What Really Happened After Rasputin Died?

In his lifetime, Grigori Rasputin found himself on an incredible path of upward mobility. Rasputin essentially lived the life of a vagrant as he gradually drifted from his birthplace in Pokrovskoye to the Russian capital of St. Petersburg in 1903. Once there, his reputation as a self-described mystic gained the attention of powerful figures in the capital. The Russian nobility, as did many others at the time, expressed a deep interest in the occult, and Rasputin fit their image of its practitioners (via Britannica). 

After being welcomed by the city's religious leaders, he was introduced to the royal family out of the desperate hope he could cure Prince Alexei Romanov's hemophilia. When his solution of sending the doctors away seemed to save Alexei during one instance of internal bleeding, his reputation soared. As Rasputin began to both earn a lecherous public reputation and exercise a large amount of power over the Czar and Czarina, especially when the former left to visit the front lines of the Eastern Front, several nobles opted to assassinate the holy man (via History).

Reactions to Rasputin's death reflected his mixed reputation

While the details of Rasputin's death have been shrouded by the passage of time, by December 30, 1916, he was dead. Though hailed as heroes by their upper-class peers, news of the mystic's death was not uniform among the populace. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the general peasantry viewed Rasputin as one of them and his death as the stifling of their social progress. On the other hand, the future Bolsheviks saw his influence as indicative of the czar's weak will, and the assassination as a desperate bid to retain their own power. 

The royal family themselves were furious that such measures had been taken at all, and the main conspirators, Prince Felix Yusupov and politician Vladimir Purishkevich, were nearly shot per the demand of the czarina herself. Both were spared, however, and sent to different fronts in the ongoing war. As the Russian Revolution fulfilled Rasputin's apparent prediction that the empire would fall if he was murdered, Yusupov left in exile after Nicholas II's abdication, while Purishkevich died of natural causes in 1920 (via BBC).