Ivan the Young

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Ivan Ivanovich (also known as Ioann Ioannovich and Ivan Molodoy) (Иван Иванович, Иоанн Иоаннович, Иван Молодой in Russian) (15 February 1458 – 6 March 1490) was the eldest son and heir of Ivan III from his first marriage to Maria of Tver.

Ivan's father empowered him to deal with most administrative and military affairs of the state in order to make ordinary Russian people think of him as their future ruler. He bestowed upon Ivan the title of grand prince, so the Muscovite ambassadors and government officials used to speak on behalf of the two grand princes. Ambassadors from different Russian cities (e.g. Novgorod), as well ambassadors from foreign countries, could equally address both Ivan III and Ivan the Young with the same requests or problems.

Russian chronicles mention Ivan's participation in military campaigns against Ibrahim of Kazan in 1468 and Novgorod in 1471. In 1476 and 1478, Ivan III put Ivan in charge of Moscow during his absence from the Russian capital. In 1480, when Akhmat Khan moved towards the Russian borders, the grand prince sent Ivan Molodoy with numerous regiments to the Ugra River. The Great standing on the Ugra river started.

Ivan III moved towards the Oka River, but soon returned to Moscow and demanded his son's return, fearing for his life. Ivan the Young refused to obey his father, however, who then ordered his assistant, Prince Kholmsky, to bring him back to the capital. Ivan insisted on staying on the shores of the Ugra. When the river froze up, Ivan Molodoy crossed it at the request of his father and went to Borovsk, where the grand prince planned on attacking the Tatars. Akhmat Khan, however, chose to flee at the sight of the Russian army, which would then return to Moscow.

In 1485, Ivan claimed his mother's inheritance in Tver and was installed as the ruler of that city, recently conquered by his father. Soon afterward, he fell ill with a type of arthritis. His doctor, named Leon, bragged to Ivan III that he could cure him and began treatment with the grand prince's permission. Ivan Molodoy's health continued to deteriorate until he finally died on 6 March 1490. Leon was later executed.

Ivan Molodoy left a son named Dmitry Ivanovich from his marriage to Elena, daughter of the great Stephen III of Moldavia. Ivan III planned that Dmitry would succeed him, but under pressure from his wife Sophia Paleologue, chose to exclude him from succession in favour of Sophia's son, Vasily. After several domestic squabbles between Elena and her mother-in-law, the former was taken to prison on 11 April 1502. Elena was incriminated of supporting the Sect of Skhariya the Jew and died in prison on 18 January 1505. Her son died 4 years later.

See also[edit]

Russian royalty
Preceded by
Ivan III of Russia
Heir to the Russian Throne
1462–1490
Succeeded by
Dmitry Ivanovich