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Vasili IV of Russia ( , other transliterations: Vasily, Vasiliy, Vasilii) (22 September 1552 – 12 September 1612) was Tsar of Russia between 1606 and 1610 after the murder of False Dmitriy I. His reign fell during the Time of Troubles.

Born Prince Vasily Ivanovich Shuisky and descended from sovereign princes of Nizhny Novgorodmarker and 20th generation male line decendant of Rurik the Viking, he was one of the leading boyars of Tsardom of Russiamarker during the reigns of Feodor I and Boris Godunov. In all the court intrigues of the Time of Troubles, Vasily and his younger brother Dmitry Shuisky usually acted together and fought as one.

It was he who, in obedience to the secret orders of Tsar Boris, went to Uglichmarker to inquire into the cause of the death of the Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, who had perished there in mysterious circumstances. Shuisky reported that it was a case of suicide, though rumors abounded that the Tsarevich had been assassinated on the orders of the regent Boris Godunov. Some suspected that Dmitry escaped the assassination and that another boy was killed in his place, providing impetus for the repeated appearance of impostors (See False Dmitry I, False Dmitry II, and False Dmitry III). On the death of Boris, who had become tsar, and the accession of his son Feodor II, Shuisky went back upon his own words in order to gain favour with the pretender False Dmitriy I, who was attempting to gain the throne by impersonating the dead Tsarevich. Shuisky recognized the pretender as the "real" Dmitry despite having earlier determined the boy had committed suicide, thus bringing about the assassination of the young Feodor.

Shuisky then plotted against the false Dmitriy and procured his death (May 1606), in addition to confessing publicly that the real Dmitriy had been indeed slain and that the reigning tsar was an impostor. Shuisky's adherents thereupon proclaimed him tsar on 19 May 1606. He reigned till 19 July 1610, but he was never generally recognized. Even in Moscowmarker itself he had little or no authority, and he only avoided deposition by the dominant boyars because they had no-one to put in his place.

Only the popularity of his heroic cousin, Prince Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky, who led his armies, and soldiers from Swedenmarker, whose assistance he purchased by the cession of Russian territory, kept him for a time on his unstable throne. In 1610 he was deposed by his former adherents Princes Vorotynsky and Mstislavsky, made a monk, and finally transported to Warsawmarker by the Polish hetman Stanislaus Zolkiewski . He died as a prisoner in the castle of Gostyninmarker, near Warsawmarker, in 1612.

Descent from Rurik the Viking

Vaisli IV was the last male line Rurikid to rule Russia.
  1. Rurik the Viking
  2. Igor I Rurikovich, Grand Prince of Kiev
  3. Sviatoslav I Igorevich, Grand Prince of Kiev
  4. Vladimir Svyatoslavich the Great, Grand Prince of Kiev
  5. Yaroslav Vladimirovich the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev
  6. Vladimir II Yaroslavich Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kiev
  7. Yuri Vladimirovich the Long Arm, Grand Prince of Kiev, (1099–1157)
  8. Vsevolod III Yuryevich the Big Nest, Grand Prince of Kiev, (1154–1212)
  9. Yaroslav II Feodor Vsevolodich, Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal, (1191-1246)
  10. Andrei II Yaroslavich, Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal, (1221-1264)
  11. Vasili Andreievich, Prince of Suzdal, (1264-1309)
  12. Konstantin Vasilievich, Prince of Suzdal, (1295-1355)
  13. Dmitri Konstantinovich, Grand Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal, (1324–1383)
  14. Vasily Dmitrievich Kirdyapa, Prince of Nizhniy Novgorod
  15. Yury Vasilievich, Prince Shuisky
  16. Vasili Yuryevich, Prince of Shuia, (d. 1446/58)
  17. Mikhail Vasilievich, Prince Shuisky, (d. 1445)
  18. Andrey Mikhailovich "Chastokol", Prince Shuisky, (d. 1543)
  19. Ivan Andreyevich, Prince Shuisky, (d. 1573)
  20. Vasili IV Ivanovich of Russia(1552–1612)

See also


  • which in turn cites:
    • Dmitry Ilovaisky, The Troubled Period of the Muscovite Realm (Moscow, 1894)
    • Sergey Platonov, Sketches of the Great Anarchy in the Realm of Moscow, (Petersburg, 1899)
    • D. V. Tsvyeltev, Tsar Vasily Shuisky (Warsaw, 1901-1903)
    • R. Nisbet Bain, Slavonic Europe, ch. viii. (Cambridge, 1907)

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