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Дата публикации: 20 сентября 2007
Публикатор: Александр Павлович Шиманский
Источник: (c) http://russia.by
Номер публикации: №1190295832 / Жалобы? Ошибка? Выделите проблемный текст и нажмите CTRL+ENTER!


Also known as: Grigory Rasputin, Grigori Efimovich Rasputin, Gregory Efimovitch Rasputin

Born: 1864
Died: 1916
Occupation: political consultant


A Siberian peasant and self-proclaimed holy man, Gregory Efimovich Rasputin entered the circle of personal acquaintances surrounding the Russian imperial family sometime after 1905. Tsar Nicholas and especially Empress Alexandra welcomed Rasputin because of the healing powers he supposedly possessed; he seemed to be able to treat the imperial couple's only son, Alexis, who suffered from hemophilia.

Rasputin's influence on Nicholas and Alexandra alarmed both members of the Duma and Russia's prime minister, Peter Stolypin, who tried unsuccessfully to exile the holy man from St. Petersburg. Nonetheless, Rasputin remained in the Russian capital: his claim to the loyalty of the imperial family made him immune to political defeat.

Rasputin's role in Russian life reached its peak when Nicholas left to take command of the Russian army in the fall of 1915. Alexandra now ruled with Rasputin at her side. Forcing a number of Russia's most capable cabinet ministers to resign, Rasputin replaced them with his incompetent cronies. Public opinion grew increasingly hostile to the imperial family and to their dubious adviser.

It was dangerous to be so influential at a time of military catastrophe. In December 1916, a group of conservative aristocrats laced Rasputin's wine with potassium cyanide at a soirée in the Yousoupov Palace. When the poison proved inadequate to Rasputin's tremendous strength, they shot him. When he lurched at his attackers, they shot him again. Then they bashed him and kicked him. Finally dead, his body was dumped into an icy river. They had murdered the man the Empress Alexandra referred to as "our friend."

-- Contributed by Neil Heyman, Professor of History, San Diego State University, San Diego, California

Опубликовано 20 сентября 2007 года

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