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FEODOR II BORISOVICH (April 13 - June 10 1605)

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He was born in 1589, the son of Tsar Boris Gudonov and Maria Grigor'yevna, daughter of Maliuta Skuratov, one of the leaders of the Oprichnina. His father, Boris, prepared him to rule as best he could, providing a good education and including him in state functions. Fedor was a physically and mentally strong person, who might have ruled with considerable effectiveness.

Summary of the reign:
Unfortunately for him the country was already beset by calamitous economic and social conditions and facing a civil war, when his father died, in April of 1605, leaving him to try to maintain control as a sixteen-year old youth whose family had only just come to power and had few supporters among the old nobility. By then the army of the "False Dmitrii" was already having success south-west of Moscow. He was forced by the prevailing system of mestnichestvo to appoint members of these rival families to all high military and government positions.

With his forces fighting desperately against the invasion led by the False Dmitrii, he could not maintain control even of Moscow. He was deposed in June by a cabal of nobles who raised the city mob in a riot. Within days the False Dmitrii had his agents among the boyar princes and streltsi seize the entire Gudunov family, murder Feodor and his mother, and send his young sister to a convent.


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