Rasputin was a Russian mystical healer who had a strong affinity with the Russian royal family after reportedly healing Tsarevitch Alexei. He became an influential figure in Saint Petersberg, especially after August 1915 when Nicholas took command of the army at the front. He ruled Russia with the Tsarina whilst the Tsar took control of the army. He claimed that the Russian armies would not be successful until the Tsar personally took command. On this advice, Tsar Nicholas took personal command of the army even though he had no experience. Whilst the Tsar was away, Rasputin’s influence over Tsaritsa Alexandra grew. He became her confidant and personal adviser. He was able to convince her to fill some governmental offices with his own handpicked candidates. Rasputin cohabited with upper-class women in exchange for political favours.
Due to the incompetency of the Tsarist regime and the various problems facing Russia, many people used Alexandra and Rasputin as scapegoats. The Rasputin and Alexandra situation was used by politicians and journalists in propaganda to weaken the integrity of the dynasty. The propaganda highlighted desires for the Tsar to give up his power and separate the Russian Orthodox Church from the state. Rasputin was assassinated by Prince Felix Yusopov in a bizarre series of events. Although Rasputin was seen as a key source of the problems facing Russia, his death did nothing to improve Russia’s position.
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