Mon­u­ment hon­ors Ivan the Ter­ri­ble

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Howard Amos

OREL, RUS­SIA >> De­spite lo­cal protests and court bat­tles, the Rus­sian city of Orel has un­veiled the coun­try’s first mon­u­ment to Czar Ivan the Ter­ri­ble.

At a cer­e­mony Fri­day, of­fi­cials in­au­gu­rated the statue of Ivan on horse­back, wield­ing both a sword and a cross, in the city 350 kilo­me­ters (225 miles) south of Mos­cow. The re­gion’s gov­er­nor likened the bru­tal czar to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

“We have a great, pow­er­ful pres­i­dent who has forced the whole world to re­spect and de­fer to Rus­sia — just like Ivan the Ter­ri­ble did in his time,” Vadim Po­tom­sky said.

Ivan, who reigned from 1547 to 1584, was re­spon­si­ble for vi­o­lence in­clud­ing the Nov­gorod Mas­sacre, which killed thou­sands, and is be­lieved to have slain even his own son. But he is also re­spected as key to Rus­sia’s es­tab­lish­ing it­self as an em­pire and as a pa­tron of the arts, in­clud­ing com­mis­sion­ing the land­mark St. Basil’s Cathe­dral on Red Square in Mos­cow.

The czar’s moniker re­flects his mixed rep­u­ta­tion — in Rus­sian, it can mean not only “ter­ri­ble” but also “for­mi­da­ble.”

The erec­tion of the statue comes as Rus­sia, en­cour­aged by Putin, is un­der­go­ing a broad re­assess­ment of its his­tory.

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