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Saturday, 2 August 2014
Statue of Rasputin Unveiled in Tyumen
Topic: Rasputin


Statue of Grigorii Rasputin in Tyumen, Siberia
 
A statue of Grigorii Rasputin has been established on the grounds of a hospital in the Siberian city of Tyumen. The life-sized fibreglass statue was created by local sculptor Vladimir Zolotukhin stands with one hand resting on a chair. The statue is a joint project made possible through a city development fund which included sponsors from 15 local enterprises.

The location of the statue is fitting. Constructed more than a century ago by a local merchant, it was the first hospital building in the region. Initially, there were five beds for patients in the hospital and clinic. On July 1st, 1914, Grigorii Rasputin was brought here wounded after being attacked by a woman in his village of Pokrovskoye by a woman who stabbed the strannik in the stomach. He was operated on by the hospital surgeon, A. Vladimirov and remained in the Tyumen hospital from July 3 to August 17. Rasputin later worked there as an orderly.

Rasputin has been the subject of mysteries for more than a century. One of the most popular among them is an old bentwood chair which belonged to Rasputin. According to popular legend, the chair had healing properties. Today, local residents come to sit in this chair, to get rid of diseases. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 August, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:06 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 2 August 2014 5:09 PM EDT
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Saturday, 16 November 2013
Rasputin Subject of New American Television Series
Topic: Rasputin

 
Nearly a century after his violent murder, Grigori Rasputin continues to fascinate both writers and filmmakers
 
US television channel FX is developing a series based on the life of the infamous Russian mystic, healer and royal advisor Grigori Rasputin, an entertainment website has reported.
 
According to FX, “Rasputin” will focus on “one of the most controversial characters in history who is held responsible for bringing down the Russian Empire and changing the course of the world as we know it” Deadline.com reported Thursday.
 
Acclaimed Indian film director Shekhar Kapur is attached to direct while Paul Scheuring, creator of the popular US television series “Prison Break,” will write the script based on an as yet unpublished book Rasputin: Dark Forces And The Fall of The Romanovs, by Douglas Smith (author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy, published in 2013).
 
Russian history seems to be a popular topic among US television executives these days as the Rasputin news comes hot on the heels of a report Tuesday that the ABC network is developing a series based on the life of 18th century Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
 
Interest in Russia’s notorious “mad monk” is also booming. Deadline.com reported in June that US movie studio Warner Bros is currently developing a movie based on the life of Rasputin, with star of 1997 blockbuster “Titanic,” Leonardo DiCaprio, attached to play the lead role.
 
Another “Rasputin,” this time a Franco-Russian co-production, debuted in Moscow last week. Its star, Gerard Depardieu, who received Russian citizenship earlier this year, failed to show up for the premiere, however.
 
The Hollywood Reporter noted that he opted instead to spend the time in his most recently adopted country of Belgium. 
 
© RIA Novosti. 16 November, 2013
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 16 November 2013 5:16 AM EST
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Monday, 11 November 2013
Depardieu's Rasputin Reworked in New Russian Film
Topic: Rasputin


Gerard Depardieu as Grigorii Rasputin
 
The French actor Gerard Depardieu, who recently became a Russian citizen, stars in a new version of a movie about one of the Russian Empire’s most mysterious figures.

Gerard Depardieu again stars as Rasputin in a new version of a previously produced French adaptation of the story of one of the most notorious characters in Russian history. 
 
Irakliy Kvirikadze, who admits that his film is very different and quintessentially Russian, directed the Russian version of “Rasputin.”
 
The French first saw Depardieu in the role of Rasputin back in December 2011, in a film directed by Josee Dayan that ran as a television series. The new film has been reworked as a full-length Russian feature featuring Russian and French actors.
 
The film was shot in a record-short time of only 26 days. The audience of the first screening of “Rasputin” in Paris consisted of specially invited descendants of Russian émigrés. It was then shown on TV on Christmas. The plan was to release the film in Russia in March 2012, after the presidential election, but apparently something went wrong.

Depardieu says that Vladimir Putin has seen the French version of the film.
 
“I had several meetings with Putin, who served as prime minister at the time. I gave him the script and said, ‘You must read it and tell us what you like and what you don't like about it'. He helped us a lot," the actor said.
 
Voiced by Sergey Garmash, Depardieu speaks in a very heartfelt way about God and sin. Rasputin's native village in Siberia is the very picture of the Russian hinterland. The characters keep making the cross signs and/or drinking heavily, while Depardieu, in his huge unbuttoned fur coat, looks like a bear.
 
Putin is said to have granted Depardieu Russian citizenship as a result of his role in “Rasputin.”
 
Dayan and Depardieu intend to continue the Russian series, which could include film adaptations of “The Captain’s Daughter,” “The Brothers Karamazov,” and other great pieces of Russian literature.
 
The following are excerpts to an interview with Depardieu:
 
Izvestia: Why were you interested in Rasputin?
 
Gerard Depardieu: At some point I felt a certain closeness to that figure. Both of my grandmothers were clairvoyants and hypnotists. I have seen lots of Rasputins in my life in countries all over the world, under different circumstances and in different places.

But at the same time, Rasputin is a very Russian and idealistic figure. He lived in turbulent times, when almost all the European monarchies fell, when alliances broke up, and when countries were betraying each other.
 
I.: What other Russian characters hold attraction for you?
 
G.D.: There are plenty of such characters in works by Dostoyevsky, Gogol, and Chekhov. I am very interested in the characters of Porfiry Petrovich, the father Karamazov, and Prince Myshkin.
 
I.: Do you believe that a well-groomed European can play a craggy Russian peasant?
 
G.D.: It’s not a question of playing a Russian. It’s a question of playing a historical figure. It’s the same story in every other kind of art or sport. Are there any nationalities there? The actor’s country of origin doesn’t matter when he is in character. When Vladimir Vysotsky came to perform in France, the audience did not come to see him because he was Russian. They came to see his performance and to listen to his songs.
 
I.: You travel a lot all over Russia. Coming from Europe, you probably find many things you see in the Russian hinterlands rather unusual?
 
G.D.: I like meeting new people in Russia and spending time with them. Also, I like the countryside. There is no pageantry and showiness there, and everything is simple. I was born in a small town. Incidentally, the first time I came to Russia was 25 years ago, and I have been coming back quite often.
 
At this point in my life I felt that I needed to stay here for longer. I have been given a huge honor; I now hold a Russian passport, and I am proud of it. There has been too much coverage of this in the media, but I was not looking for PR.
 
I.: There have been many reports that you plan to open a restaurant in Moscow. How do you plan to attract customers?
 
G.D.: I already have several restaurants in Paris. I have never asked myself the question of what a restaurant must look like to be liked. I just wanted to open a place that serves good food and is staffed by good people.

My restaurants are always full. In Russia, if I actually decide to go for it, I will do everything exactly the way I did it in France. The most important thing is what’s on the plate, and the people working in the kitchen and serving customers.
 
It is important for me to know what's on a plate in front of me, where the food comes from, and how it was made. I don't mean organic food, I just mean healthy food: vegetables, meat, wine, etc. I like simple cuisine, with traditional dishes.
 
In Russia, I would like to work with meat. I have seen some excellent farms here, but I believe there is room for improvement in the way meat is aged and cut.
 
First published in Russian in Izvestia. 
 
© Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 11 November, 2013
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:41 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 11 November 2013 8:53 AM EST
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Monday, 21 October 2013
Was Rasputin's Killer from the Midlands?
Topic: Rasputin


Grigorii Rasputin and Oswald Raynor
 
The following article is from the October 20th, 2013 edition of The Birmingham Mail. The author Paul Cole owns the copyright presented below.  
 
Historians believe Smethwick-born British agent Oswald Rayner wielded gun that fired fatal bullet

Popular myth has it that sinister Russian monk Rasputin was poisoned, beaten, shot several times by his rivals and finally drowned in the river.

Not so, say modern historians investigating the mysterious death of the mystic who had the Romanovs under his spell until his murder in 1916.

They believe he was shot dead by a British spy – from Smethwick , in Sandwell, just west of Birmingham

Experts say the fatal shot, from a Webley revolver, was fired by Oswald Rayner, a British Intelligence agent.

The near-supernatural stories spun by the authorities in the aftermath of Raputin’s were to hide Britain’s role in the killing.

“Of all the strange and unlikely claims you will hear, this is the unlikeliest of them all,” says Dr Chris Upton, Reader in Public History at Newman University, Birmingham. “That the man who killed Rasputin – the mad monk and guru of the Russian court – came from Smethwick.

“Yes, I hear you say, and Peter the Great once had a shop in Harborne. But suspend your disbelief and I’ll lay the evidence before you.

“It’s 1916, and the Great War is devouring nations and manpower across Europe. Lined up on the battlefield are the central powers of Germany and Austro-Hungary, and facing them the British, the French and the Russians. 

“But Russia is on the point of political and economic meltdown, and its leaders split over its continued participation in the war.

“On the one side of this debate stands the Tsarina, with her reputed German sympathies; on the other men like Felix Yusupov, flamboyant businessman and nephew to the Tsar, and the Grand Duke Dimitri Romanov, who perhaps has ambitions to be Tsar himself.

“Neither the British nor the German governments could remain entirely impartial in all this. Should Tsar Nicholas pull out of the war, a third of a million Russian soldiers would be removed from the eastern front, tipping the balance towards the Central Powers.”

At the centre of this tangled web, says Dr Upton, was the man British Intelligence called ‘Dark Forces’, the Siberian mystic and faith-healer Grigori Rasputin, who had found favour at the top table.

His apparent ability to treat the Crown Prince Alexei for his haemophilia gave him extraordinary and unbridled influence with the Romanovs. It was said that Rasputin was chief among those who wished for peace with Germany.

“There was a queue of people, then – Russian as well as British – who would like to rid them of this turbulent priest,” says Dr Upton.

“All this might seem a far cry from the young boy who was born the son of a local draper in Soho Street, Smethwick, in 1888. But Oswald Rayner was a bright lad, and in 1907 he won a place at Oriel College, Oxford, to study modern languages.

“By the time he left university Oswald was highly proficient in French, German and Russian. He had also formed a close – some say homosexual – relationship with the same Felix Yusupov, who was at University College, and happened to be a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club.

“Rayner was initially called to the Bar, but his linguistic skills made him much more useful elsewhere, and in 1915 he was recruited by the Army and sent to Petrograd by MI6. 

“Here, he teamed up with a little coterie of British agents, and was also able to renew acquaintances with his old chum, Yusupov.

“Here, too, Rayner would have heard of the plot to kill Rasputin. The monk was lured to Yusupov’s palace in St Petersburg on the night of December 29, 1916, and brutally murdered. According to the popular version of the story, Rasputin was poisoned, beaten, shot several times and finally drowned in the Nevka.

“The reality is that only two of these were correct –he was certainly beaten with a cosh and shot, and then his body dumped in the river. Unfortunately for the plotters, the river ice prevented the body’s disposal, and it was later recovered.

“The Tsar himself was convinced that British agents had a hand in Rasputin’s death, and told the British ambassador as much. Two recent books by Michael Smith and Richard Cullen have come to the same conclusion, arguing that Rayner’s link with Yusupov was the central pivot of the plot.

“Cullen argues that Rasputin’s post-mortem examination showed evidence of three gunshots, from three different firearms. And the final fatal shot, from a Webley revolver, was fired by Oswald Rayner himself.”

As Russia disintegrated into revolution, none of the perpetrators ever faced trial. Rayner continued to work for British Intelligence for the next few years, both in Russia and in Sweden.

And in 1927 the spy collaborated with Yusupov on the translation of his friend’s book, Rasputin: His Malign Influence and Assassination – which failed to mention British involvement.

Rayner went on to become Foreign Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and died in 1961 in the Oxfordshire town of Botley. 
 
© Birmingham Mail. 21 October, 2013
 

 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 21 October 2013 1:23 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Rasputin - Russian, French, American...
Topic: Rasputin

 Gerard Depardieu as Grigory Rasputin, the resemblance is remarkable!

The film “Rasputin”, with Gerard Depardieu in the lead role that was shown in Moscow on the last day of the Moscow International Film Festival on June 22nd and created a sensation there, is gradually making its way to the Russian screens. As you know, the attitude towards Grigory Rasputin, a ‘holy man”, a prophet and a confidant of the family of the last emperor of Russia remains ambiguous, and there is a great deal of interest in the personality of Grigory Rasputin today. And not only in Russia.
 
Leonardo DiCaprio, an American actor, said he is going to play the role of Rasputin in a movie, which Warner Bros is set to shoot. And as regards the work of Gerard Depardieu, it is meant for the French television, and what was shown at the film festival in Moscow was the Russian version of the French film “Raspoutine|”. This film was edited by the Russian film director Irakly Kvirikadze, who used the material of the French film maker Josee Dayan. In fact, what has emerged is a new film with the same actors. “For many years I had a dream to play Rasputin because, as it seems to me, I understand him very well”, Gerard Depardieu said.
 
“I believe that Rasputin lives in each of us. What is Rasputin? The answer is very simple - life energy.”
 
It should be said in all fairness though that Depardieu has failed to outperform the prominent Russian actor Alexei Petrenko, who played the role of Rasputin in the film “Agony” by film director Elem Klimov. This film was released in this country in the 70s of the last century.
 
During his lifetime and after his death some people called Grigory Rasputin a vicious demon, saying that he was responsible for the death of the family of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia while others said that he was a wickedly calumniated prophet. Grigory Rasputin was an uneducated person – a muzhik (a dark peasant) from Siberia. Despite that, he managed to become a confidant of the Russian tsarina and a friend of the Russian tsar, and also the ruler of the destinies in the Russian empire. He caused irritation, envy, and hatred, and finally, he was killed by plotters in December of 1916. But how can one explain the fact that there is much interest in the personality of Grigory Rasputin nowadays? “People need such extraordinary personalities today”, the author of the book about Rasputin, Alexei Varlamov, a well-known writer, said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.
 
"What we can see now is a dramatic degeneration process, which is developing fast. Information is putting pressure on all of us. Hence, there is a great deal of interest today in extraordinary, charismatic, deep, and versatile personalities – such as Grigory Rasputin was."
 
Nearly 300 films about Rasputin were made last century, and the work continues.

© The Voice of Russia. 09 July, 2013
 

 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:09 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 July 2013 6:18 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Rasputin Memorial Vandalized
Topic: Rasputin

 

Unidentified vandals attacked a wooden cross dedicated to Orthodox mystic Grigory Rasputin onthe grounds of the former imperial palace Tsarskoye Selo, outside St. Petersburg.

Security guards on the estate, now an open-air museum, told Interfax that the vandals had taken a saw to the memorial Monday (September 24th) and that the damaged cross had been moved to the museum for safekeeping.

The guards said they were not responsible for looking after the memorial because it was mysteriously erected on the edge of the estate seven years ago without the permission of museum authorities.

Rasputin, who acquired a reputation as a psychic and faith healer in the early 20th century and became a close adviser to the wife of the last tsar, Nicholas II, is a controversial figure, and a definitive account of his murder in 1916 in St. Petersburg’s Yusupov Palace remains elusive.

After his death, the imperial family allowed Rasputin to be buried in a bell tower at Tsarskoye Selo, but his remains were later removed, burned and scattered elsewhere after the 1917 Revolution.

Monday’s attack on the memorial follows two cross-felling episodes in recent weeks. Earlier this month, vandals chopped down one Orthodox cross in the Altai republic and nine in the Leningrad region.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said attacks on religious traditions showed that the Russians were losing spirituality.

“There are losses of Christian clergymen and of other confessions. Very recently there was yet another crime committed against a spiritual leader in Dagestan. What does this mean? It means, unfortunately, that there is a substantial loss of our national spiritual code. It’s worrying,” Putin told the presidential cultural council, Interfax reported.

© The Moscow Times. 02 October, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:16 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2012 9:32 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 5 April 2011
New Film About Rasputin in the Works
Topic: Rasputin

 

French film director Josée Dayan has started to shoot a film on location in Russia about Grigory Rasputin, with Gerard Depardieu in the main role.

Grigory Rasputin was a mysterious man from Siberia who was believed to have had a great influence over the last Russian Emperor Nicolas II and his wife because he was believed to have magic healing powers. This has been proven nonsense.

Now, scenes from Rasputin’s life in Siberia are being shot at a museum of wooden architecture in Russia’s north.

Besides Mr. Depardieu, the film will feature French star Fanny Ardant and a whole range of leading Russian actors.

According to RIA Novosti, the film will be based on "real facts" from Rasputin’s life in St. Petersburg starting from 1905. Given the trail of bad films based loosely on the life of Rasputin, that truly sensationalize his "influence" over Nicholas and Alexandra, this new film is sure to follow the same path. We strongly recommend that the producers and researchers for the film read The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin by Margarita Nelipa, if they really are sincere in producing a film based on facts!

© Royal Russia. 5 April, 2011



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:33 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 April 2011 1:34 PM EDT
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