What was the reputation of the zemshchina? Were they revered in society, or seen as traitors to their people for working for the repressive regime? This reading also brings up questions about the church- why such a change of heart towards the church so that they weren’t exempt from these purges? In addition, why the distrust of foreigners? There had been a phasing out of them for some time, but why the sudden hatred for anyone associated with them?
I too have questions and thoughts about the Zemshchina. It seems to me that they lacked influence in Russia and were more symbolic than anything. On page 152 it states “…judge justly, ours (the oprirchnika) shall not be in the wrong’ because of this order, the zemskie people became despondent.” The Grand Prince was the hegemonic bloc and abused this power through his reign of terror. The first account of the readings were written by a foreigner, where is this shown in the reading?