Anna Ioannovna was Empress of Russia for ten years following the unexpected death of Peter II. She was a compromise choice, imported from Courland, and to take the throne, had to make certain concessions to the nobility. ”The Conditions,“ as these were called, were soon revoked. Her reign was a dark one in the annals of Russia. She was a cruel, unpredictable woman who ruled with her German lover, one Biron. Together they expanded the Supreme Secret Council, which brought terror to nobles and peasants alike.