A Tough Sell, Even in Russia: Ivan the Not-So-Terrible

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tags: Russia, Ivan the Terrible



The governor of the small Russian region of Oryol is trying to convince people that Ivan the Terrible was not so bad.

Legend has it that Ivan founded the region’s capital, also called Oryol, in 1566. Now Gov. Vadim Potomsky has commissioned a bronze statue of the former czar on horseback, wielding a sword and a cross, to be erected in front of the city’s children’s theater in honor of the city’s 450th birthday.

The rehabilitation campaign builds on a move by Russia’s minister of culture back in 2014 to depict Ivan as the victim of Western disinformation. The minister suggested that the name in Russian, “Ivan Grozny,” would better be translated as “Ivan the Strict.”




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