Around 1910, the grandfather of this blog’s author, a merchant banker in Frankfurt, took the express train to Berlin. In a first-class compartment, he sat opposite a middle-aged gentleman who was reading the Frankfurter Zeitung. Once they were on their way, the gentleman, an elegant Russian, and the banker started talking.
By the time they arrived in Berlin, they were fast friends. The gentleman was Prince Felix Yusopov, a member of the highest nobility and the inhabitant of the Yusopov Palace in Saint Petersburg. The Prince told many of his noble friends to entrust their funds to the charming Frankfurter. They followed his advice and had every reason to be grateful when the Bolsheviks took over in 1917.
One reason for their revolution was the disastrous influence of the sinister mystic, Rasputin, on the Tzarina and on Russian affairs generally. Yusopov organized a conspiracy to eliminate Rasputin.
The Prince invited Rasputin to his palace and offered him wines, spiced with cyanide. That, combined with good conversation, made Rasputin drunk but didn’t kill him. This was followed by shooting him from the left and right, and beating him. Eventually, Rasputin died.
Putin has lost the “Ras” in the course of a few generations en route to his present position. One could assume that dealing with him would be considerably easier.