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Ivan the Terrible and the Oprichnina (Crap)

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 551
  • Category: Russian

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The Oprichnina was a policy which was set up by Ivan the Terrible. It involved employing a number of secret police, who spread all around the areas which were under Ivan’s control, who looked to see if anyone would commit treason or try and challenge Ivan’s leadership. Ivan created this plan, mainly because he was afraid that there would be people who would try to get rid of Ivan’s enemies. KEY DEVELOPMENTS

Creation of the Oprichnina
During 1564, Ivan the Terrible announced that he was close to abdicating. He left for a small town in Russia, where he isolated himself and sent a letter to the people of Russia, assuring them that Ivan would still be under the rule of Russia. While he was isolated, he came up with a plan where he had complete control over Russia, and that he would employ a special group of people, called Oprichniki, who would go around Russia searching for traitors, or people who he suspected would commit treason. The Council of Boyars agreed to the decision. The country was then divided in two. One part belonged to Ivan, and it was under his rule, and he was able to make rules or do anything he liked with his will. The other part of Muscovite Russia would be ruled under normal circumstances, by a Grand Prince. It was said that he pretended that he felt like abdicating, but really, many people said that it was a trick to single out all the traitors, so that ruling his part of Muscovite Russia would be easy. Effects of the Oprichnina

As part of his Oprichnina, Ivan the Terrible needed to employ people who he could trust to get rid of all traitors and people who looked like a threat to his leadership. Around 3000-6000 people were employed for this job. These people became known as Oprichniki. Many people were killed under Ivan’s rule by Oprichnikis. People were attacked in many different ways, such as being impaled, mutilated, whipped, or raped. Ivan also built a castle where he tortured people for entertainment, with dungeons which held prisoners, waiting to be tortured. What makes this terrible is that many people were killed innocently, or the Tsar created fake documents which proved that they were guilty. However, that wasn’t as far as all the terror goes. In 1570, Ivan attacked the city of Novgorod, believing that they were joining Lithuania to try and take him down. Many historians believed that around 40 thousand people died on that day alone in that event. Fall of the Oprichnina

Despite the Oprichnina’s success in Ivan’s favour, the system still had its flaws. The Oprichnikis stopped trusting each other, and they started turning on each other, which mean that Ivan the Terrible had to keep looking for new replacements. Also, after the massacre at Novgorod, many people stopped trusting his system, and soon enough, Crimean Tartars start destroying Moscow, and after the attack, people started seeing what Ivan and his system of rule have done to the country. Trade stopped from other countries, and there was political chaos in Russia. Agriculture stopped inside Russia. The Crimean Tartars continued attacking. Soon, the whole system collapsed. The two sections of the country which were separated before were rejoined under one country.

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