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The amount of influence that Grigori Rasputin enjoyed over the Russian royal family is still debated. Traditional accounts have placed the blame for many of Tsar Nicholas's disastrous and unpopular decisions, including many made during World War I, at the feet of Rasputin. Whether Rasputin was actually behind such decisions as the Tsar's assumption of the command of the Russian Army is in many ways secondary to popular perceptions about his relationship with the royal family. And there is little doubt that he did actually influence court affairs after the Tsar went to the front in 1916. In any case, Rasputin came to symbolize the decadence, corruption, and incompetence of the Romanovs, and these perceptions were what ultimately led to his assassination by court officials and officers who saw him as a liability.
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