Rasputin's diary

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The Independent Online
Researchers working in state archives in St Petersburg have discovered a diary kept by Grigory Rasputin, the notorious Russian 'holy man' whose pernicious influence over the family of Tsar Nicholas II contributed to the social discontent that helped the Bolsheviks to power, writes Helen Womack in Moscow.

The diary of life at court was written in an ordinary school exercise book. The poor handwriting confirmed Rasputin's lack of education: he was a semi-literate peasant from Siberia who preached salvation through sexual indulgence and claimed that physical contact with him had a healing effect. The Tsarina Alexandra, desperate to find anyone who could help her son Alexis, who suffered from haemophilia, immediately fell under his spell.