Topic: Grand Dukes
St. Petersburg officials have determined that the remains of victims of the Red Terror, found in an unmarked mass grave on the grounds of the Peter and Paul should be examined by forensic experts. The remains of the Grand Dukes Nicholas Mikhailovich, Dmitry Konstantinovich, Paul Alexandrovich, and George Mikhailovich are believed to be among the remains found on the Hare Island in December 2009.
After the Revolution, the four grand dukes were imprisoned at the Peter and Paul Fortress. They were subsequently all taken out and shot by the Bolsheviks in the early morning hours of January 28th, 1919. Their bodies were thrown into an unmarked mass grave.
To date a total of 106 human remains have been unearthed. Local government officials believe it is only right to make an effort to determine the identity of the remains through DNA and genetic examinations.
In April 2012 historians and forensic scientists were able to identify the remains of Alexander Rykov, a hero of the Russian-Japanese War 1904-1905.
The Committee on Culture, headed by the Deputy Governor Vasily Kichedzhi has decided to conduct an expert study of the remains with the cooperation the Central Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia. He has also recommended that blood samples from the descendants of the grand dukes should be requested and compared with the remains.
Officials of the Peter and Paul Fortress Museum have agreed to allocate funds in their 2013 budget to search for further remains of the Red Terror. The Committee for Youth Policy has already offered to provide volunteers to assist with the search, under the guidance of professional archaeologists.
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© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.