Ivan the Terrible: The First Stalin

Ivan the Terrible: The First Stalin


He’s a man known to history literally as
‘the Terrible’. Ivan IV was the first tsar of Russia, the
man who built the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral, and the ruler who defended Moscow from Tartar
invasion. In Russian history, he’s a towering figure,
behind perhaps only Peter the Great and Lenin in how he shaped the nation. Yet how much do any of us really know about
him, beyond his mistranslated nickname? Could he really be so bad as the crazed, wild-eyed
caricature of popular history? Well, no. As it turns out, Ivan the Terrible was, if
anything, even more terrifying. Elevated to ruler of Russia when he was just
a boy, Ivan showed sociopathic tendencies from the get-go. As a child, he was renowned for torturing
small animals. As an adult, he had his opponents torn apart
by wild dogs. A bloodthirsty king who killed his own son
and created a feared secret police, this is the story of Russia’s sixteenth century
Stalin. “An evil act will spawn an evil son” On August 25, 1530, Vasili III gazed out the
window of his palace as a terrific storm battered Moscow. It was twenty years since the Grand Prince
had come to the throne, twenty long years in which he’d tried fruitlessly for an heir. Now, nearing the end of his life, his desperation
had got the better of him. He’d divorced his first wife and remarried,
scandalizing Moscow. One religious man had even prophesized that
this evil act would produce an evil heir, one who would terrorize the country. We can only wonder if Vasili III was reminded
of that prophecy as he looked out the window at the storm wracking Moscow the night his
son was born. The Russia Ivan the Terrible was born into
was very different from the one we know today. For one thing, it wasn’t really called Russia,
but Muscovy, or The Grand Duchy of Moscow if you want to be old fashioned. For another, it was tiny. Comparative to modern Russia, it was nothing;
a landlocked strip hemmed in on all sides by rival states. But it was something else, too. The Muscovy of 1530 was weak. The superpowers of the day were Poland-Lithuania
– which hadn’t technically yet become a fully joint state, but was so close that we’re
just gonna say Poland-Lithuania to keep things easy – and the Khanate of Crimea. Alongside them were a hodgepodge of weaker
Islamic Khanates leftover from Ghengis Khan’s Golden Horde, Khanates like Kazan, and Siberia. Don’t worry about remembering all those
names, we’ll remind you of them when the time comes. Just know that, at the moment of Ivan’s
birth, Muscovy was a tiny outpost of Orthodox Christianity surrounded by a sea of Islam
and Catholicism. Not that this concerned young Ivan much. He was a baby, too busy playing to care about
affairs of state. That was what dad was there for. Yeah, about that. In 1533, Vasili III contracted an infection
which swiftly turned him from ‘strong king’ into ‘dying king’. Sensing the end was near, the Grand Prince
summoned the boyars, a class of warrior nobles who held much of Muscovy’s power. Vasili made them swear loyalty to his son
Ivan, before setting up a regency with his second wife Elena ruling in Ivan’s name. That done, he promptly died. Shortly after, on December 4, 1533, little
Ivan was proclaimed Grand Prince of Muscovy. While this sounds like every spoiled brat’s
dream, the reality was less glamorous. From that point on, his mother Elena insisted
he be surrounded at all times by armed guards in case the boyars tried to kill him and assume
the throne. But Elena needn’t have worried that the
boyars might kill little Ivan. Why murder a child when it’s so much easier
to simply replace his regent? On April 4, 1538, Elena died, almost certainly
assassinated by the boyars. Her death set off an explosive power struggle
in the Muscovite court. For Ivan, this meant spending his late childhood
trapped in a whirlwind of cruelty. The boyars knew no limits. Like warlords, they would do anything to keep
themselves in power. In one instance, Ivan witnessed a mentor being
skinned alive for crossing a powerful family. It was also a time of neglect. Ivan would later recall that – despite living
in a palace – he wore only rags, and often had to beg for food. The only time the boyars cared about the young
Grand Prince was when some foreign dignitary visited. Then Ivan would be dressed up and paraded
about before being dumped back in his gilded prison. With all this cruelty around him, it’s perhaps
no surprise that Ivan began taking out his anger on animals. By age 12, he was torturing cats, much as
he’d witnessed the boyars torturing their rivals. But if the boyars thought they could cow this
weak and useless boy, they were about to learn a terrible lesson. Ivan may have barely been a teenager. But already he was plotting his revenge. Building The Third Rome On December 29, 1543, a group of guards marched
into the quarters of one of the cruelest boyars in Muscovy. Saying they were following the Grand Prince’s
orders, the guards arrested the man, dragged him away…and fed him alive to a pack of
wild dogs. It was the Middle Ages equivalent of walking
into the prison yard and punching the biggest, meanest skinhead smack in the mouth. Aged only 13, Ivan had just ordered his first
gruesome murder. From that point on, the boyars would show
him respect. Not that Ivan did the same for others around
him. By 14, the newly-confidant Grand Prince was
wandering the streets of Moscow with his teenage friends, beating and robbing any citizen unlucky
enough to cross his path. Yet it would be unfair to say that Ivan was
merely a thug. At the same time he was getting a taste for
brutality, the boy was getting a taste for something else, too. Ivan was discovering religion. Around the same time as his first murder,
Ivan had fallen under the sway of a Metropolitan known as Macarius, who had impressed upon
Ivan the need for Muscovy to become a bastion of Orthodox Christianity. And Macarius knew just how to do that. In 1547, Ivan’s regency finally came to
an end. On January 16 , he was crowned Tsar Ivan IV
of all Russians in a lavish ceremony overseen by Macarius. This was a super big deal. Ivan was the first person to be crowned tsar. By using that title, and by using Byzantine
trappings in the coronation, Ivan and Macarius were positioning Muscovy as the successor
state to the lost Byzantine Empire; the defender of the Christian faith. They even began calling Moscow the Third Rome. Three weeks after this audacious ceremony,
Ivan held another one. On February 3, 1547, Tsar Ivan IV married
a young girl called Anastasia. You’ve probably never head of her, but you
have heard of her family. Anastasia was from the Romanovs. In the not-too distant future, her family
was going to transform Russia. But only after Ivan had had his turn. No sooner was the Terrible on the throne than
he was firing off edicts, reshaping Muscovy with far-reaching reforms. Surprisingly, not all these reforms were terrible. To go through all of them would take forever,
but you can sum them up as being largely about accountability. In the mid-sixteenth century, the aristocrats
could generally get away with just beating you to death in the street because they felt
like it. Ivan’s new laws said “hey, actually, you
can’t just kill commoners for no reason.” It may not sound like much but, coupled with
the introduction of localized government and Muscovy’s first professional army, it was
a minor revolution. Still, let’s not kid ourselves that Ivan
felt bound by his laws. He’d designed them specifically to weaken
the power of the boyars. When a bunch of commoners came to him to complain
about a corrupt official, Ivan had all 70 of them stripped naked in the snow before
setting their beards on fire. Still, by the time his fifth anniversary on
the throne rolled around, Ivan was in a pretty good place domestically. He’d consolidated power, won the public’s
approval, and weakened the hated boyars. Now he just needed his shiny new state to
find a way of living up to that whole Third Rome thing. And what better way to do that than to launch
a crusade? The Fires of Victory OK, time to check back in on all those neighbors
we mentioned earlier. Remember? The ones leftover from Genghis Khan’s Golden
Horde? Well, the last few years had seen the Khanate
in Crimea growing bolder. Tartar armies were starting to harry the fringes
of Muscovy. But Crimea was far too strong for Ivan to
deal with now. No, he and Macarius had their sights set on
somewhere a little closer to home: Kazan. A minor Khanate sat on the Volga River, Kazan
was technically a threat to Muscovy, but was actually a political basketcase. That’s not to say they were helpless. Over the years, many Muscovite armies had
tried to conquer Kazan, and just as many had failed. Now he was secure in his position, Ivan was
determined to show everyone how it was done. On June 16, 1552, Ivan IV rode out at the
head of a vast army. Since this was his first major war, it was
imperative that everything went well. To that end, Ivan put aside hours per day
for praying, begging the Christian god to help him crush the Muslim infidels. It seemed God was listening. On September 2, Ivan’s armies laid siege
to Kazan. They cut off supplies, destroyed access to
drinking water, and built huge earthen works to defend from cavalry attack. By early October, it was over. Kazan fell on October 13, just two days after
Ivan’s son Dimitri was born. Although the Khanate tried to return, it was
effectively dead. Ivan had done it. Not just done it, but done it with astounding
ease. Had he died now, it’s likely that Ivan would’ve
gone down in history as a great ‘What if?’, a ruler history buffs singled out as someone
with the potential to be a legend. This is worth thinking about, because, in
1553, Ivan really did nearly die. That year, Ivan fell deathly ill. Thinking it was the end, he did as his father,
Vasili III, had done, and summoned the boyars to swear an oath to his son Dimitri. This time, the boyars refused. They prefered Ivan’s cousin. If Ivan really was dying, he was just gonna
have to deal with this being the end of his royal line. However, Ivan didn’t die. He recovered, but came back slightly changed. Always a paranoid man, Ivan felt like his
illness had confirmed his darkest fears. The boyars really were out to get him. At that moment, Ivan vowed to get them first. The Jaws of Defeat Come winter, 1557, Ivan was looking for an
excuse to expand Russia’s boarders. The year before, his armies had annexed the
other Khanate on the Volga, Astrakhan, giving Muscovy clear access to the Caspian Sea. But all the victory had done had convinced
Ivan that his new Russian state needed access to an actual sea, one that connected to real
oceans. One like the Baltic Sea. In those days, Muscovy was bordered by something
known as Livonia, a state roughly analogous to modern day Latvia and Estonia. While Kazan had been a remnant of the Golden
Horde, Livonia was a remnant of the land the Teutonic Knights had conquered. But with the Knights now gone and Protestantism
on the rise, Livonia’s Catholic rulers were starting to look weak. Then, in December, 1557, King Sigismund of
Poland-Lithuania inserted himself into Livonia’s affairs, forcing the nation to sign a treaty
with him. For Ivan, this flagrant provocation was the
excuse he’d been looking for. The moment the atrocious winter weather cleared
up, Ivan was leading a full-on invasion force into Livonia, determined to carve a path to
the Baltic coast. To say the war started well is to miss just
how easy a victory this was. The new Muscovy armies steamrollered the Livonians. By 1560, the Livonian Order was in ruins,
and its Grand Master had been dragged off to Moscow and executed. It should’ve been another easy win for Ivan. Unfortunately, it was anything but. In 1561, a new Grand Master was appointed
for Livonia. With commendable slyness, he surrendered not
to Ivan, but to Sigismund, thereby giving Poland-Lithuania a claim to the territory
Russia had occupied. At the same time, the Grand Master ditched
his Catholicism and invited the Protestant Swedes to invade and restore order in the
north. And, just like that, Ivan found himself suddenly
stuck knee-deep in a war that would last the next twenty years. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. In 1561, Ivan was still reeling from the double
whammy of his son Dimitri’s death, and the suspected assassination of his wife, Anastasia. Although Ivan still had two heirs – his sons
Ivan the younger and the mentally challenged Fyodor – the sudden loss of two family members
still left him bitter. When Metropolitan Macarius too passed away
in early 1563, Ivan seems to have lost it. That same year, he beat one of his own soldiers
to death – the first murder the tsar committed with his own hands. But it was the events of April 30, 1564, that
would really make Ivan into ‘the Terrible’. That day, Ivan’s best general, Andrey Kurbsky,
defected to the Lithuanians. This seems to have floored Ivan. Raging that the boyars were making a fool
of him, he announced he would abdicate the throne. You might expect the boyars to jump for joy
at this. After all, this was the guy who’d had one
of their number thrown to wild dogs. But this was war. If the tsar left now, the power vacuum it
created would potentially cause Russia to implode. The boyars had no choice. They begged Ivan to stay. In early 1565, Ivan finally agreed, on one
condition: that he be allowed to create a new mini-state within Russia itself, a place
where he would rule as God, without any checks or balances. Backed into a corner, the boyars agreed. It was a decision that would set Muscovy on
the path to Hell. The Oprichnina Shortly after, Ivan divided his
nation into two parts: the Zemschina and the Oprichnina. The Zemschina was where things carried on as before, almost
unchanged. The Oprichnina was where Ivan’s darkest
impulses came out to play. The Oprichnina covered about a third of Muscovy’s
territory, but it wasn’t as simple as drawing a line on a map. Ivan was allowed to choose what he wanted
in his new kingdom, so naturally he selected the richest towns, meaning the borders between
Oprichnina and Zemschina were often blurred. In Moscow itself, the border could change
street by street, even house by house. You might never know when you were suddenly
subject to Ivan’s whims. And this was a problem, because it wasn’t
Ivan doing the Oprichnina’s dirty work. It was the Oprichniki. An army of around 6,000 men, the Oprichniki
were effectively Russia’s first secret police. Dressed all in black, they rode black horses
and drove black carriages designed to instill fear. They were completely above the law, given
the right to torture, rob, rape or kill anyone they felt like, and to burn down whatever
buildings they wished to. Known as “children of darkness”, they
had one mission: to terrify the populace into submission. You better believe they succeeded. To relate every awful thing the Oprichniki
did would result in this video being 10,000 hours long and giving all of us PTSD. So let’s just stick to examples, like the
palace they used for their headquarters, where it’s said twenty people were tortured to
death every single day. Or like their sadistic commander, Malyuta
Skuratov, who liked to round up married women from across Moscow and have them all raped
for his entertainment. With Ivan’s blessing the Oprichniki targeted
boyar families, murdering or driving them into exile, seizing the properties they left
behind. By the end of the 1560s, they had turned so
many wealthy families into refugees that the Oprichniki had managed to set themselves up
as a new aristocracy. But where was Ivan in all this? Leading from the front. In early 1570, for example, Ivan became convinced
that the city of Novgorod was about to join the Lithuanians. There was no evidence for this. In fact, Ivan had to make his rapist-in-chief
Malyuta Skuratov forge documents to “prove” Novgorod was on the verge of rebelling. Nevertheless, on January 2, Ivan rode out
at the head of a vast Oprichniki army. For the next month, the Oprichniki were allowed
free run of Novgorod, killing, burning, maiming like some demented, sixteenth century version
of The Purge. Citizens were hanged by the hundreds. Others were tied up and dumped into the ice-covered
river. Those that managed to get back to the surface
had their heads caved in with axes. By the time the Oprichniki left Novgorod on
February 12, there was no Novgorod left. In one short month, the Oprichniki had killed
anywhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people. Back in Moscow, Ivan followed this brutal,
pointless act by accusing boyars of conspiring with Novgorod and having them executed. By now, there was a feeling like nobody in
Muscovy was safe. That this horror would never end. However, help was about to come from an unlikely
source. War is Over The Oprichnina’s end came suddenly, in spring,
1571. There were rumors that a Crimean Tartar force
was marching toward Moscow, but Ivan barely bothered to prepare. After all, his Oprichniki spies had told him
the force was a few thousand strong at best. In fact, the advancing army contained over
120,000 soldiers. By the time Ivan got the news, any chance
to fortify the city was gone. So Ivan simply grabbed as much treasure as
he could and fled, leaving Moscow to its fate. And what an awful fate it was. The Tartars ransacked the city. Muscovites were dragged away into slavery. Children were slaughtered in their homes. Every single building but the Kremlin was
burned to the ground. By the time the Tartar force retreated, on
May 26, over 160,000 Muscovites were dead or in chains. So many bodies had been dumped in the river
that it had actually changed course. The next year, Ivan abolished the Oprichnina. Perhaps to cover his own failings, he also
unleashed a new terror against the Oprichniki for failing to protect Moscow, paying back
blood with blood. But it was little use. Russia was by now a war-shattered ruin, with
an exhausted populace and an economy on the brink of collapse. Perhaps the only silver lining was that the
Crimean Tartar army finally overextended itself shortly after and was crushed by regular Russian
forces. Still, this offered only limited respite. If Ivan were to save his nation, there was
only one thing he could do. Ivan would have to end the Livonian War. But he didn’t. Although it was by now clear that his boneheaded
invasion of the Baltics had caused these endless crises, Ivan still couldn’t give up his
old ways. In the early 1570s, he even tried instituting
a new reign of terror, having his opponents at home roasted alive. But his real enemy was the senseless paranoia
in his own mind. While Ivan was busy killing boyars, Poland-Lithuania’s
new king was invading Russia, and the Swedes were reconquering Russia’s gains in Livonia. Yet Ivan refused to listen to reason. No matter what happened, he failed to see
that he himself was at fault. However, while Ivan the Terrible was having
a truly terrible time, his son Ivan was doing rather better. A capable general, Ivan the younger had fought
the Polish-Lithuanian army in battle and acquitted himself well. So well, in fact, that the boyars wrote to
Tsar Ivan saying “hey, doofus. Why not have this guy be leader, huh?” They meant leader of the army. But Ivan the Terrible thought they meant to
make his son tsar. It was a suggestion he didn’t take kindly. In November, 1581, shortly after receiving
the boyars’ petition, Ivan stumbled across his son’s pregnant wife. In a rage, he beat her so savagely that she
miscarried. When his son came to complain, the old monster
grabbed his staff and hit the boy around the head with it. He kept right on hitting him until his skull
had broken and the floor was slick with blood. Ivan the younger died of his injuries on November
19, 1581. It’s said that Tsar Ivan reacted to his
passing by wailing “my God, what have I done?” But it was even worse than the puffed-up sadist
realized. With Ivan the younger as dead as Dimitri and
Anastasia, the last heir to the throne was Ivan’s simple-minded son Fyodor. In just a few short years, Fyodor’s ascension
to the throne was going to both plunge Russia into chaos, and end Ivan the Terrible’s
family line for good. The Price of Peace If nothing else, the death of Ivan the younger
seems to have finally focused Ivan’s crazed mind. In 1581, the Tsar of all Russians formally
asked the Pope to negotiate an end to his war with Poland-Lithuania. The eventual peace process saw Russia surrender
all its gains in Livonia. A separate peace with Sweden saw Russia abandon
its claims to coastal towns on the gulf of Finland. After twenty four years of war… after the
deaths of hundreds of thousands of people… Russia was right back where it had been in
1558. All that horror. All that suffering. The Oprichnina, all of it. All had been for nothing. The only silver lining had been the destruction
of the Khanates in the early days of Ivan’s reign, and the implosion of the Crimean army
after it sacked Moscow. And the second of those had been in spite
of Ivan, rather than because of him. Interestingly enough, Ivan scored one other
great victory in the last days of his reign that had absolutely nothing to do with him. In 1583, the Stroganoff family – yep, just
like the dish – rode a private army into Siberia almost on a whim and defeated the Khanate
there. This simple victory would open up Russian
expansion into Siberia for centuries to come, providing a wealth of riches that would help
bring the nation back to its former glory. So, um, well done Mr. Stroganoff. By 1584, Ivan was so ill that even leaving
bed was too much for him. His only solace was playing chess, something
he was doing on March 18 when a stroke allegedly carried him off. We say “allegedly” because it’s long
been rumored that the tyrant tsar was simply strangled by fed-up boyars. In the aftermath of Ivan’s death, Fyodor
took the throne, but was so useless that his rule led to something called the Time of Troubles,
a fifteen year period of civil wars and uprisings that made the Oprichnina look like Disneyland
constructed from unicorns. In fact, the chaos Ivan the Terrible left
in his wake only cleared when Anastasia’s old family, the Romanovs, finally seized power
in 1613. At the end of all that, then, what can we
say about the man known to history as “the Terrible”? Well, he certainly lived up to his nickname! Seriously, next time someone bangs on about
how “Terrible” is a mistranslation of Grozny, just remember that, mistranslation
or not, “Terrible” is certainly appropriate. But there are darker lessons we can take from
Ivan’s story. The idea of an unaccountable leader who ruled
through fear, and of a secret police run by sadists with no checks on their power would
return 500 years later, under perhaps the only Russian leader more terrible than Ivan. It’s said that Josef Stalin admired Ivan
the Terrible. Maybe he felt a kindred spirit, calling to
him down through the years, encouraging him to go even further, to commit even worse crimes
than had happened during the Oprichnina. It’s often said that history repeats itself. Well, even the briefest look at Russian history
will show you that Ivan’s tale repeated itself again and again, like a record needle
stuck in a groove. Ivan may have been the first crazed autocrat
to terrorize Russia. But, he wouldn’t be the last.

100 thoughts on “Ivan the Terrible: The First Stalin

  1. He ended his own legacy,due to bloodlust and thirst for power, why can't the present and future learn from the ancients?,Only peace and love can reassure THE RIGHT AND PROSPEROUS LEGACY!

  2. Muscovy ducks are from Russia. Now I know where the name comes from. Btw, they have a huge attitude and claws to back up their threats.

  3. Ouch… that bit about Ivan being the first crazy to rule Russia, but not the last. That must sting. Of course, the quickest way to make people forget the past is to burn the books and kill everyone you can get your hands on.

  4. Another fine example of populace cowardice. What brave fucking souls. It's good they deserved everything they got for being cowards.

  5. Some of these titles are so bad, Ivan is Ivan, Stalin is Stalin. Its not a competition so stop comparing them ffs.

  6. Man, this piece of propaganda doesn"t even bother to start trying to keep appearances. The Terrible word is a bad translation from Russian, as according to REAL experts in their language, the original Russian word actually means AWESOME And all those crappy imaginary stories about how bad he was falls into the same category as the usual Anglo saxon demonization of historic figures they dont like. Like Rasputin, for ex., which was really a holy man and a monk who wanted to keep Russia out of WW1 and so he tried to influence the Tzarine into asking her husband the Tzar to stay out of the war. That is why the English imperialists murdered him using a usual puppet, the Russian Guaido of the day, Prince Yussupov. Anyway, if you want to remain ignorant and brainwashed as a stupid sheep, believe this Anglo Saxon shill.

  7. I get it, these videos are not supposed to be an academic thesis. Nonetheless, I found this one to be somewhat weaker than the others, being more flashy and sensational and diving less deeply into the complexities of Ivan's character. According to the sources, Ivan was capable of true remorse after some of his allegedly more barbaric acts and although I'm not a pyschatrist I'd like to think this disqualifies him from being a psychopath. Given his cruel childhood and his violent episodes when he felt wronged, he probably had some antisocial disorder though.
    You should also consider the fact that almost all sources available to us about his reign are biased against him. Taking their accounts at face value doesn't constitute proper research. The situation is somewhat comparable to the accounts on "mad" Roman Emperors, portrayed as such by their political opponents among the Senators and/or the Church Fathers.

  8. This basically is just an narration of a Muscovy EU4 game. Become Czar of the Russias, go for Kazan, build infrastructure, topple the Golden Horde, then push into the Uzbecks.

  9. He's SO terrible and you're oh so WONDERFUL❣️
    This is my favorite episode, I just keep watching it over and over again.

  10. Ivan the Terrible wasn't the first person to be crowned Tsar. That was Simeon I – Tsar of Bulgaria as early as 10th century.

  11. And when the tyrant said "I am leaving" they started to beg him to return…. What do people who beg tyrant to return deserve but more terror…. And not so surprisingly things haven't really changed so much to this day

  12. guys, neither Ivan the Terrible nor Stalin were monsters, as the media tell you. Russian rulers are always described as monsters. Under Stalin, fewer people were imprisoned in the USSR than today in the United States. Under Ivan the Terrible, less people were killed for the entire reign than for one Worfolome night in France. Stop making us monsters. Enough dirty propaganda !!!

  13. I don’t know if I can trust someone who can hug their brothers murderer. It’s like spitting in your dead family members face. This person took away someone you loved and you can hug that person? What he should have done is attempt to strangle her. I don’t think anyone would’ve stopped him.

  14. This is where George R. R. Martin got his inspiration for the Mad King. Tortured his subjects freely, after a personal tragedy becomes an even more terrifying ruler, wants to slowly and painfully kill the people of his own cities and is constantly paranoid about who might be plotting against him and eventually becomes jealous of his own son because the people like him more.

  15. I love the painting of Ivan holding his son so much, it truly captures the madness and despondency in his eyes.

  16. Ur awesome Simon. Teaching me the history I slept through and now want to learn one day at a time. Keep em coming.

  17. "Was this man really as terrible as history paints him?… well… no, if anything, he was even worse…"
    … Yeah, i don't know what i expected.

  18. Henry VIII of England has been called the English Stalin and he died the year Ivan Grozny came to the throne. So i think the title of "first Stalin" goes to the Tudor Monarch

  19. "Terrible" in modern English means really really bad. and though Ivan Grozny was really really bad the name Terrible meant, in both Russian (grozny) and in earlier English "the stern" or "awe inspiring"

  20. This video is biased as hell. You should not pretend you are making history videos when you cover them in propaganda

  21. I feel like modern Russia is now writing it all over again, a bit less open brutality, a bit less really crazy people on top, the same sadism, the same terrible calculations and now in the world stage… I wonder if the people of Russia will ever know freedom and make up a government that adds to the world and not make it a war paranoia for all.

  22. This is just a rehash of 16th-19th century propaganda, absolutely no attempt to find out anything outside old Western textbooks on medieval history. Many of the later historians have shown that most of what is claimed as a fact here is a pure invention of Ivan's (and later, Russia's) political enemies. Did you really think that black PR was invented in XX century? Just one example – over 50 years of his rule about 3000 people were directly executed as results of Ivan IV's edicts and trials (and almost all of them only after a trial; although quality of those trials is kinda suspect within the margins of an absolute monarchy). France of Charles IX: St.Bartholomew's Day massacre together with subsequent wholesale slaughter of Huguenots killed about ten times that (all of them with no trials whatsoever). England of Henry VIII: his edicts and decisions have sent to gallows probably twenty times the number, quite a few of them with no trials. And so on… but of course since UK and Hollywood have the money we get smth like "Tudors" TV series which kind of totally normalizes all that. Whoever writes the history books in the most prominent and influential countries and cultures recreates the history in the way they want it to be taught. Nothing new… oh well…

  23. Its like going into a prison yard and punching the biggest and meanest skin head…… What would that be you Simon? Hee hee hee…..

  24. His aggressive rule has curesed many leaders who would later be like him.
    Russia has his ghost to possess many leaders till this day.
    And you know who I'm talking about.

  25. A pretty big nitpick – 11:23 is the wrong Sigismund; the portrait shows Sigismund III Vasa (who ruled 1587-1632). Additionally, the king ruling in 1557 was actually Sigismund Augustus – double name is used in historiography to distinguish him from his father, Sigismund the Old. On top of that, none of the three was "King of Poland-Lithuania"; they bore separate titles of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

    And one more addition from my side – Third Rome as a concept was not devised by Makarios – instead, it appeared first during Vasiliy III's times – in 1510, in monk Philotey's letter to grand duke. While Makarios and Ivan IV turned it into a purely political concept, Philotey's letter was far me religiously inclined and mystical – claiming Russia is the Third Rome not in terms of temporal power, but in terms of righting Byzantine wrongs (such us the Council of Florence, which the staunch Orthodox believed as the Empire abandoning the true faith in favour of Roman catholicism).

  26. Russia's problems are not from geography. It is from batshit crazy people somehow getting into power and fucking up everything.

  27. Wow… Never do another square space ad again please. That disruption was so infuriating I am mad at you for doing it and them for asking it. I am avoiding square space for the time being. (I have multiple websites with 3 companies and will nuver go near them now that I think of it
    How many ads on top of patreon do you need? Just don't get greedy, I'll just find a copycat channel where the host doesn't takes 15 breathes/pauses a freagin sentence…)

  28. idiot…in 1560 there was no Lithuania-poland, it was Lithuania…union with poland in 1569 was done exactly due to this war with muscovia

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