Fortunately for someone as research-shy as myself, the team at Epic Rap Battles have distilled this into a two and a half minute hip-hop track… Genius.
Oh wow. I was just typing in the tags for this post and realised that Rasputin and Putin are related… though probably only on their mothers side.
‘Ras’ (or to be more accurate ‘raz’) means instance or time, and is used instead of ‘one’ when counting. This suggests either that Rasputin was an instance of Putin, the first Putin (some kind of proto-Putin?)… or time-Putin (a bit like our Doctor Who)?
I’m not sure of the relevance or accuracy of this claim. ‘Ras’ actually means races, but races-Putin makes no sense whatsoever.