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Vasili III of Russia

From Academic Kids

Vasili III Ivanovich (Russian: Василий III Иванович, also Basil) (March 251479December 31533) was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1505 to 1533. He was the son of Ivan III Vasiliyevich and Sophia Paleologue and was christened with the name Gavriil (Гавриил).

Foreign affairs

Vasili III continued the policies of his father Ivan III and spent most of his reign consolidating Ivan's gains. Vasili annexed the last surviving autonomous provinces: Pskov in 1510, appanage of Volokolamsk in 1513, principalities of Ryazan in 1521 and Novgorod-Seversky in 1522.

Vasili also took advantage of the difficult position of Sigismund of Poland to capture Smolensk, the great eastern fortress of Poland (1512), chiefly through the aid of the rebel Lithuanian, Prince Mikhail Hlinski, who provided him with artillery and engineers. The loss of Smolensk was the first serious injury inflicted by Muscovy on Poland and only the exigencies of Sigismund compelled him to acquiesce in its surrender (1522).

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The Church of Ascension

Equally successful were Vasili's actions against the Crimean Khanate. Although in 1519 he was obliged to buy off the khan of the Crimea, Moxammad Giray, under the very walls of Moscow, towards the end of his reign he established Russian influence on the Volga. In 1531-32 he placed the pretender Cangali khan on the throne of Kazan.

Domestic affairs

In his internal policy, Vasili III enjoyed the support of the Church in his struggle with the feudal opposition. In 1521, metropolitan Varlaam was banished for refusing to participate in Vasili's fight against an appanage prince Vasili Ivanovich Shemyachich. Rurikid princes Vasili Shuisky and Ivan Vorotynsky were also sent into exile. The diplomat and statesman, Ivan Bersen-Beklemishev, was executed in 1525 for criticizing Vasili's policies. Maksim Grek (publicist), Vassian Patrikeyev (statesman) and others were sentenced for the same reason in 1525 and 1531. During the reign of Vasili III, the gentry's landownership increased; authorities were actively trying to limit immunities and privileges of boyars and nobility.

Vasili's greatest problem was the lack of heir. In 1526, despite much opposition from the clergy, he divorced his barren wife, Solomonida Saburova, and married Princess Elena Glinskaya (Helena Glinska), the daughter of a Serbian princess and niece of his friend Mikhail Hlinski. To the great joy of Vasili and the populace, the new tsaritsa gave birth to a son, who succeeded him as Ivan IV. According to a story, Solomonida Saburova also bore a son in the convent where she had been confined, just several months after the controversial divorce.



Preceded by:'Grand Prince of Moscow'Succeeded by:
Ivan IIIIvan IV

Template:Livedde:Wassili III. pl:Wasyl III Iwanowicz ru:Василий III zh-cn:瓦西里三世

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