Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (Russian: Григорий Ефимович Распутин, IPA: [ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲɪj jɪˈfʲiməvʲɪtɕ rɐˈsputʲɪn]; baptized on 22 January [O.S. 10 January] 1869 – murdered on 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1916) was a Russian peasant, mystic and private adviser to the Romanovs, who became an influential figure in the later years of tsar Nicholas. This was especially the case after August 1915 when the Emperor left Petrograd for Stavka at the front, leaving his wife Alexandra Feodorovna to act in his place. It appears that Rasputin's personal influence over the Tsarina became so great that it was he who ordered the destinies of Imperial Russia, while she compelled her weak husband to fulfill them.
Rasputin was neither a monk nor a saint; he never belonged to any order or religious sect. He was considered a strannik ("pilgrim"), wandering from cloister to cloister. He was obsessed by religion and impressed many people with his knowledge and ability to explain the Bible in an uncomplicated way. It was widely believed that Rasputin had a gift for curing bodily ailments. In 1907 Rasputin was invited by Nicholas and Alexandra Feodorovna to heal their only son, tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. "In the mind of the Tsarina Rasputin was closely associated with the health of her son, and the welfare of the monarchy."