Paide falls into the hands of the Russians

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01. January 1573

At the end of 1572 Ivan the Terrible personally arrived to Livonia to lead the Russian forces. The Russians became considerably more active: already on 1 January 1573 Paide was conquered. The stronghold was quite weakly secured and the Swedes could not supply this also properly, only 50 warriors and 500 peasants having escaped from the surrounding had been there.

Therefore its conquering was not too difficult, but there Maljuta Skuratov, one of the closest co-workers of Ivan the Terrible died. The angry tsar let almost all defenders of the stronghold be executed, by frying them alive on fire. Only some peasants were saved who closed themselves into the cells of the stronghold and stated that they have been in prison there. In 1886 the monument was set up near Paide in honour of the conquering of the stronghold, where Maljuta Skuratov had been buried according to some legends.

In 1573 also Karksi fell into in the hands of the Russians which Duke Magnus received as the second stronghold. The Swedes had increasingly bigger economic difficulties in Livonia and they allowed the mercenaries to obtain the subsistence by themselves.

In 1574 the Swedes pursued to start though contra-incursion by using the Scottish mercenaries for that purpose, but this completely failed. At the beginning of 1575 the Swedes were also deprived of Läänemaa, the landlords having acquired the strongholds gave these over to Denmark hoping for higher profit.

Mati Laur. Eesti ajalugu varasel uusajal 1550-1800. Tallinn: Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, 1999.

Paide. 1938.

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