Bogdan Belsky

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Bogdan Yakovlevich Belsky () (died 1611) was a Russian statesman and a close associate of Ivan the Terrible.

Bogdan was not related to the great Gedyminid princely family of the same name. It is believed that he became welcome at the royal court owing to his kinship with Malyuta Skuratov. His name was first mentioned in 1571, when Belsky was tsar's bodyguard (rynda) during his military campaigns. He would soon become tsar's closest associate and would even sleep in his chamber.

Ivan never promoted Belsky to any significant post or changed his official status, not even after Belsky had forced one of the most important fortresses - Wolmar - to surrender in 1577 during the Livonian War. For this, he was only repaid with a Portuguese gold coin and a golden chain. In 1578, Bodgan Belsky was appointed oruzhnichiy (оружничий, or keeper of tsar's weapons) and wouldn't make his way up any further. In reality, Belsky was Ivan's vremenshchik (временщик), or minion. The tsar would entrust him his intimate affairs, such as inquiries about his potential fiancée Mary Hastings (1581), and negotiations with Jerome Bowes, the English ambassador, about the tsar's possible marriage with this lady (1583–1584).

Belsky was also in charge of the fortunetellers, who had been gathered from all over Russia after the appearance of a comet and who had foretold the tsar's death. Ivan died in Belsky's arms, when they sat down to play chess. There are indications that Ivan entrusted...
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