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Elena Glinskaya (The Third Rome)

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Elena Vasilygay Glinskaya (Елена Васильевна Глинская in Russian) (? - April 4(13) 1548, Moscow) was the second wife of Grand Prince Vasili III and regent of Russia for 15 years (1533-48).

Elena was a daughter of Prince Vasili Lvovich Glinsky by Princess Anna of Serbia. It is to her powerful uncle, Prince Mikhail Glinsky, that the family owned its distinction. In 1526, Vasili III resolved to divorce his barren wife, Solomoniya Saburova, and marry Elena.

Despite strong opposition from the Russian Orthodox Church, the divorce was effected, and Elena gave birth to Ivan IV (future Ivan the Terrible) in 1530 and Yuri Vasilyevich (future prince of Uglich) in 1532. On his deathbed, Vasili III transferred his powers to Elena Glinskaya until his oldest son Ivan was mature enough to rule the country. The chronicles of those times do not provide any more or less precise information on Elena's legal status after Vasili's death. All that is known is that it could be defined as regency and that the boyars had to report to her. That is why the time between Vasili's death and her own passing in 1548 is called the reign of Elena.

Elena Glinskaya used the Oprichniks to remove the Shuiskys from power, and they were driven from the country or summarily executed. Elena Glinskaya went on to challenge the claims of her brothers-in-law, Yury of Dmitrov and Andrey of Staritsa. The struggle ended with their incarceration in 1534 and 1537, respectively. Elena's reign was also known for conflicts inside the government, caused by Elena's close association with a handsome young boyar named Ivan Feodorovich Ovchina-Telepnev-Obolensky and Metropolitan Daniel. In 1535, Elena conducted a currency reform, which resulted in the introduction of a unified monetary system in the state. In foreign affairs, Glinskaya succeeded in signing an armistice with Lithuania in 1536, thus neutralizing Sweden.

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