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Thursday, 29 December 2016
Rasputin Museum Planned for St. Petersburg
Topic: Rasputin

Rasputin's five-room apartment faces the inner courtyard of the building at 64 Ulitsa Gorokhovaya
This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

December 30th marks the 100th anniversary of the murder of Grigory Rasputin, who remains one of the most controversial figures in early 20th century Russian history. The apartment of the well-known strannik on Ulitsa Gorokhovaya, continues to attract curiosity seekers to this day. 

Grigory Rasputin moved into the five-room apartment on the 3rd floor in 1914, where he lived with his two daughters. 

According to a report this week in the St. Petersburg newspaper Metro, engineer Dmitry Filatov, the current owner of the apartment has announced plans to restore the apartment and turn it into a Rasputin museum. Filatov currently has a collection of furniture and personal belongings relating to Rasputin stored in a large room of the apartment. 
There have been rumours circulating for years about such a project, however, according to Filatov, the proposed museum would involve restorers and consultants from the Yusupov Palace on the Fontanka.

The apartment is currently in very poor condition, and in need of repair to the floors, walls, ceiling, and wiring. 
Despite the numerous tenants of the apartment over the past century, some of the original details have been preserved. For example, pre-revolutionary vintage wallpaper and a layer of newspaper were discovered under a layer of Soviet-era wallpaper.
The kitchen is one of the main attractions of Rasputin's apartment - the door to the back staircase (used for servants), through which on the fateful night of 29/30 December 1916 he left with his killer Prince Felix Yusupov. A large hook and parts of the original doorbell have survived to this day. 
The apartment block which is situated at 64 Gorokhovaya Ulitsa was built in 1901-1902, The area has lost much of its former glory. In the 19th century, Gorokhovaya Ulitsa was one of the most popular and prestigious areas of St. Petersburg. Numerous apartment buildings were built and the street itself was famous for an abundance of elegant shops and beautiful houses of wealthy merchants. This street is often referred to in the pages of many literary works of authors such as Dostoevsky, Goncharov and others.

Some residents belive that Rasputin's ghost appears on the dark stairs of the building. Dmitry Filatov continues to receive letters from people all over Russia, who seek Rasputin's help, in the belief that the old man will hear them from heaven.

Unofficially, tours of Rasputin's apartment have been conducted for at least ten years. While the exact date of the end of the repairs is unknown, the centenary of Rasputin's death is bound to attract its share of curious visitors.

Grigory Rasputin (1869-1916), remains one of the most controversial figures in early 20th century Russian history
Meanwhile, new documents associated with Gregory Rasputin are now available in the electronic fund of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St Petersburg. The documents have been digitized and available online at the library's website and in electronic reading rooms.

Among the documents are two large archives, containing stenographic reports of an interrogation and a testimony given in 1917 to the Extraordinary Commission of Inquiry of the Provisional Government. The original came from the State Public Historical Library and features a testimony taken from the higher ranks of the police department of St. Petersburg - A. V. Gerasimov, A. I. Spiridovich, V. N. Voeikov, V. A. Maklakov and others. A. A. Vyrubova and O. A. Lokhtina - representative of Rasputin’s “immediate circle” - were brought for interrogation from an amount of individual civilians.

Filed originals and copies of 1908-1916 years are digitized and available in the electronic funds of the Presidential Library. There are seven volumes of protocols of interrogations under a general title The fall of the tsarist regime numbering about 4,000 pages of unique confessions of senior officials, in first hand those who in any way came in contact with Rasputin.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 December, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:45 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2016 7:22 PM EST
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Friday, 2 September 2016
The Real Gregory Rasputin
Topic: Rasputin

"My interest in Gregory Rasputin was first sparked by a television programme fifty years ago on the fiftieth anniversary of his assassinatioin. Although, as a child, I could not investigate the claims made, I knew instinctively that there was something wrong with what was being said. I sensed a manipulation. Forty-two years ago I went to study at Oxford at the oldest college in Oxford, where Prince Felix Yusupov, the supposed murderer of Gregory Rasputin had studied and visited the ‘Yusupov room’ where the prince had lived. I still could not understand the story since, with the Soviet Union and the Cold War still in full swing, I could not access the necessary archives on either side. Others have since done that and their results, given below, provide long-awaited justice." - writes Archpriest Andrew Phillips in the Orthodox England web site
Click on the link below to read the full article: 

THE REAL GREGORY RASPUTIN by Archpriest Andrew Phillips 

© Archpriest Andrew Phillips / Orthodox England. 2 September, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:02 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 2 September 2016 2:14 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Sculpture of Rasputin by Naoum Aronson
Topic: Rasputin

Sculptor Naoum Aronson creating a bronze bust of Grigorii Rasputin, St. Petersburg, 1915
The Russian sculptor Naoum Aronson was born on 25 December, 1872, to a Jewish family in the town of Kraslava, in what is now Latvia. He is known principally for his busts of important leaders, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Louis Pasteur, Leo Tolstoy, Grigorii Rasputin, and Vladimir Lenin. He maintained six galleries in Paris, but kept his prize pieces, including the bust of Rasputin, in his Montparnasse studio.

Miriam Berlin (1888–1974) a woman sculptor born in St. Petersburg met Aronson in 1915, and commissioned him to sculpt a portrait of Rasputin.

After the German invasion of France in 1940, he was forced to flee the country. When he arrived in New York as a refugee in March, 1941, he had little more than some photographs of the sculptures that he had left behind in France.

He died two years later on 30 September, 1943 in his Upper West Side studio at the age of 71.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 01 March, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:40 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 2 March 2016 1:00 PM EST
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Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Presidential Library Receives Declassified Documents on Rasputin's Surveillance
Topic: Rasputin

Note: this article has been modified and updated by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Petersburg have received a unique collection of documents from the Tobolsk State Archives. The 239 declassified documents dating 1914-1916 show the disorder in the Secret Service and other departments of the intelligence service of the time. The documents also contain valuable information of the secret surveillance of Rasputin, which began in 1915. The materials reflect a dramatic financial condition and a poor administration of the police, despite the fact that Rasputin, by contrast, felt confident and had sufficient means.

Most of the documents until recently were classified as "secret," "top secret," "personal," etc. Letters are in handwritten and printed form, some with pencil and ink marks.

"Correspondence with the Police Department, the Tobolsk provincial gendarmerie, district police officers about the organization of agent service" shows that in the difficult time of the World War I secret agents were dismissed due to the under funding, their salaries were reduced, they were offered to serve on a temporary basis. Confirmation of these facts we find in the presented documents. For example, a letter from the head of Tobolsk provincial gendarmerie Vladimir Dobrodeev addressed to his assistant in the Tyumen and other counties, captain Kalmykov of March 7, 1915: "For the salary of secret agents... we are given only 200 rubles per month... In addition, the Police Department offers to spend money with proper frugality, avoiding cost overruns." The answer of captain Kalmikov was immediate: "Of all the agents in my service I find it necessary to keep the "Skilled" and the "Fast" in Tyumen and the "Soldier" in Turinsk. As to the others, they can be either dismissed or demoted."

The correspondence also touched upon the reduction of agents’ salaries: "...reduce the salary of everyone, as much as you acknowledge it possible. When declaring them all of it do not inform them about the real reason for their dismissal or reduction of their salaries, as otherwise, out of selfish motives, they may give you a fictional information, which in no case can be tolerated."

After that the chief Dobrodeev raises the question not only of the value of staff, but also of the reliability of the agents as a whole: "Are your agents reliable? Instruct them to observe complete secrecy, keeping in mind that in some critical cases it is better to step away in a timely manner in order not to prang both the agents and the whole operation..."

In the summer of 1915, by order of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the suite of His Majesty, Major-General Vladimir Dzhunkovsky, there was established secret surveillance of Grigori Rasputin. Under the guise of guards two secret agents were assigned to him, who regularly reported to St. Petersburg Police Department about all travels, visits, and also provided the complete information about the visitors to Rasputin.

The correspondence makes it clear that the secret service was not up to surveillance of Grigori Rasputin, so they repeatedly suffered failures in their work. For example, the head of Tobolsk provincial gendarmerie writes to captain Kalmykov: "We need to find out, for what purpose Rudolf Berg came to Rasputin from Perm." Then he received a response from the agents: "Since Rudolf Berg had stayed only a few hours, it was not possible to find out or what purpose he came to Pokrovskoe to see Rasputin." The next episode is related to the failure of the agents to provide information.

August 25, 1915 Vladimir Dobrodeev writes to captain Kalmykov: "You have been ordered to monitor all activities of Grigory Rasputin and to inform me of everything... I did not receive any report about the outrages that Rasputin had made on the steamer called "Tovar-par." Yet, according to the chief of the province the actual state councilor Stankevich, whom I talked to today, the Tyumen county district police officer had carried out an investigation of this case." The agents reported: "On the boat Rasputin was drunk heavily, behaved outrageously and offered some books, but I did not pay attention to the content..."

Heads of the secret service feared of getting imaginary or incorrect information from their agents, whereby there were extraordinary occurrences. For example, the head of Tobolsk provincial gendarmerie was angered by the obscurity of one of the telegrams received from the agents. It did not indicate the date of Rasputin’s departure for Petrograd. The chief wrote a threatening letter: "From this I conclude that the sergeant Ivan Ivanov, who has been serving as a sergeant for ten years, fulfills his official duties not carefully enough...

Such negligence caused unnecessary correspondence, the report was somewhat late, almost daily, and quite involuntarily 2 rubles 42 kopecks were spent for sending unnecessary telegrams...., causing damage to the treasury." But it soon became clear that the order to collect a penalty and make a reprimand to sergeant Ivanov was unfair, he was innocent of what had happened: the figure was mistakenly omitted by a functionary on duty of the Tobolsk postal and telegraph office, while copying a telegram from the tape. Then the chief of the Tobolsk provincial gendarmerie recognized the injunction as invalidated, and ordered to inform the chief of the office "Dear G. Yerofeyev" about it "in a cautious manner."

While the police investigated the case of the figure missing from a cryptogram and spent breech time for conversation, fighting for a questionable economy, Rasputin traveled by steamers, and finally went away by train in a 1st Class wagon to St. Petersburg.

At the same time it appears that the decrease in salary, reduction of staff, checking the usefulness of the information provided due to mistrust, search for various "clues" to fight with Grigory Rasputin in the background of the events of World War I led to a serious failure. July 22, 1915 it became known of an important and serious neglect of the secret service: "In the kerosene depots in Tyumen on the Tura River there is a wireless telegraph, by which the local Germans and the prisoners spread the information from the theater of war through Saratov," that "the company Br. Nobel replaced the Russian, who served there before by the Germans, that the spread of telegrams is done by a German newspaperman."

© Presidential Library / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 July, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:42 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 July 2015 10:01 AM EDT
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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” 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. 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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