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Ivan Bolotnikov

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Title: Ivan Bolotnikov  
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Subject: Tula Kremlin, Yepifan, Livny, Arumer Zwarte Hoop, Bronnitsy
Collection: 1565 Births, 1608 Deaths, 17Th-Century Rebellions, Cossack Rebels, Peasant Revolts, Politics of Muscovy, Rebellions in Russia
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Ivan Bolotnikov

Bolotnikov's Battle with the Tsar's Army at Nizhniye Kotly Near Moscow by a Russian painter Ernst Lissner.

Ivan Isayevich Bolotnikov (Russian: Ива́н Иса́евич Боло́тников) (1565-1608) was the leader of a popular uprising in Russia in 1606–1607 known as the Bolotnikov Rebellion (Восстание Ивана Болотникова). The uprising was part of the Time of Troubles in Russia.


Little information is available about Ivan Bolotnikov’s life before the uprising. It is known that he was a Grigory Sumbulov, Prokopy Lyapunov, and Istoma Pashkov. All these rebels united and then besieged Moscow, settling in a village of Zagorye on October 12, 1606. The consensus among these rebellious groups, however, did not last long.

Soon enough, the noblemen realized that most of Ivan Bolotnikov’s plans had really been aimed against them, so they figured it would be much safer to return to Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky (tsar’s cousin) attacked the enemy near Kolomenskoye. During the battle, Istoma Pashkov and his men decided to switch camps and joined the Muscovite army. Left all by himself, Ivan Bolotnikov suffered a defeat and fled to Kaluga. Vasili Shuisky’s commanders Fyodor Mstislavsky and Ivan Shuisky laid siege to the city, but Bolotnikov and his Cossacks managed to repel their attacks until the end of winter. In the spring of 1607, another imposter by the name of False Peter (also known as Ileyka Muromets; he claimed to be the son of Feodor I of Russia) came to Tula with a whole mob of robbers to meet with Prince Grigory Shakhovskoy. Immediately after this, the latter dispatched Prince Andrei Telyatevsky and his men to help out Ivan Bolotnikov, forcing Prince Mstislavsky to lift the siege of Kaluga. Bolotnikov moved to Tula. Thus, all the rebels met together in one place, their joint forces numbering some 30,000 people.

It was then that Vasili Shuisky decided to attack all of them at once and left Moscow on May 21, 1607. He besieged Tula, but the insurgents managed to hold out until October despite deprivations and hunger. Finally, Bolotnikov decided to negotiate his surrender. The tsar promised to pardon the insurgents in return for Tula. On October 10, the rebels surrendered to the authorities. Shuisky, however, did not keep his promise. Instead, he transported all of the rebel leaders to Moscow on October 30, and then executed each of them in a different way. Ivan Bolotnikov was transported to Kargopol, blinded and then drowned.

See also


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