Did a British agent murder Rasputin?

Within days of the mystic's death in 1916, rumours were swirling that Britain – terrified by the prospect of Russia unilaterally quitting the First World War – was behind the brutal killing. 
Douglas Smith investigates a century-old murder mystery...

Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin. (Getty Images)

This article was first published in the December 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine

In the early hours of 17 December 1916, an automobile drove onto the snow-covered Large Petrovsky Bridge and came to a stop. Three men got out. From the vehicle they hauled the lifeless body of a middle-aged man, leaned him up against the railing, and then dumped him over the edge into the icy waters of the Malaya Nevka river on the outskirts of Petrograd (now St Petersburg). Two days later, the frozen body of Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin was hauled from the river.

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