Brief History of Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin


Abigail McCoy, Staff Writer

Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian mystic who changed parts of the course of the war and defied death, some theories claim he is still alive to this day.

Rasputin lived a normal life for a Russian peasant until the age of 23. It is assumed he was born in 1872 in the village of Pokrovskoye near Siberia. He was schooled, yet remained illiterate. He married and raised children on a farm until the age of 23, which was when he visited a monastery for months on end. This suddenly struck a vein of religious passion inside of him. He rose to the level of an religious official, a monk to be exact, while others in his position gave up their past lives he continued seeing his daughters and wife regularly.

On some sort of religious whim, Rasputin moved to St. Petersburg, where Tsar Nicholas and the rest of the royal families stayed. The accounts vary from here but the basics of Rasputin’s story is pretty simple from there on out. Rasputin travelled around to somehow “magically” heal sick people, he becomes known as the “Mad Monk,” the Tsar is intrigued by this spiritual person, and then he lets Rasputin into his life to heal their only son’s hemophilia. When World War I came along, he gave advice to the family when it comes to political moves and war strategies. Anyone who questioned Rasputin’s advice or anyone who would accuse him of wrongdoings would find themself out of their job position or exiled to the Siberian tundra.

The people weren’t exactly fond of Rasputin. A group of extreme conservatives, made of Prince Feliks Yusopov, Vladimir Mitrofanovich Purishkevich, and Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, formed a plan to assassinate him. On the night of December 29, 1916, Rasputin was invited to Yusupov’s house for a dinner party with the two other men. Rasputin was fed heavily poisoned cakes and wine with potassium cyanide and by that time should’ve been dead ten times over. However, he only claimed, “my head is heavy and I’ve a burning sensation in my stomach.” In a panic Yusopov shot him in the heart only for Rasputin to reopen his eyes and chase the prince out to his courtyard, where he was shot four more times in the chest. The men were wary of him returning again because of his spiritual qualities, so they had wrapped him in linen and planned to throw him in the icy Neva river. He was dumped in the river and water was found in his lungs, so the actual cause of death may have been drowning; but even to this day people are unsure.