Disappearance, Scandal and Murder – her letter fears the worst

Rasputin, friend to Empress Alexandra of Russia and enemy of so many more, was murdered on 30 December 1916 – (17 December in the old calendar). As a follow up to my post a couple of weeks ago, here is how the Empress expressed her fears in a letter, the last one in the book, written on that day to her husband, Tsar Nicholas II:

No. 404[1]

My own beloved Sweetheart,

We are sitting together – can imagine our feelings – thoughts – our Friend has disappeared. Yesterday A.[2] saw him & he said Felix asked him to come in the night, a motor wld. fetch him to see Irina. – A motor fetched him (military one) with 2 civilians & he went away.

This night big scandal at Yussupov’s house – big meeting. Dmitri, Purishkevitch[3] etc. all drunk, Police heard shots, Purishkevitch ran out screaming to the Police that our Friend was killed.

Police wearching & Justice entered now into Yussupov’s house – did not dare before as Dmitri there.

Chief of Police has sent for Dmitri. Felix wished to leave to-night for Crimea, begged Kalinin[4] to stop him.

Our Friend was in good spirits but nervous these days & for A. too, as Batiushin[5] wants to catch things against Ania[6]. Felix pretends He never came to the house & never asked him. Seems quite a paw. I still trust in God’s mercy that one has only driven Him off somewhere. Kalinin is doing all he can. Therefore I beg for Voyeikov[7], we women are alone with our weak heads. Shall keep her to live here – as now they will get at her next.

I cannot & won’t believe He has been killed. God have mercy.

Such utter anguish (am calm & can’t believe it). –

Thanks dear letter, come quickly – nobody will dare to touch her or do anything when you are here.

Felix came often to him lately.

          & kisses


In her book Upheaval, my grandmother has this to say about the murder of Rasputin:

When, on December thirtieth, 1916, Rasputin was murdered at the Yussupov Palace, under circumstances that have been widely written of, the general rejoicing that ensued was very subdued.

It was subdued for two reasons: first, the murder of Rasputin had necessarily to be considered somewhat as an act of rebellion against Their Majesties; second, there was an uneasy, vague feeling that a door had been opened into the unknown – something had happened that might bring the brooding revolution from the dark into the open. Although no one at the moment could imagine what was to come.

[1] Partial letter taken from the book The Letters of the Tsaritsa to the Tsar 1914-1916, Duckworth & Co, London 1923

[2] Anna Vyroubova

[3] Vladimir Purishkevitch was an Imperialist Russian politician who participated in the murder of Rasputin

[4] Rasputin’s nickname for Alexander Protopopov, Vice President of the Duma and later Minister of the Interior

[5] Possibly General N S Batiushin

[6] Anna Vyroubova

[7] General Voyeikov, Commandant of the Imperial Palace and a supporter of Rasputin

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