Tsardom of Russia

Oprichnina: Purge of Nobles
The Oprichniks by Nikolai Nevrev shows the execution of the conspirator I. P. Fedorov (right) after a mock coronation. ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1565 Feb 1

Oprichnina: Purge of Nobles

Novgorod Republic

The Oprichnina was a state policy implemented by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in Russia between 1565 and 1572. The policy included mass repression of the boyars (Russian aristocrats), including public executions and confiscation of their land and property. In this context it can also refer to:


  • The notorious organization of six thousand Oprichniki, the first political police in the history of Russia.
  • The portion of Russia, ruled directly by Ivan the Terrible, where his Oprichniki operated.
  • The corresponding period of Russian history.
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Last Updated: Sat May 28 2022