False Dmitrii, Second

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

False Dmitrii, Second


Date of birth unknown; died Dec. 11 (21), 1610, in Kaluga. Impostor and adventurer who posed as the Russian tsar Dmitrii Ivanovich, supposedly saved during the uprising of May 17, 1606.

The origin of the Second False Dmitrii is not known. In 1607 he appeared in Starodub-Severskii at the head of a force consisting mainly of the Polish detachments of Prince A. Wisniowiecki and Prince R. Różyński. Among his followers were a number of south Russian noblemen, the cossacks under I. M. Zarutskii, and remnants of the defeated troops of I. I. Bolotnikov. In July 1607, Dmitrii left Starodub and marched on Briansk and Tula. After defeating the forces of Vasilii Ivanovich Shuiskii in May 1608 near Bolkhov, he marched on Moscow. He established camp in the village of Tushino, a few miles from the capital, where he formed a government of Russian feudal lords and high officials, including the princes Trubetskoi, A. Iu. Sitskii, Filaret Romanov, and M. G. Saltykov. Hetman Różyński was the real leader of the Tushino camp, although in December 1608 power was formally transferred to ten men chosen from among the Polish mercenaries. In August 1608, J. Mniszek arrived in Tushino at the head of a Polish force; his daughter Marina secretly married the Second False Dmitrii. Taking advantage of the class struggle of the townspeople and peasants against Shuiskii’s government, Dmitrii gained control over a large area to the east, north, and northwest of Moscow during the summer and autumn of 1608.

For all his demagogic promises, the Second False Dmitrii continued the policy of strengthening serfdom. He granted land and peasants to his followers and requisitioned money and food for the Polish troops. These actions gave impetus to the national liberation struggle and reduced the area under his control. Open intervention by Poland during the summer of 1609 completed the disintegration of the Tushino camp. The Poles and most of the Russian feudal lords joined Sigismund III. Dmitrii fled from Tushino to Kaluga in December 1609. After the defeat of Shuiskii’s troops near Klushino in June 1610, he again approached Moscow in July. In August, however, he was forced to flee to Kaluga, where he was killed.


Koretskii, V. I. “Ob odnoi ‘oshibke’ arkhivistov XVIII v.” Arkheografi-cheskii ezhegodnik za 1962. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.