ROYAL RUSSIA NEWS. THE ROMANOV DYNASTY & THEIR LEGACY, MONARCHY, HISTORY OF IMPERIAL & HOLY RUSSIA
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Monday, 11 December 2017
Preserving the Romanov Legacy and the History of Imperial Russia
Topic: Royal Russia

If you enjoy all the FREE articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, as well as the

weekly news and blog updates, please help support my work by making an online donation in *USD 

Dear Friends of Royal Russia:

This letter is part of my annual Christmas appeal to Romanov enthusiasts and admirers of the history of Imperial and Holy Russia. 

Established in 1994, Royal Russia has been a personal labour of love for more than two decades, one which I am honoured to share with many others around the world on a daily basis. I am able to achieve this via my web site, news blog and through the publication of my two popular periodicals: Royal Russia and Sovereign.

I devote many hours each day, browsing Russian language media sites to bring you the latest news on the Romanov dynasty, their history and legacy, exhibitions, and more. Articles and news stories of interest are translated from Russian, and supplemented with photographs and videos.

In the past year, the Royal Russia web site underwent a major overhaul. New full-length articles were revised and updated, while a new video and film archive was launched. The Royal Russia News blog was created in March 2011, and now features more than 2,300 news stories, and photographs, with new material being added on a near daily basis. In 2017, more than 200 articles and news stories were translated from Russian and added to my news blog.

Web Site and Blog: 

The growing number of visitors from around the world, who utilize my web site on a daily basis - a record number of more than 5 million visitors in 2017. The growing interest in Royal Russia has resulted in a growing increase in my monthly operational and maintence costs.

For instance, I am forced to pay for more bandwidth in order to accomodate such a large and growing audience. This also allows me to upload and share more videos, photographs (JPEGs), music (MPEGs), online auction catalogues and other documents (PDFs), which utilize a lot of space.

Further, I pay an annual fee to my web-host Lycos-Angelfire, a monthly fee to keep my web site and blog free from advertising pop-ups, domain registration and a host of other services.

All of these fees are paid for out of my own pocket, and paid in US dollars. 

This financial strain has deepened even further since I semi-retired in October 2016, and downsized both the publishing and book selling divisions of my business. The regular updates on the Royal Russia web site and news blog are now more dependant than ever on the kindness and generosity of its followers and supporters.

 

 "In 2017, more than 200 articles and news stories were translated from

Russian and added to my news blog. The translation of additional articles

and news stories from Russian into English will continue to be the single

largest expense in the coming year ahead.

 

Translations: 

It is the cost of translating articles and news stories from Russian into English, which puts the greatest strain on the limited finances which I have to work with.

Full-length articles by Russian historians and experts are being published in English for the first time in issues of my bi-annual periodicals Royal Russia and Sovereign. Each issue offers a growing number of these articles, offering readers fresh, new information from archival sources which have opened to researchers in recent years. 

If you enjoy all the FREE articles, photographs, and videos on Royal Russia, as well as the weekly news and blog updates, please help support my work by making a donation.

If you would like to show your support for Royal Russia by making a personal donation, you may do this with a credit card in US dollars by clicking on the Donate button below. Your donation, no matter how small (even $5 would be appreciated) will help to offset growing annual operation and maintenance costs. Donations can also be made by cheque, money order, or cash in both US or Canadian dollars, by downloading the donation form below.

Please note that there certainly is no obligation, this is merely a request for you to help by sponsoring my work and keeping the memories of old Russia alive.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of Royal Russia. I look forward to bringing you many more years of articles, news stories, videos and photographs of the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia.

Sincerely Yours, 
PAUL GILBERT
Royal Russia Founder / Website Administrator
1 July 2017
 
NOTE: If you have recently made a donation, please accept my most sincere thanks for support of my work.
You will receive confirmation and thanks by e-mail or regular post.
 
 

 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:00 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 11 December 2017 8:31 AM EST
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Sunday, 10 December 2017
Russian Politician Calls for Referendum on the Renaming of the Sverdlovsk Region
Topic: Ekaterinburg

 
The Sverdlovsk Region (Oblast) coat of arms
 
This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

State Duma deputy Andrey Alshevsky has called for a referendum on the renaming of the Sverdlovsk region, with the presidential elections on 18 March 2018. A vote will be made at a meeting of the regional Legislative Assembly in Ekaterinburg is scheduled for 19 December. 

Andrey Gennadievich Alshevsky (born May 14, 1972, Sverdlovsk ) is a Russian politician, a member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the Seventh Convocation (since 2016), a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region (2011-2016), and a deputy of the Regional Duma of the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region (2008-2010).

The parliamentarian has studied social networks, whose users are already selecting a new name for the region. Most popular - the Urals (Urals), Demidovskaya, and Ekaterinburg. Alshevsky has suggested that the region be renamed Romanovskaya, honouring the memory of Emperor Nicholas II and his relatives, who were brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks on the night of 16/17 July 1918 in Ekaterinburg.

It is expected that the vote will pass the first hurdle during the meeting on 19 December. After that, the initiative group will have to collect at least 70,000 signatures in support of a referendum within forty days. The collected signatures will then be sent to the electoral commission for review. The deputies have to make a final decision no later than 13 January 2018.

The question of renaming the Sverdlovsk region has been repeatedly raised over the years by the Ekaterinburg eparchy. Archbishop Vikenty (Morar) and Metropolitan Kirill (Nakonechny), are in favour of changing the name of the region, while members of the Communist party are against the initiative. Orthodox Christians and monarchists are against keeping the name of Sverdlovsk, a name associated with that of Yakov Sverdlov, a revolutionary, who many believe, played a major role in the murders of the Russian Imperial family.
 


Yakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov (1885-1919)
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 December, 2017 
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:00 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2017 4:00 PM EST
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Saturday, 9 December 2017
This Week in the News - The Romanovs and Imperial Russia
Topic: News

 
The Winter Palace in St Petersburg

Truly one of St Petersburg's most iconic buildings, the Winter Palace takes on an added beauty in this nighttime image set in snow. The former General Staff Building can be seen on the opposite side of Palace Square. The eastern wing was transferred to the State Hermitage Museum in 1993 and was extensively remodeled inside.
 
* * * 
 
This Week in the News is a new feature on my Royal Russia News blog. It includes a link and brief summary to a full-length article published in the past week from a variety of English language media sources.
 
This new initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page - now, with more than 126,000 followers from around the world!
 
Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 9 December 2017
 
ARTICLES
 
Can Putin Get the Romanovs a Decent Christian Burial? 

There is a political dimension to the story of the royal remains. It is widely believed, although not officially confirmed, that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, would like to organize a symbolic ceremony that would bring closure to Russia’s divisive and bloody twentieth century.

Such an event could involve a burial of the two members of the royal family, the czarevich Alexei and his sister Maria, who have never been put to rest, and a solemn church recognition of all other remains as belonging to the Romanovs, who were all inducted into sainthood but whose bodies, from the Russian Orthodox Church’s viewpoint, have never been recovered. Maxim Trudolyubov writes in 'Newsweek'.

The magnificent frescoes of Yaroslavl: The Church of John the Baptist at Tolchkovo + 10 Photos

Architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield writes about the restoration of the world-renowned artwork in this city of churches, which is still ongoing. 

Passion for Mathilde: 5 reasons to see Russia's most scandalous film

'Mathilde', the most polarizing and talked-about Russian film of 2017, opens this week in the U.S., and will be screened in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, Miami and Detroit. 

The Hermitage's big Russian Revolution show that nearly didn't happen

Museum in tsars' Winter Palace, symbol of Bolshevik takeover, only decided how to mark 1917 centenary in February. Sophia Kishkovsky writes in 'The Art Newspaper'. 

Was the Romanovs’ murder ritualistic? 3 mysteries of the royal family's deaths

The Russian Church has declared that the last Russian tsar and his family might have fallen prey to a 'ritualistic killing' insisting on further investigation into the matter. Besides the nature of the murder, there are at least two other enigmas wrapped up in the tragedy of 1918 in Ekaterinburg. Russia Beyond looks into them. Alexey Timofeychev writes in RBTH. 

How did an architect convince Stalin to spare St. Basil’s Cathedral from destruction?

One of Stalin’s leading deputies wanted to obliterate the iconic Red Square landmark in order to open a passage for parading tanks. Stalin, however, refused to agree to the plan. But who was the architect who convinced the Soviet leader to save the world famous cathedral? Nikolay Shevchenko writes in RBTH.
 
* * * 
 


A beautiful contemporary painting of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg by the Ural artist Sergei Volkov
 
* * * 
 
Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:06 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2017 10:25 AM EST
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Friday, 8 December 2017
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna Archive Donated to GARF
Topic: Xenia Alexandrovna GD

 
This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

Click here to watch a video of the presentation ceremony held in Moscow on 6th December
 
On 6th December, a portion of the archives of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, the eldest daughter of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, was presented to the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) in Moscow. The gift was presented to GARF by the Chairman of the St Basil the Great Charitable Foundation Konstantin Malofeev, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the media group Tsargrad.

The archives of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna was purchased five years ago at an auction in London. It consists of 95 documents, which include five diaries, family photos unknown to Russian archivists, and in a separate canvas bag decorated with a satin ribbon, 25 letters from Xenia’s brother Grand Duke George Alexandrovich to their mother Empress Maria Feodorovna. 

Especially valuable, are her diary entries of 1914-1919, in which she details the events of the First World War, the collapse of the monarchy and the Great Russian Revolution. “These documents allow us to see a crucial and very complicated period in the history of the country through the eyes of a representative of the imperial family,”- said the head of the Federal Archival Agency Andrey Artizov, who took part in the ceremony. “I want to emphasize that the archives of the Grand Duchess have not been studied and are almost unknown to the scientific community and the general public, so its future publication will be of particular interest" - he added.

After the revolution, in 1919, the Grand Duchess along with her mother - the widowed Empress Maria Feodorovna, her family and relatives, left Russia forever. In exile Xenia Alexandrovna lived first in Denmark, and then moved to the UK, where she died on 20 April 1960, at Wilderness House in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

The State Archive of the Russian Federation currently have in their collection 44 notebooks with Xenia's diary entries dating from 1884 to June 1914. The five additional diaries, which refer to 1914-1919 now complete the collection, and are of immense historical importance. The last entry was made on the day which Xenia departed Crimea with her mother Maria Feodorovna and family. Her last tragic record of 1919 reads: "We are leaving Russia!".
 


Chairman of the St Basil the Great Charitable Foundation Konstantin Malofeev
 
Konstantin Malofeev, the entrepreneur and founder of the St Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, said: "The main task of our organization is historical enlightenment, the cleansing of Russian history from slander and distortion. This can not be achieved without painstaking work with historical sources. Hence our close attention to various archival documents and the desire that they be accessible to the broad scientific community. After all, thorough study of sources and their publication is a necessary step towards establishing historical truth. "

The acquisition of the archives in 2012, in London. "After we contacted the owners," Konstantin Malofeev said, "and they found out that we are from Russia and are going to return this archive home, they removed the archive from the auction and we agreed to buy it separately." 

The Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna’s archive is part of a large project carried out by the Society St Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, to return to the people the knowledge of Russia was before 1917.
 


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 8 December, 2017
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:05 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2017 1:35 PM EST
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Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Dolls Belonging to the Daughters of Nicholas II Purchased at Auction
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

 
Photo © Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve
 
This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve have acquired a rare ensemble of eight unique dolls, dressed in traditional Russian and Ukrainian costumes. The dolls were acquired at a recent auction held at the Hôtel Drouot auction house in Paris.

They were created on the occasion of the first official visit to France, by Emperor Nicholas II from 5 - 9 October 1896. Nicholas was accompanied by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and their first daughter Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, who was less than a year old at the time of the visit. Note: Olga was born 15 November [O.S. 3 November] 1895.

The children of Nicholas II and Alexandrovna were raised to respect Russian history, and the various nationalities who made up the Russian Empire. As a result, numerous items of Russian folk crafts were among the toys of the August children. Among the toys of the grand duchesses in the Children's Rooms of the Alexander Palace, there were a lot of dolls in colourful  national Russian costumes, made with meticulous fabrics and ornamental details. 

The ethnographic dolls acquired in Paris were souvenirs, which celebrated the arrival of the infant grand duchess and the growing Russo-French alliance. This rare ensemble of dolls will go on display in the Alexander Palace, when it reopens to visitors in July 2018.

It is interesting to note that many of the toys, which belonged to the Imperial children at the Alexander Palace, including several dolls in old Russian costumes, are currently in the collections of the Toy Museum in Sergiev Posad. Click here to read more about the Toy Museum in Sergiev Posad, and its unique collection. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 December, 2017 
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:21 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 8 December 2017 4:11 PM EST
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Monday, 4 December 2017
SOVEREIGN No. 5 - NOW IN STOCK!
Topic: Nicholas II

  
I am pleased to announce that the latest issue of SOVEREIGN, our popular bi-annual periodical dedicated to the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II is now available from the Royal Russia Bookshop - Paul Gilbert

The No. 5 - Autumn 2017 issue features 7 full-length articles, including 6 first English translations of articles written by Russian historians and experts. The issue is further complemented with a multi-page news supplement, and illustrated throughout with more than 100 photographs and illustrations! 
 
FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS BY RUSSIAN HISTORIANS AND EXPERTS:

Emperor Nicholas II and the Russian Muslims 
by Pyotr Multatuli
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova and Neil P. Mayhew

- Pyotr Multatuli has a PhD in Historical Sciences, and his written a number of monographs and articles on the life and reign of the Emperor Nicholas II and his epoch. He is the great-grandson of the imperial cook Ivan Kharitonov, who was shot along with the Imperial family in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg on 17 July, 1918.

The Achievements of Nicholas II 
by Andrei Razumov
Translated from Russian by William Lee

Transfer of the Romanovs to the Ural Soviet
The Mystery and Transformations of Vladimir Pchelin's Painting  
by Ignat Bakin
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova and Neil P. Mayhew

Nicholas II as Military Commander
by Georgy Nekrasov
Translated from Russian by William Lee
 
Dethroned by the Entente
by Alexander Sabov
Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova and Neil P. Mayhew
 
Automobiles of 'His Majesty, the Tsar' 
by Veronika Romanenkova
Translated from Russian by William Lee

ADDITIONAL FULL-LENGTH ARTICLES BY GUEST WRITERS IN THIS ISSUE:

True and Devoted Friend? - George V, the War, and the Offer of Asylum 
by Coryne Hall

This article is the final installment of a four part series on the relationships between Emperor Nicholas II and the British monarchs by royal historian and author Coryne Hall.

plus

Sovereign News 
a multi-page supplement featuring news highlights from Russian media sources, on Nicholas II, including exhibitions, new monuments, research, and more 

 

© Gilbert's Books. 04 December, 2017


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:30 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2017 5:23 AM EST
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Saturday, 2 December 2017
Russian Orthodox Church Says Will Recognize 'Yekaterinburg Remains' if Given Proof
Topic: Ekaterinburg Remains

 
This article has been revised and edited from its original by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2017

The senior hierarch reminded of numerous versions of the Romanovs murder and burial of their remains

Russian Orthodox Church assumes that the remains unearthed near the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and thought to belong to the Romanov royal family might be genuine and if the investigators provide irrefutable proof, the Church is ready to recognize them as such, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Church’s External Relations Department, said on the Rossiya’24 television on Saturday.

The Bishops’ Council, held in Moscow on November 29 through December 2, abstained from taking a decision on identification of the ‘Yekaterinburg remains’ since the investigation had not yet completed additional forensic testing.

"The conclusions made today [conclusions of the current investigation - TASS] will have a totally different quality and will have different persuasive power on the Church," Metropolitan Hilarion said. "If it is proved the remains belong to the members of the royal family, the Church will accept this fact."

Speaking about a previous report of the governmental commission looking into the remains, he explained that "the Church neither has recognized nor has rejected outcomes of the previous probe since none of the church representatives had been allowed to join in the research."

"Now, the situation is quite opposite," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

"The Church can follow each particle that is researched now," he said. "The Church’s representatives directly take part in lab research."

The senior hierarch reminded of numerous versions of the Romanovs murder and burial of their remains. According to one of them, the bodies of Czar Nicholas II and members of his family were buried in Ganina Yama, whereas another says that the burial place was located in Porosenkov Log near Yekaterinburg. The second line of inquiry was turned down by the investigator Nikolai Sokolov, who investigated the murder of the Imperial Family from 1919 through 1922 and worked for the White Guard counterrevolutionaries under head of the anti-Bolshevik fight Alexander Kolchak.

"Firstly, investigator Sokolov was restricted in his possibilities during the investigation. Secondly, he was short of time as he used the White Guard’s provisional stay in those places but soon the Bolsheviks came bringing his searches to an end," the metropolitan said.

"It means that the detective did not make up and could not make up a coherent picture," he said. "The remains are likely to have been buried and destroyed in two stages."

History of the issue

Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, Tsesarevich Alexis, and the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia were executed by firing in Yekaterinburg in the Urals on the night from July 16 to July 17, 1918. Investigator Nikolay Sokolov concluded that all the bodies had been incinerated.

In 1979, a team of investigators found the site of a presumable burial of the remains of Nicholas II’s family in the vicinity of an old road leading to the township of Koptyaki but the official breakup of the grave took place only in 1991. The investigators found the remains of nine people there and Russia’s Office of the Prosecutor General instituted a case in 1993 over the death of the Czarist Family.

After several major genetic studies done in the UK, the US and Russia, a specialized State Commission said the fragments found were those of the bodies of Nicholas’s family members with a big degree of probability. But the remains of Tsesarevich Alexis and Grand Duchess Anastasia were not identified among the initially found fragments.

Entombment of the relics of Czar Nicholas, Czarina Alexandra, and Grand Dechesses Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia was held in the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg in 1998. The organizers of the action took account of the historical tradition and buried Nicholas II separately from other Russian Emperors, as he had abdicated the throne on his own free will.

The Russian Orthodox Church, however, voiced strong enough doubts over the identity of the remains found near Yekaterinburg and refused to take part the burial ceremony.

The Church canonized Nicholas II and all members of his family in 2000 when it undertook a sweeping canonization action, which embraced hundreds of clerics and the lay who had to go through ordeals and repressions in the first half of the 20th century because of their commitment to faith and commandments of Christianity.

In September 2015, the Russian Investigative Committee re-opened the criminal case on the Romanov royal family murders.

© TASS News Agency / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 2 December, 2017
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:31 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 2 December 2017 5:40 PM EST
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This Week in the News - The Romanovs and Imperial Russia
Topic: News

 
Monument to Empress Catherine II (1873), St Petersburg, created by the Russian sculptor M.O. Mikeshin
 
Mikhail Osipovich Mikeshin (1835 — 1896) was a Russian artist and sculptor who regularly worked for the Romanov family and designed a number of outdoor statues in the major cities of the Russian Empire.
 
The monument to Catherine II is located in the middle of a small, grass-covered square, just off Nevsky Prospekt, which is lined by the Anichkov Palace, the Alexandrinsky Drama Theater (seen in the background) and the Russian National Library. Photo © Alexander Petrosnya
 
* * * 

This Week in the News is a new feature on my Royal Russia News blog. It includes a link and brief summary to a full-length article published in the past week from a variety of English language media sources.
 
This new initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page - now, with more than 126,000 followers from around the world!
 
Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 2 December 2017

ARTICLES

Fabergé photo frame among lots at Sworders’ jewellery auction

A tiny Fabergé gold and silver photograph frame sold for £30,000 in auction at Sworders’ Jewellery and Silver sale in Stansted on November 22. Angela Singer writes in the 'Dunmow Broadcast'. 

David Oscarson Honors Imperial Russia With New Pen Collection

David Oscarson released his latest—his 28th, to be exact—pen collection, the Russian Imperial. This new limited edition, which made its debut earlier this month, honors the Romanov family, marking the 100th anniversary of their abdication from the throne. Nancy Olson writes in 'Forbes Magazine'. 

10 stunning Moscow churches that will leave you awe-inspired + 12 photos

All guide books and blogs advise visiting the city's main cathedrals: St. Basil's, Christ the Savior and churches inside the Kremlin. But let Russia Beyond show you some hidden treasures, beloved by Muscovites. Alexandra Guzeva writes in RBTH. 

A Conspiracy Around the Romanovs’ Murder Has Alarmed Russia's Jews

Jewish groups in Russia on are edge this week after a prominent Russian bishop gave life to a conspiracy theory that Tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered in a “ritual killing.” Evan Gershkovich writes in 'The Moscow Times'. 

'Ritual Killing'? Probe Into Murder Of Tsar's Family Spotlights Old 'Anti-Semitic' Conspiracy Theory

Russian investigators say they are probing the possibility that Tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered in a "ritual killing," appearing to give new life to an old conspiracy theory criticized by Jewish community members as blatantly anti-Semitic. Tom Balmforth reports in 'Radio Free Europe. 

Admiral Kolchak: A true Russian patriot or a British intelligence agent?

Alexander Kolchak was a commander in the Russian Imperial Navy during World War One and a Polar explorer. He is best known, however, as one of the leaders of the White anti-Bolshevik movement in Siberia between 1918 and 1920. As such, he has recently been lauded as a true hero of Russia. But those who do not support this view, point to his close ties with foreign powers, especially Britain, going as far as labelling him a foreign spy. To what degree are these claims true? Alexey Timofeychev reports in RBTH. 

Russia to Investigate If Last Tsar Was Shot in 'Ritual Killing'

Members of a church commission investigating the 1918 shooting of Tsar Nicholas II and his family claim that the last tsar of Russia was murdered in a ritual killing. 

Russian Director Uchitel Talks About Czar Film Scandal, Historical Relevance

Matilda, a controversial film about the love life of Tsar Nicholas II, Russia’s last emperor, has rounded out the British Film Institute’s Russian Film Week in London’s Southbank. 

Princess Olga Romanoff’s struggle to do up her 700-year-old Kent pile

Since her family sold the Fabergé, raising funds has been difficult. The article includes interesting photos of Provender House, her 700-year-old home near Faversham, Kent. Emma Wells writes in 'The Times'.
 
* * * 
 


The Peter and Paul Fortress set against a lovely winter evening in St Petersburg
 
Founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706 to 1740, it has become.a bastion of Romanov history. Photo © Vitaly Karpovich
 
* * * 
 
Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:23 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 2 December 2017 8:49 AM EST
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Friday, 1 December 2017
Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) Speaks on "Possible ritual element" in Romanov Murders
Topic: Ekaterinburg Remains

 
His Grace Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Egorievsk, abbot of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery and Secretary
 
This article was originally published by Pravoslavie.ru on 1 December 2017

Even after his abdication, Tsar Nicholas II remained a symbolic, sacred figure, and therefore his murder could have a very specific ritualist meaning in many senses, His Grace Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Egorievsk, abbot of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery and Secretary of the patriarchal commission tasked with studying the remains believed to belong to the Royal Martyrs, told RIA-Novosti.

“No one will deny that the emperor, even after his abdication, undoubtedly remained a symbolic, sacred figure. The murder of the tsar and his family, putting the final stamp on the existence of the hatred of the 300-year Romanov dynasty by the new authorities, was a matter bearing very special ritualistic, symbolic meaning for many,” Bp. Tikhon stated.

To the objection, “What ritualistic meanings could there be for the Bolsheviks?” Bp. Tikhon responded with his own question: “Isn’t Lenin’s mausoleum a sacred, symbolic, and ritualistic phenomenon?” The Bolsheviks and their associates, he added, were by no means strangers to a variety of ritualistic symbolism.

“Many people involved in the shooting, whether in Moscow or in Ekaterinburg, saw in the murder of the prostrate Russian autocrat a special ritual of retribution,” the patriarchal commission secretary added. Many different kinds of people surrounded the event, he stated, from sadistic criminals who wanted to personally torture the tsar and his family, to Yurovsky, the leader of the band of regicides, who later boasted of his role in the murders and felt himself to be someone “who performed a sacred historical mission.”

His Grace’s explanation comes on the heels of his statement at Monday’s conference “On the Murder of the Royal Family: New Evaluations and Materials. Discussion,” devoted to the various studies on the remains, that the majority of those involved in the ongoing scientific examinations believe there is evidence of ritual elements in the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. He stated then that according to Yurovsky, all the victims were divided up between the shooters, but that the tsar’s remains show more bullet holes because “everyone wanted to be regicides,” that is, “for many it was a special ritual.”

His statement sparked controversy in both Russian and outside media, which tied his use of the phrase “ritual murder” to anti-Semitic accusations of previous centuries. Yurovsky himself, an atheist, was ethnically Jewish, while all the other perpetrators were Russian.

The Speaker of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Baruch Gorin, for example, was shocked to hear of Vladyka Tikhon’s statement. “For us it is all an absolute absurdity, for a number of reasons… It is shocking,” he told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

While stories of ritualistic murders are tied to various cults and religions, Gorin acknowledged, in Russian history and in the history surrounding the Royal Family, the notion of a ritual murder is “absolutely an anti-Semitic myth,” he stated, adding that the killers in question were, in fact, atheists—although, this is certainly a fact of which Bp. Tikhon is aware.

Western media, such as ABC News, picked up on Gorin’s concern, commenting that, “Some Christians in medieval Europe believed that Jews murdered Christians to use their blood for ritual purposes, something which historians say has no basis in Jewish religious law or historical fact and instead reflected anti-Jewish hostility in Christian Europe.” The article does, however, note that Bp. Tikhon himself said nothing about Jews or Judaism.

The Jerusalem Post ran an article entitled, “Russian bishop claims last tsar murdered by Jews for ritual purposes,” also quoting from Gorin, and others, while not producing any quotes from Bp. Tikhon himself to back up the strongly worded title.

The Sretensky abbot addressed the topic again today at a press briefing during a break in the working sessions of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church which is currently meeting in Christ the Savior Cathedral, explaining that “ritual murder” in the case of the Royal Family is understood exclusively as “revolutionary, Bolshevistic retribution.”

Matters have been worked out with the local Jewish community as well, Bp. Tikhon explained: “I had a conversation with the head of the largest Jewish community in Russia, Alexander Moiseevich Boroda. He called me, I explained our position to him, and, as far as I understood, he was absolutely satisfied by this conversation and explanation—that it had all just been distorted.”

He added that the entire expert commission was “deeply outraged by the disgusting attempts to accuse us of xenophobia and anti-Semitism.” “No one mentioned anything about the nationality or religious affiliation of the shooters,” he said, adding that of the eight shooters, only Yurovsky was non-Russian, but he was not religiously Jewish, according to Interfax-Religion.

The Federation of Jewish Communities even agrees with Bp. Tikhon that the execution of the Royal Martyrs was a symbolic act, but rejects the use of the specific phrase “ritual murder” in relation to this event.

“It is obvious that the execution of the prisoners of the Ipatiev House was carried out by the godless Bolsheviks as a significant symbolic massacre,” Boroda stated today. However, “it is totally unacceptable to use in these processes the historically and ideologically-charged phrasing ‘ritual murder,’ evoking the obvious connotations,” he added.

It was announced today that the Russian Orthodox Church hopes to see the end of the examinations on the Ekaterinburg remains and to come to a decision on their authenticity or lack therefore sometime next year.

© Pravoslavie.ru. 1 December, 2017 
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:09 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 1 December 2017 8:13 AM EST
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Conference on Ekaterinburg Remains Held in Moscow - Part III
Topic: Ekaterinburg Remains

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia Bishop of Yegoryevsk Tikhon (Shevkunov)
 
On Monday 27th November, a conference titled The Case the Royal Family Murder: New Examinations and Files. A Discussion was held in Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia 

The conference is devoted to analyzing the results of the study of the remains found near Ekaterinburg which are tentatively believed to belong to the Royal Martyrs—Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were brutally murdered by revolutionaries on the night of 16/17 July 1918.

The conference was attended by members of the ecclesiastical commission for the study of the results of the examinations of remains found near Ekaterinburg, bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, and invited experts, including the participation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

The conference was televised live on Russian television, below are additional media reports on the conference, courtesy of the TASS News Agency:
 

 
Church still has questions on results of 'remains' examination in tsar family's murder / TASS News Agency

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were shot in Yekaterinburg in 1918

The Russian Orthodox Church community has some questions about the results of the examinations as part of a probe into the murder of Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar, and his family, Secretary of the Patriarchal Commission for the study of the examination results, Bishop of Yegoryevsk Tikhon (Shevkunov) told reporters on Thursday.

"DNA tests are still underway. They are conducted absolutely independently, but some people have questions about them," he said. According to the commission’s secretary, "the question of the dental examination needs to be clarified thoroughly" too. Bishop Tikhon said, in particular, that Tsar Nicholas II "couldn’t have so seriously neglected the condition of his teeth."

"There are a lot of factors both in favor of the authenticity of the remains and against it," he said. "Due to huge public interest in this case, a critical decision has been made to check all versions," Bishop Tikhon said.

"We are not rushing [to wrap up the investigation] for any anniversary. We are not seeking to report on it, we are just doing what we should do," he concluded.

Romanov family murder

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were shot in Yekaterinburg in 1918. White Army investigator Nikolay Sokolov who conducted the probe in 1919-1922, soon after the Russian royal family’s execution, concluded that all the bodies had been incinerated.

In the early 1990s, a group of researchers found some remains that could have presumably been the ones belonging the Russian royal family. In 1998, they were reburied in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, in the Romanov tomb. The Russian Orthodox Church posed a number of questions to the investigators and the state commission, which have remained unanswered. Therefore, it has adhered to the opinion that the probe had been insufficient and the remains found in Yekaterinburg could not have been those of the Romanov family.
 


Russian Church indignant over accusations of anti-Semitism — bishop / TASS News Agency

"The Church is a guarantor of inter-ethnic peace in Russia," a high-rank Church official said

Russian Orthodox Church is indignant over the accusations of anti-Semitism that have sprung up after the supposition about a ritualistic killing emerged among the versions of the murder of Czar Nicholas II and members of his family in the summer of 1918, a high-rank Church official said on Thursday.

"The Russian Orthodox Church is outraged by the accusations of anti-Semitism," said bishop Tikhon, the secretary of Moscow Patriarchate’s commission for scrutiny of the results of forensic studies of the Imperial Family members’ remains.

"We haven’t said anything of this kind [anti-Semitic] because the Church is a guarantor of inter-ethnic peace in Russia," he said. "We sum this [charges with anti-Semitism] up as a disgusting and treacherous provocation."
 
The Most Reverend Tikhon recalled that none of the Church representatives had ever mentioned "either ethnic identity or religious affiliation of murderers [of the Czarist family]."

"As for today, we discern a definitive ritualistic element in what the Bolsheviks did," he said. "Even after abdication the Czar remained a sacral figure and his murder was perceived from an emblematic and sacral point of view.
 
Although the Bolsheviks were atheists, the situation involved newly emerging Bolshevist rituals, the bishop said. "And isn’t Lenin’s tomb [on Red Square] part of a ritual?" he asked somewhat rhetorically.

Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, Tsesarevich Prince Alexis, and the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia were executed in Yekaterinburg in the Urals on the night from July 16 to July 17, 1918. Executed alongside with them were the family doctor Eugene Botkin, the Czarina’s room-maid Anna Demidova, court chef Ivan Kharitonov, and the Czar’s personal attendant Alexei [Aloiz] Trupp.

Investigator Nikolai Sokolov who worked for the White Guard anti-Bolshevik counterrevolutionaries and who investigated the murder of the Imperial Family from 1919 through 1922 drew a conclusion that all the bodies.

In 1979, a team of investigators found the site of a presumable burial of the remains of Nicholas II’s family in the vicinity of an old road leading to the township of Koptyaki but the official breakup the of the grave took place only in 1991. The investigators found the remains of nine people there and Russia’s Office of the Prosecutor General instituted a case in 1993 over the death of the Czarist Family.

After several major genetic studies done in the UK, the U.S., and Russia, a specialized State Commission said the fragments found were those of the bodies of Nicholas’s family members with a big degree of probability. But the remains of Tsesarevich Alexis and Grand Duchess Anastasia were not identified among the initially found fragments.

Entombment of the relics of Czar Nicholas, Czarina Alexandra, and Grand Princess Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia was held in the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg in 1998. The organizers of the action took account of the historical tradition and buried Nicholas II separately from other Russian Emperors, as he had abdicated the throne of his own free will.

The Russian Orthodox Church, however, voiced strong enough doubts over the identity of the remains found near Yekaterinburg and refused to take part the burial ceremony.

The Church canonized Nicholas II and all members of his family in 2000 when it undertook a sweeping canonization action, which embraced hundreds of clerics and the lay who had to go through ordeals and repressions in the first half of the 20th century because of their commitment to faith and commandments of Christianity.

© TASS News Agency / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 1 December, 2017 
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:45 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 1 December 2017 8:06 AM EST
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