When Vasily II the Dark died the Moscow throne went to his elder son Ivan Vasiliyevich (1462 - 1505), who was a co-ruler even when his father was still alive. It was Ivan III who finished a two-centuries long process of association of Russian Lands and completely overthrew the Golden Horde Yoke. Distinguished by great intellect and will-power, this prominent Moscow sovereign succeeded in gathering of the lands under the power of Moscow.
In the beginning of his reign Muscovy was surrounded by sovereign territories, the lands of The Great Novgorod, independent principalities of other Russian princes: Tver, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Ryazan. But by the end of XV century the Eastern Europe had undergone enormous political changes. The Moscow Land now had a border directly with Sweden and German Lands in Baltic, Lithuania and the remains of The Golden Horde in the south.
Ivan III laid the foundation for Russian autocracy. He considerably enlarged the State's territory, strengthened its political system, State machinery, raised greatly the international prestige of Moscow. This new international status was reflected in imposing court etiquette and in new state symbols.
In fact, Ivan III was the actual founder of Muscovy.