Born in Russia circa 1551, Boris Godunov served the court of Ivan IV the Terrible and in 1584 was named by Ivan to be one of the guardians for the dim-witted Fyodor, who shortly afterward ascended the throne. Godunov then became de facto ruler of Russia. After Fyodor’s death, Godunov was elected to the throne. While he implemented many laudable policies, he was ruthless and paranoid and died only seven years into his rule, on April 23 [April 13, Old Style], 1605, in Moscow.
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