The Tsar had been handing much power back to the people, such as free speech, freedom of conscience and uncensored papers. This was to quell the first Russian Revolution and prevent any further uprisings and disputes. After Rasputin returned in 1912 he brought the Tsar into conflict with the now far freer press and brought back all the troubles which had been buried under the surface after the Tsar’s promises to the people.
The fact that Prince Yusupov decided to secretly kill the Tsar’s friend was because it was clear Rasputin was damaging the reputation of the royal family. When Nicolas II made the terrible mistake of taking over the running of the war, he not only damaged his own reputation by being forced to take the blame for the defeats, but he also put the Tsarina in charge. The Tsarina proved to be intolerant of the Duma and it appeared to everybody else that Rasputin was running the country, this idea was likely inspired by the leaked and probably altered letters from the Tsarina to Rasputin.
A letter from the Tsarina to Nicholas at the war front (source 9) shows how much control Rasputin had. The Tsarina urges her husband to listen to Rasputin as she believes he was sent by God. When Nicolas appoints Polianov as the Minister of War, she objects on the grounds that Rasputin does not like him. Rumours also spread that the Tsarina was a German spy, purposely damaging Russia and its war effort.
As the war worsened for the Russians the...