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Friday, 9 August 2013
ROC Still Doubts Authenticity of Russian Royal Family Remains
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin
The head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has said that the Russian Orthodox Church still has doubts regarding secular experts' conclusions that the human remains found near the city of Yekaterinburg belonged to the Russian Imperial Family members. 
"In my opinion, a very wide range of competent experts, not necessarily just Orthodox experts, should be allowed to study the discovered remains," Father Vsevolod said.
It is important both to compare the DNA of some individual fragment with the DNA of the remains of other Imperial Family members, assess the wholeness of the skeletons, establish whether or not all of the found human remains have the same DNA and confirm the presence of former injuries, for example the injury that was sustained by Tsar Nicholas II during his trip to Japan when he was the heir to the Russian throne, the archpriest said.
There is also a need to compare different theories describing how the bodies were disposed of and buried, he said.
Eleven people, including members of the Russian Imperial Family and people from their entourage, were shot at the Urals regional council presidium's order in the early hours of July 17, 1918.

A grave with nine bodies was found on Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Yekaterinburg in July 1991. The remains were identified as those of Emperor Nicholas II, his 46-year-old wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, their daughters Olga, 22, Tatyana, 21, and Anastasia, 17, and their servants Yevgeny Botkin, 53, Anna Demidova, 40, Alexei Trupp, 62, and Ivan Kharitonov, 48.
The remains of two more people were discovered during archaeological excavation works 70 kilometers 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 Crown Prince Alexey and his sister Maria.

The Investigative Committee said 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.

The Russian Orthodox Church has still not recognized the remains interred in Peter and Paul Cathedral as those of Nicholas II and his family members and entourage, claiming that it was not convinced by the proof of their authenticity that was presented.

The House of Romanov head, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, will recognize the remains buried at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg as those of the royal family, if the Russian Orthodox Church says they are authentic, the House of Romanov spokesman Alexander Zakatov told Interfax. 
© Interfax. 09 August, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:03 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 13 August 2013 9:38 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 30 July 2013
The Royal Family - A Sculpture by Vladimir Lepeshov
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

In 2008, Russian sculptor Vladimir Lepeshov created The Royal Family, a sculpture dedicated to the last tsar and his family at his studio in Rostokino, situated just northeast of Moscow.
The sculpture depicts Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, their four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and their only son and heir to the throne, Alexei.
Leposhov creates what he calls Christian art, and that he created the sculpture with the hope his sculptor of the Holy Royal Martyrs would inspire others. "I had been working on the sculpture for several years, sketching portraits and then took a break for three years," he said. "Then I returned to the sculptor using hundreds of still photographs which helped me immensely."
The sculpture is displayed at exhibitions across Russia, including the Autumn Salon in 2012, an annual exhibition project hosted by the Union of Artists at Sergiev Posad since 2000. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 July, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:04 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 4 August 2013 9:44 AM EDT
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Saturday, 20 July 2013
Russia Commemorates the Holy Royal Martyrs - 2013
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

Earlier this week an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Orthodox Christians and monarchists took part in a 20-km procession from the Church on the Spilled Blood in Ekaterinburg to Ganina Yama.
This is the 20th year in a row that this pilgrimmage has taken place, it has become a part of the 12th annual Tsar's Days Festival that ran from July 12th to 24th this year.
The event has gained popularity over the years and has spread to many other cities and towns across Russia.
Please take a moment to review a short article, accompanied by colour photographs and 3 videos of the events surrounding this holy event. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 July, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:34 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 July 2013 4:57 PM EDT
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Thursday, 18 July 2013
Russian Investigative Committee Doesn't Doubt Authenticity of Romanov Remains
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

 The remains of the Russian Imperial family* were buried in Saint Catherine's Chapel, a side-chapel of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on July 17th, 1998. *The remains of the Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria have yet to be buried. 

The Russian Investigative Committee does not doubt the authenticity of the royal family remains found near Yekaterinburg and it is ready to answer every question of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"No new data, which might have called our research into question, has been uncovered," senior investigator of the Russian Investigative Committee's Main Forensic Department Vladimir Solovyov, who investigated the murder of the royal family, told Interfax on Wednesday.

The family of the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, was executed in the Urals 95 years ago, in the early morning hours of July 17, 1918.

"Numerous conferences have been held since 2008 when our report was published but no one has ever questioned the scientific integrity of our inquiry," Solovyov said.

"It is our opinion, based on scientific methods, that the remains actually belong to members of the royal family," the Investigative Committee representative said.

He added that the royal family murder case would not be completely closed until the burial of the remains of Tsesarvich Alexei and his sister Maria.

"The Church claims it has certain qualms about our studies. It would be best to have a civilized discussion about any problems with the clerics. We are ready to listen to their objections and to answer their questions. There has been no joint work between church scholars and the scientists who examined the remains," Solovyov said.

"I would like to meet with representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and have a civilized discussion on every issue. It is an outrage that human remains are still stored in the archives instead of being buried," Solovyov said about the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria.

Meanwhile, the House of Romanov, led by Grand Duchess of Russia Maria Vladimirovna, said it was not prepared to recognize the authenticity of the remains found in Yekaterinburg.

"The head of the Russian royal family, Grand Duchess Marina Vladimirovna, fully shares the position of the Russian Orthodox Church. Neither the investigators nor the Prosecutor General's Office have given complete, coherent answers to the ten questions of the Russian Orthodox Church," the House of Romanov lawyer, German Lukyanov, told Interfax on Wednesday.

"It would be premature to put the matter to rest, especially given that weighty evidence has been found abroad and may shed light on the actual state of affairs," Lukyanov said.

The notes of investigator Nikolai Sokolov, who was looking into the murder of the last Russian emperor and his family in 1919 on the orders of Admiral Kolchak, were found during the reconstruction of the Job the Long-Suffering Church in Brussels, he said.

The House of Romanov expects an analysis of the papers found in Brussels to put an end to the dispute over the authenticity of the royal family remains.

The Russian Investigative Committee finished the inquiry into the criminal case of the death of the family of Nicholas II in January 2011. The remains were proclaimed genuine.

The Russian Orthodox Church and the House of Romanov continue to deny the authenticity of the remains.

© Interfax. 18 July, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:21 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 18 July 2013 8:45 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 17 July 2013
In Memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs - 17 July, 1918
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
The Tsar, along with his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, their four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and their only son and heir to the Russian throne, Alexei were murdered in the basement of the Ipatiev House in the early morning hours of July 17th, 1918. There were no survivors.
Their murders were followed by the Red Terror unleashed by Vladimir Lenin and later by his successor, Joseph Stalin. For more than 70 years Russia would suffer under the hands of an evil regime, one that resulted in the murder of millions of innocent people.
In the last 20 years Communism has fallen, the Russian Orthodox Church reborn, the last tsar and his family canonized.
Indeed, the Bolsheviks had been brought down. 


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 July, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:40 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 July 2013 8:49 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Memorial Chapel in Memory of the Crowned Martyrs at Harbin, China
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


The Memorial Chapel in Memory of the Crowned Martyrs was erected in 1936 at Harbin, China. It was designed by the architect M. Oskolkova on the initiative of Archbishop Nestor (1885-1962) in honour of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and King Alexander I of Yugoslavia.

Tsar Nicholas II was murdered at Ekaterinburg on July 17th, 1918, and King Alexander I was murdered on October 9th, 1934 at Marseilles, France.

Alexander is remembered for offering a safe refuge for tens of thousands of White Russians who fled their homeland after the Bolshevik Revolution. The town of Sremski Karlovci became the seat of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and served as the spiritual center for Russian emigrants for many years.

Each year up until 1945, Archbishop Nestor would hold a secret liturgy in the chapel in memory of the members of the Imperial family who were murdered at Ekaterinburg, Alapayevsk and Perm.

With the establishment of the Communist Regime in China, many Russians left the country. The chapel was desecrated by local Communists and fell into disrepair. During the 1950s "cultural revolution" it was destroyed and replaced with an apartment block.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 January, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:50 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2013 11:33 AM EST
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Thursday, 22 November 2012
Remains of Alexei and Maria to be Buried in 2013
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


The remains of the Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholayevich and the Geand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna may be buried in the summer of 2013, ITAR-TASS reports.

The announcement was made on November 16th by Sergei Mironenko, Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF) in Moscow, where the remains are currently in temporary storage.

According to Mironenko the remains were transferred to GARF at the suggestion of the committee responsible for conducting tests on the authenticity of the remains. He went on to confirm that he believes the remains are authentic based on genetic examination carried out by scientists.

Mironenko pointed out that the decision to bury the royal remains has been resisted by "certain circles.""It is very important that a decision on the authenticity of the remains by the Moscow Patriarchate be made," he said, then noting that the position of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was "more progressive." 

"When we opened the exhibition on the century long investigation into the murders of the Imperial family in the summer of 2012 at GARF in Moscow, comparing the investigations of Sokolov and Solovyov, Metropolitan Hillarion participated, and I must say that it was quite a challenge to prove to the Metropolitan that we were right after all."

In the meantime, the Moscow Patriarchate has never made an official final judgement on the issue regarding the authenticity of the remains. In early November, the Russian Orthodox Church stated that the identity of the remains found near Ekaterinburg in 1991 and 2007 remains an open question pending further historical and genetic research.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 November, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:02 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2012 6:51 PM EST
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Friday, 24 August 2012
Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR Issues Statement on Royal Remains
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


During its regular session on June 14, 2012, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia deliberated on the matter of the discovery of the remains and other possessions relating to the martyrdom of the Royal Family which had been hidden in the walls of the stavropighial Memorial Church in Brussels.  

During renovations on St Job the Much-Suffering Church, which is also dedicated to the memory of Holy Royal Martyr Nicholas II, the Royal Family and all those martyred during that time of troubles, a sealed lead cylinder was discovered along with a glass tube with a handwritten document containing an inventory of the contents of the cylinder.  

The fact that the Memorial Church was in possession of these remains and other objects connected with the brutal murder of the Royal Family in Ekaterinburg had been known to the Synod of Bishops. It was also known that they were handed over by the investigator of the murder of the Royal Family, Nikolai A. Sokolov, before his death (November 23, 1924), to Prince Alexei Alexandrovich Shirinsky-Shikhmatov, and in 1940 were given to Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov), who at the time headed the Western European Diocese, and that further, on October 1, 1950, when the Memorial Church was consecrated by Metropolitan Anastassy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, they were inserted into a sealed lead cylinder and built into the walls of the church. 

The Synod of Bishops did not deem it proper to organize a search for the sealed capsule following the death of all the living witnesses, though naturally, over the recent two decades, many people exhibited an active interest in its existence.  

Now, after its discovery, in light of the fact that the important question of the remains of the Royal Family is coming to a final conclusion based on new evidence and serious scientific research, and since controversy yet remains, the Synod of Bishops expresses its willingness to cooperate in the further study of this matter on the basis of the discovery together with the Church in Russia. An absolute condition of such research will be a pious attitude towards everything relating to the martyric end of the Royal Family and its faithful servants. 

The Synod of Bishops believes and hopes that this will help achieve the final answer to this matter, which is so important to the Russian Orthodox Church.

© ROCOR. 24 August, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:02 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 August 2012 8:09 AM EDT
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Monday, 20 August 2012
New Romanov Evidence Can be Studied Without Reopening Investigation
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


The Russian Investigations Committee currently does not see any reason to resume the investigation into the murders of Nicholas II and his family based on the materials collected by White Guard investigator Nikolay Sokolov which were recently discovered in a Brussels church.

"There will probably be no initiatives from us to resume the criminal case. If the church files a request, we will decide what to do," Vladimir Solovyov, senior investigator with the Main Criminalistics Department of the Investigations Committee who investigated the case involving the killing of the tsar's family, told Interfax on Monday.

"We don't know for sure yet what has been found in Brussels," Solovyov said.

"We have no position that a criminal case will not be opened. Everything depends on what has been found. However, it's no longer 1992, when we did not have any evidence. Since then a lot of tests have been performed, so any new evidence which will prove that the remains are those of the tsar's family are unlikely to provide us with anything new," Solovyov said.

"We have no doubt that the remains are those of the tsar's family. As to the materials found in Brussels, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia have not asked the Investigations Committee to perform additional studies. Such studies can be performed without opening a criminal case," Solovyov said.

According to earlier reports, materials by investigator Sokolov, who investigated the killing of Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II and his family on the orders of Admiral Kolchak in 1919, were found during the reconstruction of the Church of Job the Long-Suffering in Brussels.

Representatives of the Romanov family said a study of the Brussels materials is likely to yield evidence on the issue of the authenticity of the tsar's family remains.

In January 2011, the Investigations Committee completed the investigation into the criminal case involving the killing of Nicholas II's family, recognizing the remains found near Yekaterinburg as those of the tsar's family.

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Romanov family have not recognized the remains as those of the tsar's family.

In late July 2012, it became known that the Moscow patriarchate may reconsider its stance on the "Yekaterinburg remains." Patriarch Krill told the Holy Synod in Kyiv that important information on the circumstances of the death of the tsar's family had been received from New York, where the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is located.

The Romanov family said it will accept the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of the remains of Russia's last emperor.

© Interfax and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 August, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:48 AM EDT
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Friday, 17 August 2012
ROCOR Refuses Research on Royal Remains
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has categorically refused to hand over the recently-found fragments of the remains of the tsar family for laboratory research.

The remains were found not long ago during restoration at the St. Job's Russian Church in Brussels.

"The remains must on no account be subject to any manipulation. They are only for reverential prayers by the faithful," ROCOR, the Western European diocese of Russian Orthodox Church, said in a statement that reached Interfax-Religion.

During a session of the Holy Synod in Kiev in late July, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that important news had come from New York, ROCOR's spiritual center, which had to do with the circumstances surrounding the death of the tsar and his family.

"These circumstances will, I believe, help us define our position on the issue of the so-called 'Yekaterinburg remains'", the Patriarch said.

Later, Alexander Zakatov, Director of the Chancellery of the House of Romanov, announced that lead cylinders containing earth from the Ganina Yama pit, where the bodies of the tsar and his family had been burnt, mixed with lipids excreted during the burning. There was an explanatory note in one of the cylinders.

"This is genetic material for new research," Zakatov said.

ROCOR said that the above remains, a small part of those discovered immediately after the beastly execution in Yekaterinburg, had been handed over by investigator Nikolay Sokolov to Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov in 1920. Two decades later, they were solemnly handed over to ROCOR head Metropolitan Serafim and in 1950 were transferred to St. Job's Church.

"We declare with all our responsibility that the document found during the restoration work is not new to us. There is a photo copy of it in the church's archives. Our church hierarchs have long been familiar with it Its contents have repeatedly been published," ROCOR said.

The cylinders, intact, were re-immured in the church along with the note which was enclosed into a new glass tube.

© Interfax. 17 August, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:20 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 19 August 2012 7:07 AM EDT
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