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Saturday, 3 October 2015
New Blood Samples to Help Romanov Investigation
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

The widow of Nicholas II’s nephew, Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky is ready to cooperate with the current investigation on the murder of the tsar and his family. 

"I am ready to give blood of my husband Tikhon Nikolayevich Kulikovsky - grandson of Alexander III and nephew of passion-bearer Nicholas II," Mrs. Kulikovsky said in her statement conveyed to the Russian media on Friday. 

Mrs. Kulikovsky, who has been living in Canada since 1980s, now spends much of her time in Russia. She was a participant and witness to the canonization of the Holy Royal Martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in 1981 and by the Moscow Patriarchate in August 2000. She does not believe that the Ekaterinburg remains are authentic. 

She warns against hurry in the new investigation and noted that if these remnants would be mistakenly recognized authentic and declared holy relics it will lead to a church schism. 

A grave with nine bodies was found on Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Ekaterinburg in July 1991. The remains were identified as those of Emperor Nicholas II, his 46-year-old wife Alexandra Feodorovna, their daughters Olga, 22, Tatiana, 21, and Anastasia, 17, and their servants Eugene Botkin, 53, Anna Demidova, 40, Alexei Trupp, 62, and Ivan Kharitonov, 48.

Members of the imperial family were buried at a sepulcher in St. Catherine’s Chapel of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on July 17, 1998.

The remains of two more people were discovered during archaeological excavation works 70 meters south of the first grave on July 26, 2007. The remains have still not been buried, but numerous expert analyses indicate that the remains were most likely those of Tsesarevich Alexei and his sister Grand Duchess Maria.

The Investigative Committee stated in January 2011 that it had completed an investigation into the death of Nicholas II, his family members and entourage and closed the criminal case.

In March 2015, head of the Russian State Archives Sergey Mironenko called for the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria to be buried alongside those of the rest of the family. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia / Interfax. 03 October, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:48 AM EDT
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Thursday, 1 October 2015
Monument to Prince Oleg Konstantinovich Unveiled at Tsarskoye Selo
Topic: Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince

Monument to Prince of the Imperial Blood Oleg Konstantinovich (1892-1914)
Yesterday, a memorial monument to Prince Oleg Konstantinovich was unveiled at the St. Sophia Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo.

"Today is a truly historic day. It is a day when we remember a wonderful representative of the Romanov dynasty, who died at the young age of 21, at the front during World War I. He gave his life for the honour, glory and freedom of the Fatherland", - said chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), Sergei Stepashin.

He stressed that the appearance of the monument to Prince Oleg Konstantinovich - it is also a tribute to all the Russian heroes who died in the Great War.

The initiator of the installation of the monument was made by Ludvig Nobel Foundation. The monument to Prince Oleg is based on a model created in 1915 by the Russian sculptor V. Lishevym.

Prince of the Imperial Blood Oleg Konstantinovich was born 27 November [O.S. 15 November], 1892 in St. Petersburg. His father was Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, also known as the poet under the pseudonym of "KR". Prince Oleg engaged in literary work and wrote poems and prose, was fond of music and painting.
At the beginning of World War I his regiment took part in the fighting in the North-Western Front. On 27 September, 1914 he was seriously wounded in battle, and two days later - on 29 September [O.S. 12 October] - died in hospital.
Upon learning of his wound, he said: "It had to be. This will raise the spirit of the troops, and will make a good impression upon them knowing that the blood of a member of the Imperial House has been spilled."
For more information on Prince Oleg Konstantinovich, please refer to the following articles: 

Memorial Plaque to Prince Oleg Konstantinovich Unveiled at Ostashevo

Prince Oleg Konstantinovich: Romanov Casualty of World War One 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 01 October, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:17 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 October 2015 10:27 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Beautiful Postcards of Nicholas II and His Family
Topic: Collectibles

#4001 - Nicholas II. The Family of the Last Emperor

Includes 30 - 4” x 6” postcards inside a full-colour protective folder. Inside the folder is a summary on the life of Nicholas II and his family in both English and Russian.

This set includes 25 sepia coloured postcards + 5 colour postcards of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatitana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsesarevich Alexei.

#4002– Nicholas II. The Family Album

Includes 30 - 4” x 6” inside a full-colour protective folder. Inside the folder is a summary on the life of Nicholas II and his family in both English and Russian.

This set includes 26 sepia coloured postcards + 4 colour postcards of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsesarevich Alexei.

These postcards are of superior quality and suitable for framing. This beautiful collection will appeal to any Romanovphile. Price: $15.00 CAD + postage.

For more information on these items, please visit our online shop:


© Royal Russia. 30 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:00 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 8:05 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Emperor Paul I and the Order of Succession
Topic: Succession

Portrait of Emperor Paul I by Vladimir Borovikovsky
The following article was published today by the Presidential Library in St. Petersburg. The text has been further edited and revised by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.

October 1, 1754 marks the 261st anniversary of birth of the Russian Emperor Paul I, who was born into the family of Grand Duke Peter Feodorovich and his wife, Grand Duchess Catherine Alexseyevna, the future Catherine the Great. The Presidential Library collection of electronic copies of materials, dedicated to Paul Petrovich, contain many rare books which characterize this figure as the most controversial among the heirs to the throne of the Romanovs.

The electronic copy of the collected works "Materials for the biography of Emperor Paul I” edited by E. Kasprovich, published in 1874 in Leipzig, includes in particular the following assessment of his activities, "The reign of Emperor Paul I appeared on the Russian horizon as a terrible meteor; his actions seemed even more striking considering the fact that his reign followed the age of Catherine II, full of prudence. Russia had already started to enjoy the statutes published by the Empress, when suddenly the rule of laws began to give way to self-will, respect for the long service, generating competition, disappeared; disparate punishments for lighter offences were applied contrary to patent of nobility; people without merit, without skills were granted the highest honours, new regulations contradicting each other were constantly released."

The very first law developed by Paul contained hidden but a real threat to the dynasty, indicating the inability of the monarch to think several moves ahead. Having inherited the throne after his mother's death in 1796, Paul, in order to prevent coups and intrigue in the future, decided to replace by his act the previous system introduced by Peter the Great. Paul promulgated it during his coronation on April 5th, 1797 at the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.

His Law on the order of succession to the throne excluded the possibility of dismissal of the legal heirs from the throne. Paul introduced a legal succession, as he put it in the act, "so there was no doubt who inherits the throne, in order to maintain the rights of families in the succession, without violating the natural rights, and to avoid difficulties in the transfer of power from generation to generation." The act also contained an important clause on the impossibility of accession to the throne of a person not belonging to the Orthodox Church. The law of Paul I, which defined the procedure for the transfer of supreme state power in Russia, was in effect until 1917.

However, it contained a significant flaw - the act provided for a preferential right to inherit the throne for the male members of the imperial family. With regard to the family of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II, this law deprived his daughters of the prospect of succession, while Tsesarevich Alexei was terminally ill with haemophilia (a hereditary disease inherited by the child from his mother Alexandra Feodorovna; Nicholas was fairly warned about it before the marriage, but his love for Alexandra outweighed everything). This fact motivated partly the difficult decision of Nicholas to renounce the throne of Russia in March 1917 and condemned Russia to a fratricidal civil war.

The attempts of the new emperor to reform the army and state apparatus "on the patterns" of the Prussian military system and the Prussian police state also proved unsuccessful. Paul’s reforms in this area caused resistance of the top management: repressions against the generals and officers were too brutal, which is confirmed by an electronic copy of "The orders of the Emperor Paul I of 1800-1801."  

Sometimes it happened that "in one day there were fired three full generals, three lieutenant-generals, 9 majors, 68 senior officers of the Guards regiments, 90 non-commissioned officers and 120 men of the Preobrazhensky Regiment! No one knew what for." Even the hero-generalissimo, who conquered the Alps, was unable to avoid the unjust persecution: among the orders of Paul there was also "a reprimand to Suvorov for unauthorized vacation of Colonel Baturin," and then the "exclusion from the service."

Introduction of the uncomfortable army uniform after the Prussian model caused a murmur among the military. Injured officers resigned in large numbers.

The policy of Paul I in combination with his despotic nature and unpredictability caused discontent among the court and in the army leading to another coup. On the night of March 25th, 1801 the Emperor was killed by conspirators in his new residence, the Mikhailovsky Palace in St. Petersburg. 
© Presidential Library / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:56 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 29 September 2015 6:02 AM EDT
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Monday, 28 September 2015
Remains of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna May be Included in Royal Family Inquiry
Topic: Elizabeth Feodorovna GD

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna 1864-1918
The following article was published today by the Interfax News Agency in Moscow. It supplements the previous articles published on September 23, 24 and 25. The text has been further edited and revised by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.

The Russian Investigative Committee does not rule out that samples of the remains of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna may be delivered from the Church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem to Moscow for a new examination within the royal family inquiry but a final decision has yet to be made.

"We are holding negotiations with the Russian Orthodox Church. This is a very complicated matter: international relations and the delivery from a foreign country. A final decision has yet to be made," senior investigator of the Russian Investigative Committee main criminal investigation department Vladimir Solovyov told Interfax.

The future Grand Duchess Elizabeth, one of British Queen Victoria's favourite granddaughters, was born in Germany and spent her early years in England. She was a sister of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and a daughter of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Alice of Great Britain. She was brought up in Christian spirit and compassion.

She was a Protestant, but during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land she adopted Orthodoxy and after her husband Moscow general-governor Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich had been assassinated by a terrorist in 1905, she founded the SS Martha and Mary Convent in 1909 where nuns combined prayer with active social ministry, helping the sick and wounded, especially during World War I. People called Grand Duchess Elizabeth the White Angel of Russia.

She refused to leave Russia during revolutionary days and was arrested in the spring of 1918 and martyred in Novay Selimskaya not far from Alapayevsk, in the Ekaterinburg Region. Elizabeth Feodorovna was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981, and in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate as New Martyr Yelizaveta Fyodorovna
© Interfax / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:27 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 September 2015 5:34 AM EDT
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Saturday, 26 September 2015
Archive for Materials Relating to Russian Emigres Opens in Paris
Topic: Imperial Russia

A new centre for the storing of historical documents relating to the emigration of Russians to France in the years following the 1917 revolution opened on 24 September, in the Parisian suburban town of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. The cemetery of the town, which is located at a distance of 23 kilometres from the centre of Paris, contains the graves of members of the Russian Imperial family, as well as many famous Russian writers and artists. The Russian government took an active role in creating the new archive and memorial-research centre, which has been laid out on the territory of the Maison Russe. 

Russian financing has ensured the documents are kept in top condition, and the staff at Maison Russe will help academics access material necessary for their research. 

Maison Russe director Jean de Boyer expressed his sincere thanks to the Russian president for supporting the project. Russian Ambassador Alexander Orlov noted the huge cultural and intellectual contribution the Russian emigres made to the life of their new adopted homelands, and especially to France. He also thanked the Paris authorities for helping to keep this memory alive. "The Maison Russe is a testament to the dreams of those, who always dreamt of going home, but never could", he said.

A memorial plaque in honour of the founder of the Maison Russe, Princess Mescherskaya, was also unveiled today.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia / Russkiy Mir Foundation. 26 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:49 AM EDT
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Tsarskoye Selo to Restore Chapelle Pavilion
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve announced this week that the 19th-century Chapelle Pavilion in the Alexander Park, which was almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War, is to be restored. Built to a unique design in the form of a romantic-ruined-gothic castle by famous architect Adam Menelaws, the destruction meted out to the building during the war and in the following years of neglect has taken the romance firmly out of the ruins. The pavilion has been off bounds to tourists for decades, due to the fact that the building is in danger of collapsing at any moment, which is why the territory on which it stands is fenced off to pedestrians.

The reconstruction will cost 150 million roubles, according to representatives of the museum complex at Tsarskoye Selo. The money will come from the federal budget, as part of the Culture of Russia programme. Work is expected to start in the coming months, after the Ministry of Culture and the museum complex executives agree on an appropriate construction firm to carry out the work. Then a survey of the building will be taken and immediate measures to strengthen the foundations will be implemented. 

The restoration is expected to last for a year, and then the pavilion will be used as an exhibition centre.

Beautiful detail of the interior have miraculously survived years of neglect
Built between 1825 and 1828 the pavilion appeared on the edge of the Alexander Park in the Landscape Park that was given the French name Chapelle. It took the form of a small Gothic church dilapidated by time.

Adam Menelaws’s design for the Chapelle consisted of two square-based towers, one of which had totally “collapsed”, and a broad arch connecting them. Among the deliberate echoes of the Gothic period was the architect’s installation of coloured glass in the windows of the building. Light penetrating them gave a spectral shimmer to the interior. The figures of angels at the base of the vaults were, like the sculpture on the White Tower, the work of Vasily Demuth-Malinovsky, while the statue of Christ that stood in the Chapelle (and is now in the collection of the State Hermitage) was commissioned by Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna from the German sculptor Johann Heinrich von Dannecker. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia / Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 26 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:21 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 September 2015 6:29 AM EDT
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The Mystery of the Kostromsky Phoenix
Topic: Kostroma

View of the Kostromsky Kremlin in 1934
The Kostromsky Kremlin, blown up in 1934, was once one of Russia’s finest architectural monuments. Thankfully, the kremlin is being rebuilt; work on the restoration of this architectural masterpiece is planned to be completed by 2020. However, the reasons for its barbaric destruction remain a mystery to historians. In particular, the documents connected with the decision taken to destroy the kremlin remain locked up under the state secrets act. Why?

“The missing kremlin is like an open wound”, Kostroma Region Governor Viktor Shershunov  told me in an interview several years ago. “But where can we take the money? Our region, in contrast to, say, the neighbouring Yaroslavl Region, is very poor”.

Where state and federal budgets fail to help, local people reach into their pockets. The Yaroslavl Region businessman Viktor Tyryshkin is well known in both his native region and in Kostroma. He personally financed the reconstruction of the beautiful Rybinsk Cathedral, and rebuilt from the ground up, in strict adherence to the original architectural plans, the church which stands on the meeting point of the Volga and the Kotorosla rivers in Yaroslavl.

“The Kostromsky Kremlin represented one of the greatest achievements of Orthodox architecture; the ensemble, with the cathedral, bell tower and kremlin gates, was unique, and of extraordinary beauty”, says Viktor Tyryshkin of the Kostromsky Detinets, as it is known locally [note on translation: Detinets is an old Russian word similar in meaning to kremlin]. “We must restore the kremlin to its original form, as designed and executed by the architect Stepan Vorotilov.

The bell tower of master Stepan

Archaeological research places the emergence of the town of Kostroma in the mid-12th century, in a location on the mouth of the Sula River slightly higher than the town’s current position. The wooden fortifications of the detinets, the future kremlin, as was often the case frequently burnt down, so a decision was taken to move the fortress to its current location. Besides the fortifications themselves, a number of churches were built as part of the architectural ensemble, beginning with the five-domed Assumption Cathedral, most probably built in the 16th century. Later came the Epiphany Cathedral, built with one dome in the neo-classical 18th century style favoured by Catherine II. In the same period the kremlin’s true masterpiece appeared: the magnificent 64-metre, four-tiered bell tower.

Both these 18th-century monuments were designed and built by the Russian architect Stepan Andreevich Vorotilov, a man of difficult character but phenomenal talent who, as is often the case in Russia, died at a tragically early age. The famous pre-revolutionary historian of Russian antiquity Georgy Lukomsky once said that the bell tower reminded him of an Indian pagoda. It was said that the neighbouring kremlin of Yaroslavl was visible from the top of the tower in fine weather.

As Lukomsky wrote in one of his books: “Approaching Kostroma on the Volga, passengers crowd the deck of the steamer to wonder at the distant Assumption Cathedral, standing on its hill and surrounded by a group of white, golden-topped buildings. The cathedral, laid out with the nave facing the north, stands out from the rest of the architectural ensemble, not only as a result of this unusual plan but also thanks to the magnificent shine of its golden domes and its unusual silhouette, formed by the elongation of the onion domes as they stand on stretched-out necks to produce an effect of even greater elongation, giving the appearance of an almost conical form. The domes are so wondrously golden that on a particularly sunny day they are almost impossible to apprehend, so bright the line reflects onto the eyes. On days such as these they cast their golden light over everything around, surrounding the cathedral with a halo of heavenly light”.

While the cathedrals took centre place, of almost equal importance were the other structures, including the faux-gothic gates, the royal reception room, and the two servants’ quarters. The raising of a grand monument to the Romanov dynasty was begun on a plot between the cathedrals in preparation for the 300th anniversary of the royal house in 1913. According to Estonian sculptor Amand Adamson’s design, the huge pedestal of the monument was to be decorated with 20 life-size sculptures of key historical figures. By 1916, two stood in their allotted places; the remaining figures were waiting to be mounted, but before they could be put up, the country’s history took a dramatic change of course.

“With Lenin in their heads and sledgehammers in their hands”

In a ceremony held to bless the laying of the first stone of the new Assumption Cathedral, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ Kirill said: “It is difficult to imagine what exactly could motivate anyone to destroy a place as beautiful as this and to inflict such a deep wound on this city, on its history and the spiritual wellbeing of its people”.

I disagree; the explanation is, in fact, rather simple: the Bolsheviks had particular scores to settle with the rich upper-Volga trading towns of Yaroslavl and Kostroma. While the former was never forgiven for its cardinal sin, the July 1918 Yaroslavl uprising, Kostroma, as the alma mater of the Romanv dynasty, was considered an ever greater threat. Thus while Yaroslavl, with its multitude of magnificent surviving churches, is unofficially known as the “Russian Florence”, Kostroma, which, as numerous memoirs attest, was once considered no less wondrous, today draws far fewer tourists.

It is not difficult to understand why – even before the fateful year of 1934 when the city’s kremlin was destroyed, the Bolsheviks thirst for destruction laid waste to over 30 beautiful churches of the unfortunate town. At the same time understanding the logic behind such barbarism is no easy task; why, for example, was one of the holiest sites of the Romanov dynasty, the Ipatyevsky Monastery, spared? At the monastery only one of the smaller churches was destroyed, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, rebuilt in 2013-2015. As for the kremlin and the town’s churches themselves, they were eliminated with a lust that even in those schizophrenic times was often commented on with horror.

The exact circumstances surrounding the destruction of the Kostromsky Kremlin remain a mystery to this day. All the documents connected with the decision and its execution are still kept as state secrets even today. According to local rumour, the tragic fate of the historical monument is bound up with the name of that “great son of the Bulgarian nation” Georgy Dimitrov. Dimitrov, returning to the Soviet Union in late 1933 after his acquittal at the infamous Leipzig trial, was quickly installed as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, with a constituency centred on, alas, Kostroma. His attitude towards historical preservation is easy enough to understand from a stenographic record, kept under public access at the the Russian State Library, of his participation at a commission of the time that was charged with planning the “socialist reconstruction” of Moscow. Without blinking an eye, comrade Dimitrov proposed flattening the entire region of Kitay Gorod [translator’s note: a large region in central Moscow featuring well-preserved historic churches and 19th-century aristocratic town houses], just so that the socialist masses would have space enough to stand in line while queueing to Lenin’s Mausoleum on Red Square. What sanctity could the Kostromsky Kremlin to a man accustomed to such logic? It was men such as these that were immortalised in the well-known phrase: “with Lenin in their heads and sledgehammers in their hands”.

The Kostromsky Kremlin, as it looked before the Bolshevik Revolution was once one of Russia’s finest architectural monuments
Saving face

The Kostromsky Kremlin was almost entirely wiped off the face of the earth in the summer of 1934. In a fine testament to Vorotilov’s skill as an architect, the beautiful bell tower resisted the barbarians’ explosions one after the other, but eventually succumbed to its tragic fate. The figures of the Romanov jubilee monument were sent to be recast, presumably in the form of the new Bolshevik saints. Only two of the secular buildings remained, the Royal Reception Hall, renamed the Ostrovsky Hall, and the pedestal of the unfinished monument, which in 1928 was capped by a statue of that same Vladimir Lenin that gave the order which sent the Romanovs to the firing squad. One is forced to remember the unfortunate choice of words of that evil genius, who once reminded Bolshevik vandals that: “When destroying monuments, preserve the pedestals. They could come in handy”. During the Soviet period Lenin was frequently installed in others’ places: in Vladimir, Samara, Rybinsk and many other cities he displaced the Tsar-Liberator Alexander II.

Having destroyed the kremlin, the Bolsheviks inflicted a brutal scar on Kostroma’s once beautiful face. At the same time they deprived the city of that crucial element of all medieval Russian towns – its bells and bell tower. In the late 1980s a group of young Muscovite and Kostromsky historians developed a plan to restore the kremlin to its original glory, based on preserved sketches and photographs.

And, at least from the historical perspective, in the mere blink of an eye the kremlin will once again grace the city. And as for solving the historical puzzle of who ordered its destruction, and why, who knows how many years or centuries we will have to wait. 
© Russkiy Mir Foundation. 26 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:13 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 September 2015 5:55 AM EDT
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Friday, 25 September 2015
Research on Tsarist Family Murder Case Continues - Senior Criminal Investigator
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

Vladimir Solovyov, senior criminal investigator of the Main Criminal Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee 
The following article was published today by the Interfax News Agency in Moscow. It supplements the nine articles published on September 24th and 23rd. The text has been further edited by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.

The active stage of the new genetic tests in the murder case of the tsarist family has begun, senior criminal investigator of the Main Criminal Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Solovyov told Interfax on Friday.

"Experts are doing very active work. Everything necessary is being done," he said.

The investigative committee resumed an investigation into the criminal case over the assassination of members of the tsarist family. The Russian Investigative Committee said that additional tests are being conducted to confirm the authenticity of the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria. Their remains are being stored at the Russian State Archives.

The samples of the skulls of Nicholas II and his spouse Alexandra, as well as the samples of the clothes of Russian Emperor Alexander II were taken for a new series of tests, Solovyov said.

"We have the genotype of the father, mother and children. All tests will be conducted in Russia," Solovyov said.

"His Holiness Patriarch Kirill asked that we do all this from scratch," said Solovyov, who has investigated the murder case of Nicholas II and his family.

To the question about the possible date of the funeral ceremony of the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria he replied: "The government will decide on this."

The new genetic expertise on the murder case of the tsarist family will be conducted as quickly as possible, but it is still unclear whether it will be completed before October 18, Solovyov told Interfax.

Members of the working group of the Russian government had previously named the date of October 18 for a funeral ceremony of the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria in St. Petersburg.

© Interfax / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:54 PM EDT
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Thursday, 24 September 2015
Exhumation of Romanov Remains Completed, DNA Samples Sent to Moscow
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

St. Catherine Chapel in the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg
The following is a compilation of three articles published today by the Interfax News Agency in Moscow. It supplements the six articles published yesterday. The text has been further edited by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.

On Wednesday evening, specialists of Russia's Investigative Committee had completed extraction of samples of the remains of members of the Russian royal family buried in the St. Catherine Chapel of the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Interfax has reported.

"The investigators have completed all necessary tasks, having taken everything they might need and left about 18:10. The Museum [of St. Petersburg History] was working as usual. Tomorrow, no acts will be carried out," the source said.

For the time that the exhumation was carried out, the St. Catherine Chapel - where the remains of Nicholas II and Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna are buried - was partly closed for visitors. Note: I can also confirm that the chapel was closed on Monday, September 14th, the day I visited the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral during my recent visit to St. Petersburg - PG 

According to an Interfax correspondent who reported from the scene, the museum complex is operating normally.

Later on Wednesday, samples taken from Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and from the bloodstained uniform of Alexander II, Nicholas's grandfather, had been delivered to Moscow to conduct new DNA examinations as part of the inquiry into the murder of the royal family by revolutionary Bolsheviks in 1918, Vladimir Solovyov, a senior investigator and criminologist of the Russian Investigative Committee's central criminology department, told Interfax.

"Indeed, the samples arrived yesterday. Examinations will begin today," he said.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday that the Investigative Committee had resumed the investigation of the death of members of the family of the last Russian tsar and their entourage. Markin said that additional studies will be conducted to confirm the authenticity of the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria that are currently stored at the State Archives.

The Russian Orthodox Church and the House of Romanov still dispute the authenticity of the remains of the royal family discovered near Ekaterinburg and buried in St. Peter and Paul's Fortress.

The Russian Investigative Committee does not doubt the authenticity of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and additional examinations will be conducted following a request from the Russian Orthodox Church, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin has said.

"The recent resumption of the criminal inquiry is not an attempt to revise the earlier received evidence and the established facts. Rather, it is an exclusive need to additionally examine the newly uncovered facts, which has been requested by the Russian Orthodox Church," he said.

Russian investigators "have never doubted that all of the found remains belonged to the royal family and their entourage," he said.

The Investigative Committee has asked world renowned genetic scientists to help with these examinations, and the most advanced technologies and equipment will be used, Markin said.

"Furthermore, all of these investigative measures and examinations will be conducted within the shortest possible time," he added.

© Interfax / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 September, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:52 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 September 2015 8:02 AM EDT
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