During Ivan's minority the country was governed, or rather misgoverned, first by his mother, and then by rival factions led by great nobles such as the princes Shuiski and Belski.
Having convoked his boyars he reproached them collectively with robbing the treasury and committing acts of injustice, and he caused one of them, a Prince Shuiski who happened to be in power at the moment, to be seized by his huntsmen and torn in pieces by a pack of hounds, as a warning to others.
Before a year had passed a conspiracy was formed against him by an ambitious noble called Basil (Vassili) Shuiski, and he was assassinated in the Kremlin.
The chief con spirator, Shuiski, seized the power and was elected tsar by an Assembly composed of his faction, but neither Shuiski, the ambitious boyars, nor the pillaging Cossacks, nor the German mercenaries were satisfied with the change, and soon a new impostor, likewise calling himself Dimitri, son of Tsar Ivan, came forward as the rightful heir.
Like his predecessor, he enjoyed the protection and support of the Polish king, Sigismund III., and was strong enough to ii., compel Shuiski to abdicate; but as soon as the throne was vacant Sigismund put forward as a candidate his own son, Wladislaus.
On his way thither he defeated and captured Tsar Vasily Shuiski at the battle of Klushino (July 14, 1610), and two months later entered the Russian capital in triumph.