"Ivan IV during the Siege of Kazan", a 19th-century painting by Pyotr Korovin. #IvanTheTerrible #FearsomeRulers
During Ivan's early reign, armies of the Kazan Khanate (a medieval Tatar state) repeatedly raided the northeast of Russia. So, on August 1522, the young Tsar declared war by leading a 150,000-strong Russian army towards Kazan.
Throughout the siege, Russians had the advantage of efficient military engineers. They created a 12-metre high wooden siege tower (or also called as "battery-tower") for mounting siege cannon. This revolutionary new design could hold 10 large-calibre cannon and 50 lighter cannon, allowing a concentration of artillery fire on a section of the city's wooden wall, and played a crucial role in shattering Kazan resistance.
In a month, the city's water supply was successfully blocked and the walls were breached. Kazan finally fell after their khan Yadegar was captured, its fortifications were razed, and much of the population massacred. Afterwards, about 60,000–100,000 Russian prisoners and slaves were released. Ivan then celebrated his victory over Kazan by building several churches with oriental features, most famously the Saint Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow. #PartThree