the Mongol Horde led by invaded the Rus' principality of Ryazan. The Prince of Ryazan, Yuriy Igorevich, asked Yuriy Vsevolodovich, the prince of Vladimir, for help, but did not receive any.
The Mongols defeated the vanguard of the Ryazan army and on December 16, 1237 besieged the capital of the principality (this site is now known as Old Ryazan, Staraya Ryazan, and is situated some 50 km from the modern city of Ryazan). The townspeople repelled the first Mongol attacks. The Mongols then used catapults to destroy the city's fortifications. On December 21, Batu Khan's troops stormed and plundered Ryazan. Nearly all of the city's inhabitants were killed. The writer of the Rus chronicle described the aftermath of the battle with the words "There was none left to groan and cry". The city of Old Ryazan was completely destroyed and was never rebuilt.
After the destruction of Ryazan, Batu Khan's horde pushed on into the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal.