THE ACCIDENTAL WAR ...
(THE LIVONIAN WAR AND THE FOREIGN POLICY OF IVAN THE TERRIBLE)
Vitaly V. Penskoi
Belgorod National Research University
The author suggests a new approach to the study of the Livonian War and its place in Russian foreign policy in the late sixteenth century. Russian and foreign historiography has tended to stress the paramount importance of the Livonian War for the foreign policy of the Russian state and for Ivan the Terrible. However, some current scholars, including the author, have questioned this assumption. The author argues that for Ivan the Terrible, the conflict with the Crimean Khanate and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was of primary importance, while Livonia had more marginal significance for Moscow. As a result, the Livonian problem was given only secondary attention, leading to the Russian state’s poor showing during the first stage of the conflict over the Livonian inheritance.
Keywords: Russia, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Sweden, Livonia, foreign policy, Russian-Tatar relations, Russian-Lithuanian relations, Livonian War.