The Moika Palace in St. Petersburg

The palace is most famous, however, because of the actions ofits last prince . The exact eventssurrounding Rasputin's death are much in dispute. The story,according to Yusupov, is that on the night of December 16, 1916 he,along with of the , invited to the Moika Palace. Supposedly, they served Rasputincakes and red wine laced with cyanide—supposedly enough poison tokill five men. Concerned that Rasputin appeared unaffected, Yusupovretrieved a gun and shot Rasputin in the back. Taking him for dead,the party prepared to leave. Yusupov returned a short while laterto find Rasputin still alive. He and his conspirators shotRasputin, at close range, three more times, but Rasputin was stillattempting to stand back up and flee. Desperate they clubbedRasputin in the head repeatedly with an iron bar, wrapped him in ablanket, walked outside and tossed him into the . His autopsy supposedly found that neither the poison,nor the multiple gunshot wounds, nor the clubbing caused hisdeath—instead he died of hypothermia. Much of the account, fromYusupov, is considered implausible.

Yusupov Palace (Moika Palace) wall and ceiling paintings.

By the end of 1916, a group of nobles led by Prince Yusupov decided to take matters into their own hands. Yusupov, along with conspirators Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and politician Vladimir Purishkevich invited Rasputin to Moika Palace on the pretense of meeting his lovey young wife Irena, who was conveniently out of town. Once at the palace, Rasputin was left in a room laid out with a spread of cyanide-laced baked treats, tea, and wine. The conspirators were relieved to see Rasputin down several glasses of the poisoned wine. They became increasingly concerned, however, when the poison seemed to have no effect on the man.


The Yusupov Palace (Moika Palace) parquet flooring.

The Yusupov Palace (Moika Palace) wall and ceiling paintings.

The exact events surrounding Rasputin's death are still in dispute. What seems clear is that on 30 December [ 17 December] 1916, Felix Yusupov, along with and invited to the Moika Palace. He took Rasputin to a small but lavishly furnished cellar room of the palace. There he served Rasputin red wine. When Rasputin was affected, Yusupov retrieved a revolver and shot Rasputin from the side. Taking him for dead, Yusupov went upstairs to where the other conspirators waited in a ground floor study/drawing room. Rasputin succeeded in fleeing through a side door into a gated courtyard which opened onto the street outside. Purishkevich then shot Rasputin in the back, on the doorstep. The body was taken inside and a third bullet, fired at close range, entered his forehead. The conspirators wrapped Rasputin in a broadcloth, drove outside the city and threw the body into the .