Rasputin was one of the most controversial figures in Russian History. He was an itinerant holy man who had apparently supernatural powers especially with regard to healing. He helped the Tsar’s heir with his illness hemophilia. This led him to become a real force at the Russian Court. Many Russians resented this and it led him to his assassination by members of the Russian nobility. Rasputin’s time as the Russian Court was something of a scandal and was one of the factors that led to the fall of the Tsar and the Romanov Dynasty.
Rasputin was born in a small Siberian village. He did not receive an education and was illiterate. Rasputin joined a local monastery at a very young age.
Rasputin was known as the ‘mad monk’ however he was not strictly a monk. He claimed to be a monk and presented himself as a traditional Russian Holy man with special powers.
Rasputin traveled all over Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. He apparently learned many tricks. This allowed him to claim that he was a faith healer. It is highly likely that Rasputin was a charlatan and only claimed to have special powers. Russia was full of men and women who claimed to have special powers and usually operated among the poor peasants.
During WWI the Tsar was regularly at the Front. Rasputin was able to ingratiate himself into the Russian Court. He had a particular influence over the Tsarina, because of his apparent ability to stop the bleeding of the Russian Crown Prince.
Rasputin was alleged to have had an affair with the Tsarian but this is not likely according to historians.
However, Rasputin had a way with women. He was able to seduce many noble women and society beauties even though he had poor personal hygiene. He also had a large group of mainly female followers.
Rasputin predicted his own death. “I am to be killed, he announced to the Russian Royal Court.
His killers were all members of the Russian nobility. They resented the influence that he had at the Court and they believed that they were helping the Tsar by removing an evil influence from the Russian Court.
Rasputin was lured to his death by his murderers. They claimed that he was the guest of honor at a banquet. Rasputin could never resist a good party and had a voracious appetite for drink and food.
The killers of Rasputin tried to strangle him, shoot and poison him. Yet, still, he was alive. It appears that he was a remarkably strong man. His murderers dragged him to the River Neva and drowned him. His body was found the next morning.