The winners of the Great Troubles

The winners of the Great Troubles

In November, Russia celebrated the holiday — Day of National Unity. 400 years ago, October 22 (November 1), 1612, soldiers militia led by Kuzma Minin and a citizen of Prince Dmitry Pozharsky stormed China Town, captured by the invaders. October 27 Polish garrison surrendered, and that moment was a turning point in the history of the Time of Troubles — a period when Russia was simply not in a protracted decline, and in fact, on the verge of losing its statehood and could disappear from the maps as a single power.

Paying tribute to Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, who caused last, decisive blow to the enemies of Russia, it should be noted that they only completed the work begun by other Russian patriots, generals, whose names are now few people remember, except for historians. One of them — a prominent military figure of his time Prince Michael Skopin-Shumsky, and the other — the Ryazan governor Procopius Lyapunov. Without the story of these warlords and their deeds is almost impossible to understand the concept of the «Time of Troubles.»

This period of Russian history in the early XVII century. called Time of Troubles, Troubles Great buntashnym age or knowingly. With the death in 1584 of Ivan IV the Terrible and his son Fyodor in 1598 cut short the old royal dynasty. It began a fierce struggle for power between the boyars clans. Rootless but talented Boris Godunov, who in his last years of Ivan the Terrible came into his inner circle, was able to rally some of the boyars and influential former royal guardsmen. In this he was helped to his marriage to the daughter of the chief of Ivan the Terrible guardsmen Malyuta Skuratov.

However, elected to the throne in 1598 Boris Godunov was unable to bring calm to Russia. Intrigues discontented boyars incited people to revolt against the upstart and vigorously spread rumors that Godunov was responsible for the death of the rightful heir — a minor Tsarevich Dmitry, coincided with the famine due to several consecutive years of crop failures. Human riots rocked the country. Taking advantage of the weakness of the central government, the Ukraine turned up a man who called himself Tsarevich Dmitry, son of Ivan IV, supposedly miraculously escaped from death. They are, in a number of evidence was a runaway Moscow monk Grigory Otrepyev Miracle Monastery, named afterwards False Dmitry I. He opened the sad list of pretenders in Russia, behind which stood the Polish gentry, tending to deprive Russia of Smolensk and Chernigov land.

False Dmitry I, backed by Polish troops in the autumn of 1604 moved to the Russian border. After almost two years of war the Polish protege managed to capture Moscow. This has contributed to a lot of the sudden death of Tsar Boris Godunov. However, the fate of the impostor was unenviable. There was a conspiracy, headed by constant intrigue against Godunov Boyar Vasily Shumsky. At night, May 17, 1606 conspirators stormed the Kremlin, where Otrepiev captured by surprise and killed. Shumsky was proclaimed king. However, few people recognized and agitation continued. Polish troops are again ready to attack the capital. Most of the country overwhelmed the peasant revolt led by Ivan Bolotnikov. Country sinking deeper into chaos.

Man cunning, resourceful, SHUISKI succeeded in palace intrigues and conspiracies, but did not have a commander abilities to cope with the shocks that the country was going through. He tried to put at the head of the king’s army of his brother Dmitri. However, he did not cope with the management of governmental actions. First Dmitry very poorly acted against rebellious peasants Bolotnikov, and then in May 1608 suffered a crushing defeat at Bolkhov from the Polish-Lithuanian troops of the new pretender — False Dmitry II.

It was then and needed SHUISKI commander, possessed military talent, a strong and determined character, which could unite under his command the various forces which have risen to fight the invaders. So the savior of the Fatherland was the nephew of Tsar Mikhail Skopin-Shumsky.

Belonging to the genus of the Nizhny Novgorod-Suzdal princes unit goes back to Rurik, Prince Michael was born, according to some reports, in November 1586 during the reign of Boris Godunov, he is mentioned in the books as a bit steward. False Dmitry I granted it in the great swordsmen. A little later he entrusted nineteen Prince important mission — to bring to Moscow Queen Martha, a former nude, her mother died in Uglich of Tsarevich Dmitry, so she recognized the pretender to his real son. Michael moved swiftly through the ranks. Contemporaries noted that he was in his youth possessed great wisdom and influence at the court of his patron’s uncle Basil Shuisky.

When in 1606 the king became SHUISKI fate of Mikhail made a sharp turn. Courtly service, he was replaced at the service of Ratna and became warlord, as his father and grandfather. MV Skopin-Shumsky intervene when supporters of the rebel troops Bolotnikov had to go to Moscow only a few dozen miles. It was then, according to the discharge of the book, and had been «sent to the governors in the fall campaign: steward Prince Mikhail Vasilyevich Skopin-Shumsky yes Boyar Boris Tatev … And Prince Michael had a fight with people on Pakhra thieves, thieves and people beaten» .

Ivan Bolotnikov was forced to pull back and go the other way to Moscow. During the decisive battle with supporters of Bolotnikov boilers at the village of Moscow MV Skopin-Shuya with his regiment was advancing from the Serpukhov gate and «Thieves broke and living poimayu a lot.» Bolotnikov himself with the remaining forces had to retreat to Tula. In June 1607 three royal regiment headed by MV Skopin-Shuisky defeated the rebels struck again on the River Crow. But about 20 thousand. The rebels entrenched in Tula. Four months was the siege. In October 1607 Tula fell. With the uprising was over. The war with the experienced Ivan Bolotnikov peasant leader has taught Prince Michael. He was well learned military science, gained experience.

However, the victory over the rebellious peasants did not bring tranquility to Russia. See Tsar Vasily Shumsky again faltered. In the fall of 1607 from Starodub to Tula moved his troops a new pretender — False Dmitry II. According to some reports, in his army, there were about 40 thousand. Man. Pretender moved to Tula, but after learning about the surrender of the city Bolotnikov, returned to Eagle. The following spring, the army of False Dmitry II moved to Bolhovu and defeated the king’s forces. The road to Moscow was open. Pretender, gathering strength, settled not far from Moscow — in Tushino, for what later was called by the people «Tushino».

In order to repel the enemy, it was necessary to unite against him all the supporters to enlist the support of other powers. His nephew king gave the responsible mission — to go to Novgorod and raise against the False Dmitry population of the Russian North. At the same time Prince Michael was to hold talks with the Swedish king Charles IX of military aid.

In Novgorod, the prince found out that the neighboring Pskov has sworn pretender, and the local urban elite is inclined to do the same. Michael had to flee to neighboring nut. However Novgorod frightened the king’s wrath and sent to the king’s envoy delegation to return. Soon, on the border with Sweden began negotiations ended with the signing in February 1609 the agreement on military aid. By the beginning of Michael stood 15000th regiment, led by 27-year-old Swedish Colonel Jacob de la Gardie. But these forces were not enough. Prince Michael began to gather volunteers across the Novgorod land.

Overcoming the resistance of the supporters of the False Dmitry, Men Prince Michael Skopin-Shumsky went in July 1609 to Kalyazin monastery. The monks welcomed him as a liberator in tears. In September 1609 it was taken Pereslavl, October 6 — Alexandrova Sloboda. Here, the commander decided to make his bid for the preparation of a decisive march on Moscow. Soon here also came another Russian Ponizova army commander — FI Sheremetev exempt Volga. Groups MV Skopin-Shumsky released Kashin, Staritsa, Rzhev, White, Bezhetskiy top, removed the siege of the Trinity-Sergius monastery, which for years unsuccessfully besieged troops False Dmitry. Everywhere the people joyfully welcomed the troops of Prince Michael, as liberators and gave himself commander royal honors. This fact played in the future of MV Skopin-Shumsky fatal. In his entourage were constantly king’s spies who denounced SHUISKI highly suspicious of the growing popularity of the nephew of the people.

The military successes MV Skopin-Shuisky led to the fact that in Tushino camp began excitement. Seeing that the False Dmitry II has no control over the situation, many troops deserted him, the army melted away in front of an impostor. Soon, he and a small entourage was forced to flee to Kaluga. Military threat to Russia by False Dmitry II was temporarily lifted.

Prince Michael received a royal order immediately come to Moscow to support him deserved honors as governor, to liberate the country from the deadly enemy. Relatives and friends are well aware of the true relation to the commander of the royal family, the prince urged not to go to the celebration. But the governor thought it impossible not to execute the royal order. The refusal of the trip could be regarded as an open revolt against the power of Basil Shuisky. And this prince did not want.

In March 1610 MV shelves Skopin-Shumsky solemnly entered the capital. Muscovites staged a grand welcome to the Liberator: people in a fit of gratitude poured into the streets, pushing the boyars delegation. They fell prostrate before the young prince, calling the governor, «the father and savior of the Fatherland.»

Such method stunned and frightened the royal family. Dmitry Shumsky, who observed the meeting, shouted hysterically: «This is my opponent!» This cry heard all around, and many are thinking about possible tragic consequences of such a reaction. Moscow is widely rumored on the possibility of fast replacing on the throne by his nephew Vasily Shumsky.

The very same 23-year-old Prince Michael was far from the intrigues of the court and was preparing to repel a new military threat to Moscow lands. For Moscow, the Polish army was approaching Hetman S. Zolkiewski, and False Dmitry II gathered a new army. But not on the battlefield, defending Moscow, was destined to die commander. He died at the hands of their own countrymen. At the head of the conspiracy got up hating his uncle the king commander Dmitry Shumsky and his wife Catherine, daughter Malyuta Skuratov, the chief of Ivan the Terrible guardsmen. They invited the governor to a feast on the occasion of the christening son of Prince IM Vorotynsky. Prince Michael was asked to become the godfather of the boy, and he could not refuse. During the ceremony, Catherine Shuyskaya brought Michael a cup of wine, and he drank it, felt very bad. Duke had hardly drop off to the nearest monastery, where he has heavy bleeding nose and mouth. Hearing about the illness favorite commander liberator quickly echoed by Moscow. Crowds of Muscovites all flooded the surrounding streets. Woe was truly national.

Tormented about two weeks, during the night of 23 on April 24, 1610 Prince Michael died. Neither the king nor his brother Dmitri did not realize that, in disposing of the popularly beloved commander, and they signed their own death warrant. Protect the king Basil was no one. Swedish mercenaries did not want to serve under the unpopular Dmitry Shumsky. His weakened army left without a bright and talented military leader, defeated the village Klushino troops from the Polish hetman S. Zolkiewski. The king was a monk and his brothers sent to a Polish prisoner, where he soon died. Troubles continued … But to replace those killed by the king’s servants MV Skopin-Shuisky came other warlords, patriots, who again attempted to pull Russia out of the abyss into which it sank.

Sergei Kolomnin

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