Ivan V

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IVAN V

(16661696), Tsar Ivan Alexeyevich, third son of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.

Ivan V, who suffered from physical and perhaps mental impairments, ruled jointly with his younger brother Peter (the Great). There is no evidence that Ivan ever exercised power or made any independent decisions during his lifetime. Virtually nothing is known about his early life in the Kremlin Palace. He suddenly came into prominence in April 1682 with the death of his older brother, Tsar Fyodor (r. 16761682). Though the boyars and the church passed him over in favor of his half-brother Peter, the revolt of the musketeers compelled them to appoint Ivan as co-tsar and soon made possible the emergence of Ivan's sister Sophia as regent of Russia. Despite having been often portrayed as merely the unhappy tool of Sophia and her Miloslavsky relatives against Peter and his family, the Naryshkins, it seems that Ivan's household soon distanced itself from Sophia and in 1689 supported the coup d'etat that removed Sophia from the regency. In 1684 Sophia had Ivan married to Praskovya Saltykova, a young noblewoman from a clan Sophia believed to be friendly to her aims. Ultimately the Saltykovs supported Peter and became an important element in Peter's court. Ivan and Praskovya's daughter, Anna Ivanovna, ruled Russia from 1730 to 1740.

See also: peter i; sophia; streltsy

Paul A. Bushkovitch