“I will not see the destruction of the Christian converts who are loyal to me, and to my last breath I will fight for the Orthodox faith.” -Ivan IV Vasilyevich

January 16, 1547- Ivan IV is crowned the first Tsar of All the Russias, a reflection of his commanding and authoritarian policies. Better known as Ivan the Terrible, he would transform Russia from a backward, medieval nation to an empire spanning one billion acres. He threw back and conquered the Tartar and Mongol hordes that had plagued Russia for three centuries. Despite Ivan’s effective policies, his line died with him due to his rage-induced murder of his heir, Ivan Ivanovich. The problems that plagued Russia during his reign would explode after his death, leading to the Time of Troubles.

Picture- Tsar Ivan IV, Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897