Grigorii Skuratov-Belskii

Skuratov-Bel’skii, Grigorii Luk’ianovich


(also known as Maliuta Skuratov). Year of birth unknown; died Jan. 1, 1573, near the castle of Weissenstein, now Paide, Estonian SSR. A leader of the oprichnina of Ivan IV the Terrible and an active organizer of the oprichnina terror.

Skuratov-Bel’skii came from the higher strata of the provincial gentry. He rose to prominence in 1569, taking part in the investigation and execution of V. A. Staritskii, Ivan IV’s cousin. In December 1569, Skuratov-Bel’skii strangled the former metropolitan Filipp Kolychev. In January 1570, with Novgorod under suspicion of treason, he led the plundering of the city. In 1571 he conducted an investigation into the causes of the Russian defeat in a battle with the Crimean khan Devlet-Girei. He was killed in battle. The name of Maliuta Skuratov is synonymous with the cruelties and executions of the reign of Ivan IV.


Zimin, A. A. Oprichnina Ivana Groznogo. Moscow, 1964.