Today’s post will conclude my two-part series on the 100th Anniversary of Rasputin’s murder. I guess the English would call it a “Golden Jubilee times two”. And I mention the English specifically, because they are the ones being accused of committing this dark deed in Russian history.
Not that I am exactly a Rasputin fan myself. But that’s only because — full disclosure — I am not a fan of monarchies in general, the Romanovs in particular, nor their hangers-on and members of their families and camarillas. Nonetheless, in the interests of being fair and balanced, I gave you, yesterday, an alternate point of view from Petr Akopov, who believes that Rasputin was a fairly decent chap, just an ordinary peasant and rural priest who got in over his head. To Akopov, Rasputin symbolized the one remaining link which Tsar Nicholas II had with his good and devout people. Therefore he needed to be removed, decided the sodomite Anglophile camarilla, who feared that Rasputin’s influence would lead the Tsar to conclude a separate peace with Germany and bail Russia out of the war. That would be anathema to these war-mongers who desired that Russia fight on to the bitter end, alongside her glorious allies, England and France.
Then, IRONY happened, as often happens in a good murder mystery. The actions of the killers brought about exactly the opposite from what they had intended. The murder of this rural priest led to the downfall of the monarchy, to social revolution, the eventual victory of “cosmopolitans” — and not just any cosmopolitans, but Communists who were officially neutral in the Great War, yet had a notable tilt towards Germany. I mean, even though he couldn’t just come out and say it out loud, I am pretty sure that Lenin regarded Germany as the lesser of the two evils. With England being the worst of the worst. And sure enough, immediately on coming to power, the Bolsheviks bailed out of the imperialist war and negotiated a “separate peace” with Germany. Just as the camarilla had feared that Rasputin would do! This is called a literary irony of the highest order. Other people call it karma. Namely, when one undertakes to do something that is inherently wrong, then one should inevitably achieve the exact opposite result of what one had intended. On a scale of 1-10 Roald Dahls, the Bolshevik Revolution should be at least an 8.
Next we move along to the commemorative piece in Komsomolka, written by Evgeny Chernykh. Chernykh covers much the same ground as Akopov, but without the religious or monarchistic political slant. His piece just reads like a ripping murder story.
Chernykh begins with the same cast of characters: Conspirator Felix Yusupov, one of the wealthiest aristocrats in all of Russia, and married to a niece of Tsar Nicholas II. Conspirator Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich Romanov, cousin of the Tsar. Conspirator and Duma Deputy Vladimir Purishkevich, a wealthy Bessarabian landowner and well-known member of the Black Hundreds terrorist gang. As the wiki entry notes, the Black Hundreds, an organization listing members from all social classes, “were founded on a devotion to Tsar, church and motherland.”
IRONY, again, that this “religious and patriotic” Russian organization had direct ties with the English special services. How little has changed in the past 100 years!
Russian historian and writer Gennady Sokolov, who specializes in spy stuff and conspiracies, has written about the Rasputin case. The rest of the Komsomolka piece, after the intro, is an extended interview with Sokolov. The latter alleges that the conspiracy to assassinate Rasputin was hatched in England at the beginning of 1916. The MI-6 gave this operation a code name “Dark Forces”. “From what I have read in the British archives,” Sokolov says, the leader of the operation was a Lieutenant Samuel Hoare, later Sir Samuel Hoare, the First Viscount of Templewood. In 1916 Hoare served as the MI-6 liason officer to the Russian intelligence service in Petersburg. He was known for having literary talent, and writing very readable dispatches to his bosses back in London. Hoare had shared with his boss Mansfield Smith-Cumming that he believed Rasputin to be a German spy. It was Hoare who created the meme of Rasputin, using his influence over the German Tsaritsa, to use her influence over hubby, to conclude a separate peace with Germany. To the English, Russia’s concluding a separate peace and pulling out of the war, would have been their worst nightmare. This would have freed up all the German divisions now tied up on the Eastern front, allowing them to re-form on the Western front against France and England.
No no! This cannot happen! The war must proceed to the bitter end, no matter what the cost in Russian lives.
Rasputin A Man Of Peace
Sokolov goes on to note that the English intelligence services were not completely wrong in their assessment. (1) If Russia had pulled out of the war in 1916, then Germany might indeed have won. (2) Rasputin indeed gave the Tsar advice about war and peace. Good advice, too, which the Tsar sometimes did not heed, to his later peril. Back in 1912 Rasputin dissuaded the Tsar from intervening in the Balkan wars. In retrospect, that was good advice. And in 1914 Rasputin begged the Tsar not to go to war against Germany. Also good advice. Which the Tsar, in this case, did not heed.
Hoare was rightfully worried that the Tsar would start to listen to Rasputin’s good advice and pull Russia out of this disastrous war. Hence, he convinced his boss, Smith-Cumming, that it was necessary to liquidate Rasputin.
The plan was this: Another MI-6 operative in Russia, Oswald Rayner, was good friends with Russian Prince Felix Yusupov. The two young men had studied together at Oxford where they enjoyed a homosexual romantic attachment and were basically what today we would call fuck-buddies. Yusupov was an Anglophile, he adored England and everything English. It would have broken his heart to see England lose the war to Germany. He was the perfect patsy to commit the deed and leave MI-6 with plausible deniability.
Sokolov goes on to note that the English have a whole history here, of assassinating Russian political figures. Sokolov mentions the assassination of Emperor Paul I in 1801. He doesn’t mention, but should have mentioned, the assassination of Ambassador Alexander Griboedov in 1829, which was also the work of the English special services.
More recently, when Ambassador Karlov was murdered in Ankara a few days ago, one of the pundits on RT Crosstalk commented that Karlov was the first Russian Ambassador to be assassinated in almost 200 years – since Griboedov! Makes me wonder if the English also…. but, no, I can’t say that out loud!
Moving right along…
The Murder Book
Once The Powers That Be in the English government had given the green light to assassinate Rasputin, then the affair moved along at a good clip. The operation was signed off by Prime Minister Asquith, and then inherited by the incoming P.M. David Lloyd George, who is best known as the subject of the English schoolboy song, “Lloyd George Knew My Father”.
More to the point, Lloyd George knew of the plot to kill Rasputin, and thought it was a great idea. At the time, the MI-6 “Residentura” in Petersburg (officially called “military attaches”) consisted of 18 men, who went around dressed in Russian military uniforms. Hoare and Rayner joined this team. Counter-intelligence agents John Scale , Stephen Alley and Oswald Rayner were tasked with the actual wet job.
The rest of the Komsomolka piece describes what is known of this very interesting murder. Apparently Yusupov’s beautiful wife Irina (see, in those days you could be gay and still have a wife), was used as the bait to lure Rasputin into the kill zone.
And the rest of the story also reads like a Hollywood film noir thriller. But I am running out of time, so I will end it here, without boring my readers with the rest of the (literally) gory details.
And I wish my readers a Happy New Year! Let us all hope that 2017 turns out to be a year of peace and happiness for good people everywhere – but only for good people!