Ivan IV of Russia (Ivan IV Vasilyevich), also know as Ivan the Terrible, was the Grand Duke of Muscovy from 1533 to 1547 and was the first ruler of Russia and the first to be proclaimed tsar of Russia (from 1547). Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan s complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental illness. He enjoyed burning 1000s of people in frying pans, and was fond of impaling people. Ivan s soldiers built walls around the perimeter of the city in order to prevent the people of the city escaping. Between 500 and 1000 people were gathered every day by the troops, then tortured and killed in front of Ivan and his son. He is also remembered for his paranoiac suspiciousness and cruel persecution of nobility. Ivan died from a stroke while playing chess with Bogdan Belsky on 28 March.