The common people, whom he had always favoured at the expense of the boyars, thereupon implored him to come back on his own terms. He consented to do so, but entrenched himself within a peculiar institution, the oprichina or "separate estate."
The oprichina was no constitutional innovation.
Their first and most notable victim was Philip, the saintly metropolitan of Moscow, who was strangled for condemning the oprichina as an unchristian institution, and refusing to bless the tsar (1569).
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