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.


3 responses to “(Ras)Putin

  1. Wikipedia says “Ras” can refer (among other things) to “an honorific taken from the Ethiopian and used by members of the Rastafari movement”. Ras Putin. The mind boggles.

  2. Curmudgeon & Koch: Your confabulations cause the mind to go bloink. It’s a western koan. Logical implosion, grounded in history. Yuspov sounds like an interesting, but good, guy. What did the bullets mean to the long-haired Rasptn, as he was taking them in amid the blows and internal churning?

  3. Allegorically speaking, the story may now feature the character of Vladimir Putin’s ‘EuroAsia’ advisor, Alexander Dugin, substituting for ‘the sinister mystic’, Rasputin.