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100 років тому


JANUARY 2, 1917

Notorious Rasputin dead

The body of the notorious monk Rasputin was found on the bank of one of the branches of the Neva this morning. An inquiry has been opened. Reuter.

Gregory Rasputin, the peasant “fakir”, whose death has been previously reported on more than one occasion, exercised for several years a sinister influence in Russia. He was a favourite at Court, and enjoyed the patronage of the Empress, who is believed to have attributed the birth of the Tsarevitch to his intercession. The son of a small farmer at Tobolsk, Siberia, he lived the life of a peasant till he was about 30, when he was seized with a quasi-religious mania, and became a lay brother, journeying from monastery to monastery. He came to Petrograd about 1900, and, though he aroused the strong opposition of the Church, he speedily gained a great reputation in society and at Court. The Bishops sought his banishment, but in vain, and criticism of his actions was forbidden by the censorship.

Handsome, with long reddish hair and beard, broad shouldered, vigorous and erect, Rasputin had an extraordinary personality, and his so-called religious salons at Petrograd were frequented by all sorts and conditions of people, from generals to beggars. Of his influence over women he made no secret, and two or three years ago in the columns of the Novoe Vremya he described in unblushing detail the amazing attentions he had extorted from and paid to women of all classes.

His actions gave rise to much scandal, and he was once exiled to his native Tobolsk. Protected by the highest personages he was allowed to return in 1914. In July of that year he was stabbed in the street by a peasant woman, who declared that she wished to avenge one of Rasputin’s girl victims. Politically he was used by the Reactionaries to further their ends, and there is no instance of his interference in public affairs with any regard to national interests.

● The Germans announced yesterday a success in the Dobrudja. They said that “the Russian bridgehead position to the east of Macin” had been “considerably narrowed”, and claimed to have taken 1,000 prisoners, four cannon, and eight machine-guns.


JANUARY 3, 1917

Rasputin: suspicion of murder

Telegrams received from Petrograd allege that the notorious monk Rasputin, whose body has just been recovered from the Neva, was murdered. The messages so far to hand from our Petrograd Correspondent make no direct reference to this and other material points. His narrative must therefore be regarded as still incomplete.

From our own correspondent, Petrograd, Jan 1. The body of Rasputin was recovered by divers from the bottom of an ice-hole in the Neva near Petrovsky Bridge, which crosses one of the lesser arms of the river north of the city.

According to this morning’s newspapers, the tragedy to which this discovery points appears to have been enacted on Saturday morning at the Yussupoff Palace, on the Moika Canal, but none of the names of the participants are mentioned. It was early on Saturday morning that a mysterious motor-car is reported to have been seen on Petrovsky Island. The police thereupon examined the river near Petrovsky Bridge and discovered a newly cut ice-hole, whence stretched human footprints in various directions. In the snow near the bank was found a man’s golosh, stained with suspicious marks. Divers were requisitioned to examine the bottom of the river, with the result that the body of Rasputin was discovered. According to today’s accounts, the police found traces of blood in the snow in the Palace garden. On demanding an explanation from the servants, the police were informed that a mad dog had just been shot. In corroboration of this statement the dead body of a dog was produced. The animal’s body and a lump of blood-stained snow were removed for examination. It is suggested that the fact that the garden of the Yussupoff Palace runs back from the Moika front as far as the Ofitserskaia street may have some bearing on the question as to how the victim’s body was removed. Young Prince Yussupoff, who, after the events of this week-end, had left Petrograd for his Crimean estates, has returned to the capital. Paris, Jan 2. The Journal, recalling Rasputin’s great influence at the Court, says: Germany knew how to make use of him. The Germanophile Stuermer benefited from this — perhaps more than is believed. The Grand Duke Nicholas had to suffer from it. We will not say more.

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100 років тому - Румунія










British nurses in the Dobrudja

Sometimes when we arrive at the hospital and the wounded are carried out, it is found that many are dead, and often the stretcher, the ambulance, and the men are entirely covered with blood.

November 21, 1916

Thrilling adventures in the Rumanian retreat in the Dobrudja are narrated by Miss Monfries, who has been serving as motor-driver and interpreter with the London unit (LSWS) of the Scottish Women’s Hospital in the Balkans, and is at present home on leave.

When the retreat began on October 22 some members of the unit were working at an advanced point, and they fell back to the hospital at Medgidia. Thirty-six hours later orders were received to evacuate the hospital. Equipment, which had taken six days to unpack, had to be packed in four hours, and in addition wounded soldiers who kept pouring in, had to receive attention. While the work was in progress news came that the line might after all be held, and the evacuation was then postponed. When a renewed order for speedy departure arrived the staff decided to chance things and to hang on during the night, but shells were falling and eventually they had to go.

Between the time of being told to pack up and the actual departure 350 wounded men were received and dealt with. Sixty bullock carts had been promised to transport the hospital equipment, but only five arrived and it was with difficulty that a few additional carts were obtained. By making several journeys, the unit got its material to the station, but by this time all the civilians and the Rumanian and Russian Headquarters Staff had gone, and Medgidia was in flames.

The journey to Tchernavoda had to be made in trucks, which also carried wounded, who had only had a first field dressing of their injuries. No food was to be had on the journey, and the party were without anything to eat for 36 hours. Two nights and the greater part of another day were occupied in covering a distance which normally takes five hours. Bombs fell near the railway during the journey and all the villages were burning.

The capture of the train several times appeared certain, but eventually the people got through safely. Shorty after Tchernavoda had been reached the train started without warning to cross the Danube bridge. The approach of two hostile aeroplanes had been observed and apparently the bridge was the objective of the airmen. The train crossed without disaster, but bombs were dropped all around and two slightly damaged the bridge.

Miss Monfries and her companions afterwards got through to Galats and finally to Odessa. A section of the unit which travelled by road was five days and five nights in completing the journey The road was narrow, deep in mud, and crowded with refugees and their farm stock The unit is now at Odessa refitting, and funds are required to renew the equipment. Before the retreat Miss Monfries was in Bukarest and Constanza.

AMBULANCE WORK WITH RUMANIANS. A woman motor driver on the Rumanian front writes: Yesterday --- and I went to a town 30 miles away, drove the ambulance there, and were caught in an air raid - a few casualties and several dead horses. Today we had some time off, so were given two horses by Serbian officers and went for a long gallop astride. We have discarded skirts and live in riding breeches, blouse, tunic, boots, and putties; no hat and short hair is so comfortable.

It is wonderful how calmly everyone takes the fighting. Sometimes when we arrive at the hospital and the wounded are carried out, it is found that many are dead, and often the stretcher, the ambulance, and the men are entirely covered with blood. The awful part is to have to listen to the groans behind you every time the car bumps, and the ground is so bad, always great holes in the road. We drive very slowly, but still there are some jars. Often we know that haemorrhage starts after we leave the dressing station, but we must not stop - just get on as quickly as possible to our hospital.

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