Author Topic: Why the Yusupov Palace?  (Read 39118 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline John Walker

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Why the Yusupov Palace?
« on: February 01, 2012, 11:48:09 AM »
First may I sincerely thank everyone who contributed to the extremely helpful factual information I received re 'The Police Report.'  A great help to my research.
May I now ask for opinion please?  Why the Yusupov Palace?  Why did Yusupov take Rasputin to his family home to be killed? 
If I had the desire to kill someone the last place I would want to commit that crime would be in my own home where the victim's presence might become known.  Yet it is recorded that Yusupov arrived with Rasputin in the silence of night, with all the attendant noise of the car's approach and doors banging etc, at a palace directly opposite a police station, outside which an officer was permanently on watch no more than 30 meters away!  It does not make sense.... does it?
Further, there were three stages to the plot as it is recorded.  Collect Rasputin from his apartment, take him to the palace to kill him, dispose of the body.  Stages one and three were effected with accepatable efficiently.  But again, my question, stage two, why take him to the palace?  Why not simply put a bullet in him in the car and proceed to the chosen bridge?
And then the most obvious question.  If they were simply intent on killing Rasputin why did they not simply pay an assassin to kill him.... in the street, a restaurant, the banya....?  They had unlimitted funds to pay for such.  They would have had the contacts to find a suitable assassin.  For 'them' it would have been a very simple matter and at the moment of assassination they would all have been fully occupied under the piublic eye elsewhere.  Yes, Rasputin would have had Okhrana agents nearby but nobody can ever be that well protected, as history records.       
 

Online Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4641
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 11:57:50 AM »
Very simple, actually.  First, total control of the situation. Felix could totally control every person and detail inside the Palace.  As you know, he explained the shot by having a dog shot to cover the story.  Secondly, because he was married to the Emperor's niece, he was "of the Imperial Blood" and therefore not subject to ordinary law, his home could not be searched  or even entered without the Emperor's permission, and most importantly, he could not be punished except by order of the Emperor.

Your scenario places the entire event into the public realm and invites police and public scrutiny.  Felix's plan keeps it all under wraps, as indeed, that part of the plan worked for almost 100 years.


Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6649
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 11:59:10 AM »
Good questions. Perhaps Margarita has some ideas on this.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline John Walker

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 02:52:33 AM »
With respect to Forum Admin it was precisely the taking of Rasputin to the Yusupov Palace which"'....placed the entire event into the public realm and invited police and public scrutiny"!  It led to Alexandra Feodorovna "This night big scandal at Yusupov House....".  It led to the 18th December Russkiye Vedemosti headline "Sensational Murder" at one of the aristocratic residences in Petrograd.  Stage two of the murder was a protracted affair at the Palace.  A simple bullet in the car would have reduced stage two to a millisecond and stage three would have followed as was.


Offline rudy3

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 232
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 03:24:16 AM »
If everything would have gone along the plans of the conspirors, Rasputin would have died (without any noise) from poison in the basement.... Even Yusupov was still in the position to murder Rasputin unnoticed by shooting him in that basement area, nobody still would have heard anything. He failed though. Only the shots in the courtyard alarmed some people. However, ever these witnesses were not so sure where the sound of the shots had come from. They were not even sure they heard shots...... The conspirors acted in the believe they would save Russia, so that's why they want to murder Rasputin themselves.

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2863
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 03:52:03 AM »
The plotters over-complicated something that should have been quite simple.

I would have done it in one of two ways.

Either posted a sniper with a rifle either in a window or on a roof to pick off Rasputin on his way to the baths or similar on foot.

Or had someone shoot him with a pistol in a crowded street. The chances of the hitman getting away unnoticed are quite high, as the onlookers' attention is all on the victim.

The sheer amateurishness of the plot is one reason why I doubt the claims that British Intelligence were behind it all!

Ann

Offline John Walker

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 12:04:33 PM »
YES!!! Kalafrana (Ann?)  Exactly!  A professional assassin in the street.  Both your rooftop and street scenarios are simple and obvious.
I posted both questions to seek a response.  Now I will declare my position.....
They did not take Rasputin to the Yusupov Palace to kill him.  Quite the opposite.  They wanted him alive!
A reading of Samuel Hoare's (Templewood) Papers in the archives of Cambridge University Library relating to his time as BSIS head of station in Petrograd reveals that throughout the latter half of 1916 the British government was becoming worried to the point of paranoia about a possible separate peace on the Eastern Front.  It was believed that Alexandra Feodorovna using Rasputin as a conduit was in contact with German agents.  Russian politicians of the Purishkevich ilk wanted Rasputin dead but the Romanov family wanted more.  They wanted Alexandra Feodorovna, whom they hated and despised and whom they considered responsible for leading Nicholas and the family to the edge of disaster, 'removed' in some way.  There was even talk of plots to depose Nicholas in favour of his brother or Dmitri or Nikolasha or.... anyone who wasn't married to Alix!
Rasputin was taken to the Palace for questioning in the hope, even expectation, that he would disclose evidence of treason on the part of himself and Alexandra Feodorovna, evidence which could be placed in the public domain and force Nicholas's hand.  Abdication and/or Alexandra Feodorovna despatched to a convent.  The problem was that Rasputin was not involved with German agents and he had nothing to tell.
Rasputin was put at his ease in the cellar, made to feel at home, comfortable, there was music from above.  He was given alcohol to make him merry and loosen his tongue and conversation led to subtle questioning.  He had nothing to say, so slow, steady, systematic, professional torture was applied (which explains the injuries to his body - and perhaps, Kalafrana, the involvement of professionally trained British agents!) leading to the two body shots.  Only when he lost consciousness, was dieing and it was clear nothing could be got out of him was the execution carried out. 
The conspirators would have preferred Rasputin and his confession alive.   His murder solved nothing - fact! it didn't - as I am sure they would have known.
I am only a small part way through Margarita Nelipa's obviously magnificent epic otherwise I think I have read all there is about the murder.  Greg King and Andrew Cook have produced excellent books but only Richard Cullen, with his lifetime of experience in criminal investigation, offers a solution which logically both fits the facts and explains the behaviour of the protagonists.   Do you invite someone to your own home to kill them?  No!  Do you smile and engage them in polite conversation whilst hoping that they will eat and drink the poison placed in front of them?  No.  Do you use poison without assurance it is potent and stable?  No.  Do you leave 'the corpse' alone and allow it to escape across a yard?  No.  None of the 'legend' makes any sense and there were too many people involved to justify Kalafrana's "The sheer amateurishness of the plot...".  They could not all have been so stupid!
Richard Cullen's book explanation makes total sense where nothing else does.  I have taken it a step further.  Please tell me I am wrong... but provide an alternative that makes sense.
         

Offline Rodney_G.

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • an angel .....and the best of them
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 02:54:55 PM »
When I think of GD Dmitry, Prince Felix, and Purishkevich, the term amateurish seems to fit nicely. Nor was Lazavert a pro at that sort of thing.
Rodney G.

Offline Petr

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 05:09:34 PM »
I am only a small part way through Margarita Nelipa's obviously magnificent epic otherwise I think I have read all there is about the murder.  Greg King and Andrew Cook have produced excellent books but only Richard Cullen, with his lifetime of experience in criminal investigation, offers a solution which logically both fits the facts and explains the behaviour of the protagonists.

I believe you will see that Margarita's conclusions about the murder discount the presence of a British Agent that night at the mansion (Cullen intimates that it may have been Oswald Raynor).  Also there are several discrepancies between Cullen's hypothesis and the autopsy findings (viz., the diameter of the wound to head is too large to fit his hypothesis of the likely weapon used).  I believe that all the evidence concerning the plotting that preceded the event, at least in my mind, would indicate that the intent of the participants at the outset was to murder the man.  Frankly, I don't believe that any of the participants were capable of conducting a proper interrogation. As it was there was plenty of evidence of panic when things started to head south and not what one would expect from an organized intelligence operation. Furthermore, I frankly don't believe that either Yusupov or GD Dimitri were looking for information to discredit the Empress although it is possible that questions may have been asked. If, in fact, such evidence had been discovered it would have been made public, if anything just to justify the murder (but, of course, there was none).  Instead, I think they believed the gossip, the propaganda and press reports and blamed Rasputin as the person solely responsible because of his imagined evil influence on the Empress and by extention the Tsar.  The whole thing was amateur night at the opera.
 
Nevertheless, it is very clear that Ambassador Buchanan was worried about the possible Russian withdrawal from the War and that he maintained close contact with the oppositionist members of the IF, e.g., GD Nikolai Nikolaievich as well as GD Maria Pavlovich (the elder) was clear so the death of Rasputin was not mourned in the British Embassy. Further, the Empress was certainly not held in high esteem by Petrograd society (in large measure do to her own failings, shyness and political tone deafness) but apart from scurrilous attacks in the press and by various politicians there was nothing to indicate that she was unpatriotic, in fact, her letters to NII and her charitable work indicate quite the contrary.  Frankly, if the conspirators' intent was to save the monarchy, personally I believe Russia would have probably been better off withdrawing from the War (like the Bolsheviks did) but to NII's credit that clearly was not in his view the honorable thing to do (a sentiment I think that was shared by the majority of the officers of the Army and the aristocracy).  Also, by 1917 there was some evidence that things were improving at the front (Brusilov's campaign) so absent the turmoil in the rear areas and a breakdown in discipline Russia could still have squeaked through.  It was the politicians that lost heart or, for some, used the war and its conduct as an excuse for their own political gain. 

Petr       
Rumpo non plecto

Offline blessOTMA

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2524
  • Tell me the truth, monsieur
    • View Profile
    • Stay at Home Artist
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2012, 07:27:20 PM »
I've always thought members Imperial family wanted to make a statement by making it so obvious the Imperial family killed Rasputin...they did everything but take out a full page ad . For some reason it  was important to them to make public the fact they did it.  Otherwise where it was done and by whom , makes no sense. Those responsible  meant to be known...why I can't say .

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline John Walker

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 02:32:45 PM »
Yes, blessOTMA, thank you, that is a plausible theory.  It would make sense that perhaps anticipating and fearing the downward spiral which led to Nicholas's abdication they wanted to be seen publicly as distancing themselves from Nicholas and Alexandra - "It was them, not us".
But there are two problems with the theory.
1. Did they really do 'everything but take out a full page ad"?  All of the reports of people saying they knew about the plot and even that they were in some way involved came out AFTER the murder when it was personally and politically advantageous to claim to be involved.  With the murder being generally celebrated a person became a celebrity by appearing to be associated with it whether they were involved or not.  What evidence is there of the murder being 'advertised'?  There were rumours for years of threats against Rasputin and he had Okhrana 'protection' but if anything specific had really been suspected at that time would the Okhrana have gone off duty when he arrived home?  Would he have not taken the threats more seriously and stayed at home?
2. They could have paid an assassin and still taken the credit.  They could get the job done simply, efficiently and professionally and let it be known they were responsible.  After all sixteen years later, three miles away in another Palace, Kirov was killed by an assassin and Stalin has always in the west (wrongly but that is another matter) been credited with that.  People always ask who paid the assassin. 

Offline blessOTMA

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2524
  • Tell me the truth, monsieur
    • View Profile
    • Stay at Home Artist
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 01:49:57 PM »
Indeed...perhaps I am giving them too much credit for brains . Can it be they though thier role would not be known? I thought one of the reasons Grand Duke D was there was to keep the police from entering the palace . Seems to me there was plenty of celebrating over this event right away. They had to know it would be wildly  popular.  I believe a  statement was being made.  It often seems as part 1 of an over throw...but  they forgot part 2 : Nicholas's removal. I believe they really could not decied who would or could take the throne. So often squabbling over spoils ruin a plan.  GD Kirill was next in line, yet he was married to a divorced woman( Ducky). His mother may have thought being allowed to  keep her own religion while marrying into the Imperial family was a great personal victory in the 1870s...but I believe she came to regret it later when increasingly  it seemed Kirill had a chance. ( she changed it only in 1909, the year of her husband's death ) One would hardly expect Michale A to step up , nor would he be put forward by this group. I believe they were brilliant at drawing room potting, but utterly  hopeless on the follow though. 30 years of conversation among the Vladovich etc came to very little.

If it wasn't part of a bigger plot ( involving all those who signed the letter to Nicholas asking for mercy ) It's remarkable that in Prince Y and GD Dimity, you have represented both  Minne( Prince Y)  and Ella ( GD Dimity) showing Nicholas and Alexandra had so support from the Imperial family whatsoever....not even his own mother or her sister. How could a throne withstand that? It can't and it didn't.

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6649
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 01:57:05 PM »
"Potting" was just about it, Bless OTMA. I know that was a spelling mistake but rather apprroiate. As they, the "conspirators"  did just that- sat on the pot and waited for acclaim.
 I do not normally enter into the Rasputin discussions as I think Nalipa has written the  most through work and I have nothing to add. But this discussion is interesting.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline feodorovna

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 01:26:57 PM »
As politics really are not my strong point, I hope you will forgive this less than academic post. It seems to me that the primary reason for ridding themselves of Rasputin was simply that they believed that, courtesy of Alexandra, he wielded too much power, with both the Imperial family and the Duma. I am also inclined to think that their actions were not entirely altruistic and their fear was as much about the disintigration of their own lifestyle as it was about what was happening to Russia. Might they have known that Rasputin was given credit for Alexei's recoveries? Would it have suited their purposes had he not recovered from the next "episode?"
As to the question of why the deed was done at the Yusupov palace. Apart from being promised an "introduction" to the prince's wife, its' bowels were selfcontained and away from prying eyes and if all had gone to plan they could have probably kept it secret until they were ready to reveal what had happened. So sure were they of success that a plan B never presented itself and they ended up playing it by ear.
Having been "potted" it went on to be bumbled and bungled.

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2863
    • View Profile
Re: Why the Yusupov Palace?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2012, 04:22:57 AM »
Feodorovna

I think you are right in essentials. The plotters really hadn't thought beyond the removal of Rasputin.

I'm not sure that they necessarily thought it would be in their interests for Alexei to die. They may simply have had a healthy scepticism about Rasputin's 'powers'.

Ann