Here Is the Shocking Murder Story of Gregory Rasputin


Gregory Yefimovich Rasputin (21 January 1869 – 30 December 1916) came from solid peasant stock, but drunkenness, stealing and womanizing were activities particularly enjoyed by the licentious young man. He was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia, and gained considerable influence in late Imperial Russia.

Rasputin became fascinated by a apostate creed within the Russian Orthodox faith, who believed that the only way to reach God was through sinful acts. Soon, he adopted the robes of a monk, and travelled the country, sinning to his heart's content. After failing to become a monk, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin became a wanderer and eventually entered the court of Czar Nicholas II because of his alleged healing abilities.

Known for his prophetic powers, he became a favorite of the Nicholas's wife, Alexandra Feodorovna. Rasputin became embraced in the events of the Russian Revolution and met a brutal death at the hands of assassins in 1916.

Early Life

Born to a Siberian peasant family, Rasputin received little schooling and probably never learned to read or write. In his early years, some people of his village said he possessed supernatural powers, while others quote examples of viciousness. For a time, it was believed his name "Rasputin" meant "licentious" in Russian. However, historians now believe that "Rasputin" meant "where two rivers meet," a phrase that describes an area near where he was born in Siberia.

Rasputin entered the Verkhoture Monastery in Russia with the intention of becoming a monk, but left shortly thereafter, presumably to get married. At age 19, he wed Proskovia Fyodorovna, and they later had three children (two others died shortly after birth). In his early 20s, however, Rasputin left his family and traveled to Greece and the Middle East, making several pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

The Murder of Rasputin

On the night of December 29, 1916, a group of conspirators, including the Czar's first cousin, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, and Prince Felix Yusupov, invited Rasputin to Yusupov's palace and fed him wine and cakes braided with cyanide. Though Rasputin eventually became rather drunk, the poison seemed to have no effect. Bewildered but not scared-off, the conspirators finally shot Rasputin multiple times. He was then wrapped in a carpet and thrown into the Neva River, where it was discovered three days later.

Although Rasputin was gone, the last of his prophecies was yet to unfold. Shortly before his death, he wrote to Nicholas to predict that if he were killed by government officials, the entire imperial family would be killed by the Russian people. His prophecy came true 15 months later, when the czar, his wife and all of their children were murdered by assassins amidst the Russian Revolution.

Myths and Truths

There are some strange myths and truths about the legendary Siberian holy man. Here’s a brief about them:

Myth 1: He Possessed Mystical Powers

Born to peasants in a small village in Western Siberia, the young Rasputin turned to religion early in his life. Some people of his village believed that he possessed supernatural powers. Rasputin renounced family life in search of Orthodox Christian religious devotion and piety.

Following years of wandering and religious teaching, Rasputin became known to Tsar Nicholas and his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra. One night they called upon Rasputin to find a cure for their ailing son’s hemophilia. After his session with the young boy, the bleeding seemed to stop for some time. The Tsarina was amazed, and immediately enlisted the services of Rasputin as a close adviser.

Truth: Some historians, such as Pierre Gilliard, have speculated that the bleeding likely stopped as a result of Rasputin’s insistence on disallowing the administration of aspirin (a known blood-thinning agent), and not any “mystical” powers he may have had.

Myth 2: He Was a Sexual Eccentric and Queen’s Lover

Tales of Rasputin’s sexual exploits began to spread early into his time with the royal court, as his unconventional behavior—like drinking heavily and visiting brothels—was seen to clash with his religious piety. According to some historians, such sinful behavior brought him closer to God.

Truth: However, though he did frequently entertain in salons, there is no evidence to suggest Rasputin was a sex-crazed maniac who had a secret affair with Russia’s queen.

Myth 3: He Was Russia’s Secret Ruler

Because of his constant presence in the royal court, whispers grew that Rasputin was acting as a puppet master over the royal couple. Alexandra’s growing dependence on Rasputin and his apparent healing abilities with her hemophilic son only intensified these rumors. Occasionally, he did offer military advice as well as medical help, but his ideas never proved beneficial for the Russian army or Tsar Nicholas personally.

In fact, after Tsar Nicholas took personal control over his armies on Aug. 23, 1915, under the advice of Rasputin and the Tsarina Alexandra, the Tsar became the target of blame for Russia’s battlefield defeats. Meanwhile, with the Tsar away fighting, a vacuum of leadership was filled by the Tsarina.

Truth: Here, the myth does approach the truth. Though the Tsarina was in charge, Rasputin did wield great power as her adviser. The mystic healer wasted no time in appointing his own church ministers and other public officials.

Myth 4: He Was Impossible to Kill

Rasputin’s behavior and influence came to symbolize everything negative in Russian politics and society at the time. Even prior to his final assassination, other attempts on his life were made. In June of 1914, a beggar woman stabbed the monk in the stomach, claiming he was seducing the innocent. Rasputin made a full recovery, even though he had lost a lot of blood and was close to death after the incident.

Two years later, a group of nobles led by a man named Felix Yusupov conspired to get rid of the holy man once and for all. On Dec. 30, 1916, Yusupov invited Rasputin to dine at his home. After a heavy meal, complete with wine and dessert, all supposedly heavily laced with poison, the men looked on, as amazingly, Rasputin showed no symptoms that the poison was having an effect on him. The men proceeded to shoot Rasputin, who, according to legend still drew breath after a barrage of bullets and only died after he was thrown into an ice-cold river to drown.

Truth: However, while Rasputin’s death was in fact plotted by Yusupov and other nobles, autopsy reports show that no poison was found in Rasputin’s system and that he seems to have died from a single bullet to the head.

Myth 5: He Rose From the Dead

Much like the tale of his murder, the aftermath of Rasputin’s death has been mythologized over the years. According to legend, after Rasputin’s poisoned and shot body was thrown into the ice-cold river, he was fished out by a group of passersby, who found that he was still alive when they dragged his body to the shore of the river.

Truth: However, the truth is that after Rasputin’s already deceased corpse was thrown into the Malaya Nevka River, it took days for the police to find the body because the water had already frozen in the sub-zero Russian winter.
The Tale of Rasputin Indeed Shows That Mythology Can Take a Life of Its Own, and Grow to Become More Important Than the Truth.

Written by - Prachi Raheja

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