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Anaconda, Apparently, and Assassination: prokopetz Everybody talks about Anastasia, which is a shame, because it's a far less interesting example of Russian fake heir drama than that whole business with the False Dmitries Okay, so Ivan the Terrible's youngest son, Dmitry, was assassinated in 1591 at the age of 8. Fast-forward nine years, and there's a guy going about Eastern Europe claiming that he is Dmitry, having secretly escaped the assassination attempt and lived in hiding under a false identity ever since. This sort of business isn't too unusual, but this guy actually pulls it off, managing to gain the Russian throne and rule for nearly eleven months before being dragged from the palace and publicly executed in early 1606. He'd subsequently go down in history as False Dmitry I Here's where it gets interesting. In mid 1607, a second impostor declares himself. Bizarrely, this one doesn't dispute the first impostor's legitimacy; instead, he claims to be the same guy, having miraculously survived his apparent execution the year before. He somehow wins the political support of False Dmitry I's widow, and with her vouching for his identity, he gains the allegiance of the Cossacks, rallies an army over 100 000 strong, and tries to take back" the throne. Though his march on Moscow ultimately failed, he successfully conquered most of Southeastern Russia, which he would rule until his untimely death in December of 1610, when he was beheaded in a drunken altercation with a Tartar prince. The history books know him as False Dmitry II Now jump ahead three months to March of 1611, when a third fucking impostor pops up. Dude apparently just magically appeared from behind a waterfall in goddamn Ivangorod and declared himself Tsar. Following the lead of False Dmitry I1, he doesn't dispute either of the two previous impostors, instead claiming some sort of spiritual reincarnation and/or magical resurrection - it's not entirely clear which - to establish himself as the same guy. He must have talked a good game, because he managed to win the support of the same fucking Cossacks who supported False Dmitry Il's claim. Unfortunately, he was a far less able commander, being forced to flee his stronghold only a year later, whereupon he was spirited away to Moscow and secretly executed. Though he never managed to actually rule anything, historians decided to stick to the theme and dubbed him False Dmitry Il At this point the historical record becomes confused, with some sources asserting there was a fourth False Dmitry, though others insist that the third False Dmitry was simply counted twice due to poor record-keeping. Still, whether we're talking about three False Dmitries or four, imagine the whole mess from the Tsar's perspective. Dude just wouldn't stay dead! gryphye ohh vou missed one of my favorite bits False Dmitry I not only was executed, it was KNOWN he was fake. Powers that be used him until he was trouble, and THEN executed him Then quartered hinm Then cremated what was left. Stuffed the ashes in a can And shot him out of a cannon back towards Poland, where he actually came from. He pissed off a few people, yeah prokopetz It was a very miraculous survival Source:prokopetz 8,898 notes Nobody made a movie about this because it was just too weird
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