This is a great little story from northern europe from the early 17th century, during the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618)
The incident is set in the conflict or series of conflicts that involved the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth taking an opportunistic swipe at the Russians when the Russian Tsardom was torn into a series of civil wars.
As with many civil conflicts the sands shift constantly and picture changes, but the bit we are interested in one of the two Polish-backed impostors’ claims to the Russian throne. The impostors were False Dmitriy I and later False Dmitriy II (I am sensing that their mothers didn’t give them the False bit)
False Dmitriy I was put Russian throne in 1605 and there he stayed for a whole of 10 months. Then on the morning of 17 May 1606, conspirators who clearly did not like False Dmitriy stormed the Kremlin. He tried to flee through a window but broke his leg in the fall. One of the plotters shot him dead on the spot.
At first the body was put on display, but it was later cremated and the legend has it that his ashes were shot from a cannon towards Poland. I guess in a sort of ‘Up Yours Delors’ fashion.
Boom – ‘way to go Dmitriy.
And this is the cannon, what a beauty it is. It can still be seen in the Kremlin, interesting when they did some repair work on it in the 1980’s they discovered it had only ever been fired once.