“Several hundred of the closest royal guardsmen made up his monastic brethren, John called himself the abbot of all Russia. He himself called to the matins, sang in the church in the choir, and after mass he read for edification the lives of the saints, the teaching of fasting, prayer and temperance. ”
Johann Taube and Elert Kruse (A number of researchers doubt the accuracy of their descriptions): “Early in the morning at 4 o'clock all the brothers should be in the church; all those who have not appeared, with the exception of those who did not appear due to bodily weakness, do not spare, whether they are high or low, and are sentenced to 8 days of penance. In this meeting, he sings himself with his brothers and subordinate priests from four to seven. When it strikes 8 o'clock, he goes back to church, and everyone should appear at once. There he is again engaged in singing until he breaks 10. By this time, the meal is already ready, and all the brothers sit at the table. He, as an igumen, remains himself to stand while they eat. Each brother should bring mugs, vessels and dishes to the table, and everyone is served food and drink, very expensive and consisting of wine and honey, and that [he] cannot eat and drink, he should carry it away in vessels and dishes and distribute to the poor, and as most of the time, it was brought home.
Rarely does he (Ivan the Terrible) miss a day so as not to go to the dungeon ... makes him in his presence torture or even torture to death without any reason.
As for secular affairs, murder and other tyranny and in general its entire administration, he (Ivan the Terrible) gives orders in the church. For committing all these atrocities, he does not use either the executioners or their servants, but only the holy brothers. All that comes into his head is to kill one, burn the other, he orders in the church. All brothers, and he first of all, should have long black monastic staffs with sharp tips, which can knock the peasant down, and also long knives under outer clothing, one elbow long, even longer, so that when he thinks to kill someone, you would not need to send for executioners and swords, but to have everything prepared for torture and execution.
The king recruited the guardsmen from the scum for the most part of a very low birth, all brave, daring, dishonest and soulless. This order was intended to commit special atrocities "
“The oprichniki of the Grand Duke should have been in the amount of 10 to 20 people driving around the streets with large axes, having chain mail under their clothes. Each individual company identified boyars, state people, princes, and noble merchants. None of them knew his guilt, even less - the time of his death and that in general they were sentenced. And everyone went, without knowing anything, to work, to the courts and the office. Then the gangs of murderers hacked and strangled them without any guilt on the streets, at the gates or in the market and left them lying, and not a single person should have interred them. And all the streets, markets and roads were filled with corpses, so that the locals and strangers were not only frightened, but could not go anywhere because of the great stench. ”
Heinrich von Staden, the oprichnik: “In the oprichnichnye orders, debtors were put on a right, who were beaten with batogs or whips, until the priest lifted up the gifts and used to ring the bell. All the petitions of the guardsmen were signed here and sent to the local government, and what was signed here, it was already fair and by virtue of the decree in the local government did not contradict it ... Oprichniki should not have spoken words with Zemstvo nor be married to them. And if the oprichnik had a father and a mother in the Zemstvo, he did not dare ever visit them. ”
German nobleman Albert Schlichting, who served in Russia for 7 years: “If he (Ivan the Terrible) noticed somewhere a particularly bold and criminal man, he soon attracted him to the community and made him a servant of his tyranny and cruelty”
“As soon as it dawns, servants of guardsmen or murderers appear in all blocks and streets of the city, and anyone they catch from those whom the tyrant ordered them to kill, is immediately cut into pieces, so that in almost every street you can see three, four, and sometimes even more dissected people, and the city is very rich in corpses "
Ivan the Terrible in Alexandrov Sloboda
From the memoirs of Johann Taube and Elert Kruse about the massacre of Prince Vladimir Staritsky's court: “They hounded dogs like hares, and then they were shot and torn to pieces in an awful way, and they were left to lie unburied under the open sky, birds and beasts were devoured”
In the Spaso-Prilutsky synodic it is indicated: “According to Malyutinsky No uhorian parcels, the finished Orthodox Christians were thirteen hundred four hundred and ten people and fifteen people, and you yourself, God, carry the names of them ... In Ivanovo Bolshom: seventeen people were hand-truncated at the end of Ivanovich ... In Ivanovsky Mensh: Isakov's wives of the people of Zaborovsky to the thirteen men and seven hands by cutting off the deceased. "