1916 series: Russia on the edge

1916 set the stage for the revolutions in Russia that would cast their shadow over not just the First World War but the entire 20th century

A new book on Grigori Rasputin unveils the man behind the myth

With remarkable new research into his diaries, letters, police files and more, Douglas Smith’s new book ‘Rasputin’ separates fact from lurid fiction

How author Douglas Smith discovered the real Rasputin

Was he a mad monk? A German spy? The empress’s lover? An unkillable puppetmaster? A Q&A with an author who’s shed new light on who Rasputin really was