Instead, he used his administrative position via the system of kormlenie
, or "feeding" himself by "privately" taxing, or charging people depending on him, not according to the formal tax regulations but according to existing custom, however it was interpreted by the bureaucrat.
Income was awarded via rights to squeeze taxes from the peasantry (kormlenie
Civil servants were even expected to survive by kormlenie
, 'feeding', supplementing inadequate wages with backhanders and private scams.
He also indicated the need for other territories to provide "feeding" and/or tax-farming (kormlenie
okupom) for the boyars, courtiers, and all his "sovereign's court people" who would enter the oprichnina.
(56) The tradition of kormlenie
, of using one's office as a source of bribes and embezzlement stretched back, of course, to the Muscovite state (Richard Pipes, Russia under the Old Regime, 2nd ed.
Enin, Voevodskoe kormlenie
v Rossii v XVII veke (soderzhanie naseleniem uezda gosudarstvennogo organa vlasti) (St.
Historians generally point to the above-mentioned practices of "feeding" (kormlenie
) and perquisites.
In chapter 4 he reflects on the informal compensatory practice of "feeding" (kormlenie
) and bribery in Siberia, topics insufficiently treated to date.
At this time, the princes are known to have employed the maintenance 'feeding' system, kormlenie
, to attract and reward their elite servitors.
A Russian equivalent was the Muscovite system of kormlenie
, which allowed officials to live off unofficial fees from the public rather than a salary from the crown, thereby creating a gift-giving system of reciprocity with the population.
Redin's discussion of the persistence of "feeding" extortion (kormlenie
) is particularly nuanced, recognizing its dual nature as a form of official malfeasance and a bargaining tool of the subject community, and making the interesting argument that in the Urals region the formation of officialdom (chinovnichestvo) as a social and state-service identity occurred in part through the failure of Peter's law on salary remuneration, leading Siberian officials to define themselves as a privileged order entitled to feedings by analogy with serf owners entitled to peasant rent.
As of Peter I's reign, Siberia already had a long history of corrupt military governors (voevody) thanks in large part to the officially condoned practice of graft called kormlenie