But: He was totally awesome compared to the czars (Latin for “tsars”) who came before him. Peter the Great succeeded Yanov the Egregiously Awful, who had succeeded Jaruslav the Total Bucket of Suck. At least before Jaruslav, Russia was ruled by Melvin the Meh. But Melvin was still merely meh.
And before Melvin, it was a total shitshow: Russia was led by Andrei the Fucking Loser, Vlad the Grotesquely Stinky, Dmitry the Dog-Faced Fuckwit, Ilia the Guy Who Literally Has Shit For Brains (Seriously, There Is Human Excrement Where His Brain Ought To Be And He Actually Poops Brains, Which Is Disgusting), Igor the Asshole Who Keeps Asking People To Smell His Finger, Leonid the Guy Who’s So Stupid He Thinks Borscht Is A Type Of Bird, and, of course, Ivan the Terrible, who really, considering all that came after him, wasn’t all that bad. Probably better than Peter the Great. It’s all just a matter of who you’re being compared to.