A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF GRIGORI RASPUTIN
By Tim Lambert
Grigori Rasputin was born in a village in Siberia. We don't know the exact date but it was around 1869. At that time life in Siberia was hard and very primitive. It was almost untouched by the Industrial Revolution that was sweeping western Europe. However the Rasputin family were not poor peasants. They were reasonably well off.
Young Grigori Rasputin was supposed to have the power to heal sick animals. In 1889 he married a girl named Praskovya. Rasputin is sometimes called the Mad Monk. In reality he never formally became a monk but he did stay in a monastery for 3 months. Afterwards Rasputin became a wandering holy man called a strannik, living off gifts from peasants. While he was away his wife looked after a farm. However Rasputin did return home for the winters and he had 3 children, a son in 1897 and daughters in 1898 and 1900. All the time Rasputin was gaining a reputation as a healer. (He also gained a reputation as a womaniser!).
However Rasputin really rose to fame after he moved to St Petersburg in 1903. He first met the royal couple in November 1905. However he did not see them again till October 1906. During 1907 Rasputin continued to visit the palace from time to time. The Tsar had a son, Alexis, who was a haemophiliac (his blood did not clot properly). On one occasion Rasputin was present when Alexis was bleeding. Rasputin is supposed to have healed the child. At any rate the Tsar and Tsarina believed that he did. They were convinced that he was a starets, a Russian holy man.
In the following years Rasputin grew in influence. Then in October 1912 Alexis was seriously ill. The Tsarina sent a telegram to Rasputin. He replied that Alexis would live. They boy did recover increasing the Tsar and Tsarina's faith in Rasputin.
In June 1914 a woman named Khioniya Guseva stabbed Rasputin but failed to kill him. That year the First World War began and Rasputin continued to have great influence over the Tsarina, especially after the Tsar moved near the front to command the Russian army. Inevitably Rasputin made many enemies. Meanwhile Rasputin continued carousing and womanising.
Finally Prince Yusopov decided to murder Rasputin. He was lured to a party early in the morning of 17 December 1916. Rasputin was given cakes and wine laced with cyanide but it seemed to have no effect. So Yusopov shot him. The conspirators believing Rasputin was dead the murderers but after a time he sprang to life and tried to escape. So Yusopov shot him twice more. The murderers then bound the body of Rasputin and threw it into a river.>/P>
However the police quickly recovered it. Professor Kosorotov performed an autopsy. He found 3 bullet wounds but no evidence of poisoning. (Why the cyanide did not affect Rasputin is not known). Rasputin was buried on 22 December 1916.
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