Despite the fact that the official date of birth of the Navy of Russia is considered to be 30 of October of 1696 of the year, it cannot be said that no hints of the fleet existed in Russia before. Historical science suggests that attempts to create a military fleet were taken under the Rurikovich. In particular, it is quite possible to attribute to the milestones in the formation of the military fleet the events of the epoch of Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, when the exit of the Russian State to the Baltic shores in the Narva region began to dictate the need to protect these lands not only from land, but also from the sea. Moreover, to protect Russian trade in that number, which began to actively develop in the North-West (on the Baltic) precisely with access to the sea routes in the 1558 year.
For obvious reasons, Russia's neighbors were far from enthusiastic about the fact that a growing state both in the east and in the west, led by Ivan IV, is able to fill the treasury with the help of funds derived from trade relations with the major sea powers of that time.
And the neighbors decided to introduce "sanctions" against Russia. Quite a real sanction. In the Baltic at the end of the 50-x-60-s of the XVI century, the appearance of the letters of marque, the captains of which received from the European governments received security certificates for the possibility to damage Russian trade by sea at any cost, became commonplace. In fact, we are talking about pirate fleets, which robbed (or first robbed, and then drowned) most of the merchant ships (those that “could” be robbed) heading towards Russia. The Kingdom of Poland was especially zealous, which in 1569 was “integrated” with neighboring Lithuania, forming a state called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In addition to Poland, Sweden was actively involved in the attacks of ships going to Narva.
According to historians, up to 80% of the Baltic trade, related to Russia's trade and economic activities in the period mentioned, Russia itself was losing. Losing it "thanks" to the neighbors with their pirated "sanctions".
What decision in this situation is made in Moscow? The decision, in fact, the only possible way to maintain access to the sea in the North-West. An understanding of the measures taken is provided by Tsar Ivan IV's security certificate of March 1570:
So, Ivan IV announces the preparation, in modern terms, for counter-sanctions. And the main part of the responsibility for solving this issue rests with the aforementioned Carsten Rohde, a German who was a subject of the Danish crown. By and large, Rode himself was a pirate, but after 1570, he became the sovereign in the Baltic. Its main task, as evidenced by the above text of the security certificate, is to form a force capable of withstanding the "power of the enemy." This can be considered a step in creating a protective fleet of the step taken by the then head of the Russian State.
The agreement with Rode assumed the seizure of enemy ships in such a way that every third ship was to be delivered to Narva in fact for the formation of a Russian flotilla in the Baltic.
The first ship that was attacked by Karsten Rode’s ship was the Swedish tiger, which was loaded with salt and herring. The attack was successful - "kontrsanktsii" earned. The cargo was sold in the same place where he became prey to Rode - on the island of Bornholm. Within a week, Rode carried out a seizure of a warship. It was a Swedish flute. For a couple of months - more than a dozen ships.
Team Carsten Rode grew. Over time, Arkhangelsk Pomors, who also knew a lot about the sea, became its foundation. In addition, the team was assigned to the archers and gunners of the so-called Pushkarsky order. The formed squadron was originally based in Narva and Ivangorod. Then, after the expansion due to the "acquired" ships, its parts began to be based also on Bornholm and even in Copenhagen. The reason that Copenhagen was among the bases of the Russian Baltic Flotilla was that the Danish monarch was at that time one of the main allies of Russia in Europe. These are the kings of the Oldenburg dynasty, among whom was the monarch Frederick II.
Carsten Rhoda’s flotilla in the Baltic was actually a real hunt. The main "hunters" - the Swedish and Polish ships. But Rode’s military career in the service of Denmark and Russia was stopped not by the Swedes or the Poles. It rolled due to the decision of the aforementioned Frederick II, who, after conducting economic calculations, came to the conclusion that maintaining the flotilla in alliance with Russia cost the treasury dearly, and the activity of the flotilla itself began to bring less and less profit. Added effect and the fact that Frederick warmed up (if in this situation, you can apply such a term) relations with Sweden. As a result, Rode was removed from the flotilla and placed in a Danish prison as a pirate.
After that, Europe began to say that the Danish monarch Frederick II "leads a merciless war against piracy, which is a blow to the promotion of piracy by the Russian tsar." The fact that piracy in its form at that time was supported quite officially by literally all the maritime powers was not accepted to be voiced. It was also not customary to voice the fact that it was precisely those who suddenly rejoiced over the “cleansing of the eastern Baltic from the Rode flotilla” began attacking the merchant fleet leading to contacts with Russia. Something it reminds of today's day ... In general, our "eternal friendship" with Europe.
An interesting fragment of a letter from Ivan IV to Frederick II from 1576 of the year (a letter that remained unanswered):
Such a story, which could end with the fact that the Navy was created precisely by Tsar Ivan the Terrible. However, this did not happen.
The sovereign, who created the Russian Navy, will be, as is known, Peter I Romanov. It was from his era that the fleet officially counted its historical steps, reaching today, as one of the main components in protecting the borders of the Fatherland.