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Friday, 7 July 2017
Metropolitan Hilarion Denies Calling for Restoration of Monarchy
Topic: Russian Monarchy

This article was originally published by Interfax on 7 July 2017

The head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion has reminded what he said when asked during a television program whether Russia should return to monarchic government, and reassured that his remarks did not contain calls for its restoration.

"Can this reply be seen as a call for the restoration of monarchy or a call for a debate on the restoration of monarchy? In my view - no. Unless, of course, you wish to read between the lines," Metropolitan Hilarion told Interfax-Religion.

When asked on the "Church and the World" program aired on Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) channel on July 1, what he personally thought about Russia reverting to monarchy, Metropolitan Hilarion said: "My personal opinion is that the form of government, where a person is anointed as ruler by the clergy and receives not just a mandate from voters to exercise governing powers for a certain period of time, but a sanction from God, through the Church, to his rule (and the rule is for life, until the monarch passes power to his heir), has proved itself favorably in history. It has many advantages in comparison with any election-based forms of government where a person comes in for some specific term."

"On the other hand, absolute monarchies are practically non-existent nowadays. What you see mostly are constitutional monarchies where the monarch normally plays a decorative role. We all know such countries where a monarch cannot sign a single law, has no powers to interfere in the text of a legislative act. Do we need such a monarchy in Russia? I very much doubt that," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

"With regard to the Moscow Patriarchate: first of all, the church's position on forms of government is formulated in the 'Foundations of the social concept of the Russian Orthodox Church'," the clergyman said. "Effectively, it says that the Church is neutral on which form of government the people choose, that it is loyal towards any government unless the government starts calling for some actions that run counter to the Christian morals. Such is the position of the Church," Metropolitan Hilarion said

"Secondly, one can say that, within our Church, there are groups of people advocating the restoration of monarchy. And I think that if our society one day feels ripe to discuss this issue, the Church will take most active part in that discussion," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

Commenting on the remarks that he made on television, he asked "not to make a sensation out of something that is not a sensation." "My position on the issue of forms of government coincides with the one formulated in the 'Foundations of the social concept'. I have no other position," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

Meanwhile, at a meeting with believers at the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow on July 4, the head of the patriarchal council for culture, bishop Tikhon of Yegoryevsk dismissed the talk of a real restoration of monarchy in modern day Russia as pointless.

©  Interfax. 7 July, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:35 AM EDT
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Friday, 24 March 2017
New Poll Shows 28% of Russians Support Restoration of Monarchy
Topic: Russian Monarchy

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

Despite more than 70 years of Communist propaganda (1917-1991), a growing number of Russians support a restoration of monarchy in their country. In recent years, a growing number of Russian politicians and members of the Russian Orthodox Church have expressed their support for a restoration. Further, numerous predictions of Russian Orthodox prophets have foreseen a return to monarchy in Russia’s future.
According to a recent research poll conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, 28% of Russians support the restoration of monarchy in their country, an increase of 18% since a similar poll was conducted after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
The recent poll shows a majority of the supporters of a restoration reside in Moscow and St. Petersburg (37%). In addition, among respondents aged 18 to 34 years, 68% were not against the monarchy.

At the same time, however, some two-thirds of Russians oppose the revival of Russian monarchy, believing that its historical time has passed. 

The overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) believe the current republican form of government is more suitable. Smaller towns and villages approved of the current form slightly more, at 84-86%. In specifically choosing between monarchy and a republic, only 11% inclined towards monarchy.

Were the monarchy to be restored, respondents favoured looking to public figures and politicians to fill the role (13%), rather than to a Romanov descendant (6%). 70% say that the revival of the monarchy in Russia at this time would be impossible and incorrect.

According to the poll, among those who oppose a restoration of monarchy in Russia, most are supporters of the Communist party (74%) and elderly Russians (70%). Electorates of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia are more in favour of the monarchy (36%), and younger, 45-59 year-olds (31%).

The poll was conducted March 9-10, with 1,600 people in 138 locations in 46 regions and republics responding. The margin of error is 3.4%.

Discussion about the possibility of reviving the Russian monarchy has initiated once again after a March TV broadcast in which the head of Crimea Sergei Aksenov said, “We do not need democracy in this form, as it is presented in the Western media… We have our traditional Orthodox values… In my view, today, Russia needs monarchy.”

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 March, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:28 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 March 2017 8:55 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 8 March 2017
'Russia's soul is monarchic': Tsarist School Wants to Reverse 100 Years of History
Topic: Russian Monarchy

Headteacher Zurab Chavchavadze. Photograph: Shaun Walker/Guardian
by Shaun Walker © originally published in The Guardian on 6th March 2017. Royal Russia makes no claim to copyright of this article or images 

Patriotic financier known as the ‘Orthodox oligarch’ funds school that seeks to prepare students for the ‘inevitable’ return of monarchy

“We are raising a new elite here,” said Zurab Chavchavadze, the dapper 74-year-old headteacher of St Basil the Great School, sitting beneath a large portrait of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II. “The students will be morally sound, religious, intellectual and patriotic, and will have every chance of getting into power.”

A collection of grand buildings set around a new cathedral in an upmarket suburb of Moscow, the school harks back to Russia’s tsarist traditions to inculcate a sense of patriotism in its 400 students.

As the centenary approaches of Russia’s 1917 revolution, which deposed the Romanov dynasty after centuries of rule, Chavchavadze is part of a small but influential section of Russians who are looking to the tsarist past for inspiration – and even hope to restore a monarchy one day soon.

“Look at what the Russian people did with Lenin, Stalin, Putin. As soon as someone is in power for a few years, they become sacred. The Russian people strive for a monarchy; the Russian soul is monarchic,” said Chavchavadze.

At St Basil the Great school, portraits of the tsars look out at pupils from the corridors. A statue of Catherine the Great dominates a hallway, and the student ballroom features vast portraits of eight tsars. The lessons include scripture studies and Latin, and the school’s history textbooks were specially commissioned, to avoid the positive view of much of the Soviet period given by the standard Russian textbooks. 

The school is the pet project of Konstantin Malofeyev, a mysterious Russian financier known as the “Orthodox oligarch”. Malofeyev, well-connected in the Kremlin, is believed to have funded rebel forces in East Ukraine, and has set up a nationalist, Orthodox Christian television channel, Tsargrad. The school, he said in an interview with the Guardian, is meant to function as “an Orthodox Eton”, which will prepare the new elite for a future Russian monarchy.

“The mission of our school is to ensure that our graduates will be Orthodox patriots who will carry the thousand-year traditions of Russia, not just those of the last 20 or 100 years,” said Malofeyev, from his central Moscow office, adorned with Orthodox icons and a large portrait of Tsar Alexander III, a 19th century ruler known for his conservatism. “For me it’s very important to restore the traditions that were broken off in 1917.”

After the February revolution – named for the month it began in Russia’s then-Juilan calendar – the country embarked on a short liberal experiment, but the provisional government was deposed by Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik uprising in October of the same year. Nicholas II and his family were executed in 1918; many aristocrats fought for the White armies in the Russian civil war, or fled to western Europe or further afield.

During the Soviet period, discussion of the Whites was forbidden. Chavchavadze’s family returned to the Soviet Union in 1947 in a wave of patriotism after victory in the second world war, but his father was quickly arrested as a spy and sent to the Gulag for 25 years, while the family was exiled to Kazakhstan.

In the post-Soviet period there has been renewed interest in the history of the pro-tsarist forces. Nicholas II has been canonised by the Russian Orthodox church. While Vladimir Putin’s administration has expressed admiration for the achievements of the Soviet Union, its foundation in 1917 is regarded as a tragedy, for the bloodshed and turmoil it caused. 

Malofeyev, now 42, was born near Moscow to parents who lived in a special housing reservation for Soviet scientists. As a teenager during Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika, he devoured literature about the Whites, and swiftly became a monarchist.

“When I was 14, I read two books which had a huge impact on me,” he recalled. One was the memoirs of a former tsarist officer who went on to publish an émigré newspaper in Argentina, while the other was Lord of the Rings. “The image of Aragorn returning to Gondor was my second image of monarchy. It also affected my monarchism,” he said.

Taken with the idea of monarchy, Malofeyev wrote a letter to the Paris-based Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, born in 1917 and considered the head of the imperial family after Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks and other royals died in exile.

After reading Malofeyev’s letter, the duke asked Chavchavadze, who was then working as his assistant, to deliver his reply in person. The pair have stayed in touch ever since.

Malofeyev went on to study law at Moscow State University, writing his dissertation on the constitutional mechanism by which modern Russia could reintroduce monarchy, before going into banking and rapidly becoming one of Russia’s richest men. He tapped up Chavchavadze to head his school, which moved into its new premises in 2012. Its graduates, Malofeyev hopes, will provide the backbone of the “inevitable” future tsarist order in Russia.

Malofeyev said career politicians are venal and focused on electoral success, while monarchs can rule without the dirty business of politics intervening. He does not count Putin among the list of grubby democratic politicians, as the Russian president was handpicked by Boris Yeltsin.

“He never tried to get elected; he was found and put in place, and turned out to be sent by God. Who could have guessed in 1999 that Putin would come to us and Russia would start becoming Russia again? It was an act of God,” he said.

He claimed surveys show that the number of Russians who want a monarchy has risen from 15% to 25% over the past decade, and links this to Putin’s personal popularity.

Others who have gathered around Malofeyev’s tsarist agenda include Leonid Reshetnikov, formerly a general in the KGB and Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence and until recently head of an influential foreign policy think tank. Now he runs the Double-headed Eagle Society from a Moscow office adorned with portraits of Putin and Nicholas II.

Reshetnikov said he first became a monarchist when he was a KGB agent stationed in the Balkans during the 1980s, as he noticed there were no true believers in Communism. He is equally unimpressed with democracy.

“Our liberals want to be like Europeans, but God made us different,” said Reshetnikov. “Liberal democracy is like Marxism, it was brought to us from London, Paris and New York. We need to return to the point where we took the wrong turn, in 1917.”

Reshetnikov said it was likely to be decades before Russia could seriously think about restoring the monarchy, and would require a more mature and religious society before it could be contemplated.

Malofeyev, however, said it could happen sooner than expected, and said he believes it to be quite possible that Putin could be crowned tsar: “Nobody wanted Yeltsin to carry on forever, but everyone wants Putin to carry on forever.”

© Shaun Walker / The Guardian. 8 March, 2017


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:53 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2017 10:01 AM EST
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Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Russian Nationalists, Monarchists March Through Moscow
Topic: Russian Monarchy

Monarchists march through the strees of Moscow on Tuesday carrying images of Nicholas II and his son, Alexei
Nationalists carried flags and chanted slogans at Russian March parades on November 4, while President Vladimir Putin and his supporters played up patriotism in celebrations of the National Unity Day holiday.

The Russian March has been held annually since 2005, when National Unity Day, which commemorates Russia's defeat of Polish invaders in 1612, was introduced during Putin's second term. 

The holiday replaced the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. In recent years the authorities have turned a cold shoulder to the Russian March.

The Russian March attracts the best and the worst of nationalism, which include a medley of far-right, monarchist, imperialist, and radical Orthodox Christian groups, some carrying tsarist-era flags, icons and portraits of Emperor Nicholas II, and his son, Tsesarevich Alexei.

Smaller parades were held in other Russian cities, such as St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg, and in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

Meanwhile, mainstream Russian political leaders mixed strident invective against Kyiv and the West with words of support for the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine at a rally in central Moscow that followed a parade police said drew some 75,000 people.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriach Kirill, urged unity among citizens of Russia and suggested the sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis were aimed to plunge the country into a new "Time of Troubles" like the one considered to have ended in 1612.

Putin placed flowers at the Red Square monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, who led the forces that expelled the Poles from Moscow in 1612, according to the Kremlin press service. 

Putin was also to hand out medals to foreigners seen by the Kremlin as contributing to peace, friendship, and mutual understanding at a time when he faces vehement criticism from the West.
Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 05 November, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 November 2014 7:14 AM EST
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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Putin Riles Monarchists, Orthodox Christians
Topic: Russian Monarchy

On March 4th, while responding to reporters' questions about the events in Ukraine and the Russian people’s reaction to them, Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to Tsar-Martyr Nicholas as “Bloody Nicholas”. His inappropriate choice of words have riled Russian monarchists and Orthodox Christians, who are deeply offended by the use of an old expression popular with the Bolsheviks and enemies of the monarchy. According to reports on monarchist web sites and blogs in Russia, this was not the first time that the Russian President has referred to the last tsar in such a derogatory manner. In the summer of 2011 at a meeting with members of the Olympic construction team in Sochi, Putin, unfortunately, used the same "epithet." 

Critics of the last tsar nicknamed him “Bloody Nicholas” because of the Khodynka Tragedy, Bloody Sunday, and the anti-Semitic pogroms that occurred during his reign. Under his rule, Russia was defeated in the Russo-Japanese War. As head of state, he approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, which marked the first fatal step into World War I and thus into the demise of the Romanov dynasty less than four years later.

Dmitri Sysuev, Head of the Russian Imperial Union-Order, issued the following statement regarding Putin’s use of the vulgar epithet: “It seems that after the large-scale, true folk celebrations, held last year in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty that such expressions are inappropriate and offensive to the feelings of millions of Orthodox people. Moreover, such ‘rhetoric’ in the current situation in Ukraine today is unlikely to contribute to the pacification of the country and the fraternal unity of those who are willing to resist the anti-Russian nationalist extremists, regardless of political persuasion, and the difference in assessment of various historical periods of our country.”

“On behalf of the oldest Russian monarchist organization urge those responsible for the fate of our country continue to avoid in formal political speeches similar expressions,” said Sysuev

The Russian Imperial Union-Order (RIUO) is a traditional Russian monarchist organization that was chartered in 1929 by white emigres living abroad. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the organization also gained chapters in the motherland. The organization supports the claim of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, as the sole legitimate heir of the crown of Russia. The RIUO is member of the International Monarchist Conference. The RIUO marks its 85th anniversary in 2014. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 March, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:47 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2014 4:56 PM EST
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Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Russians Ponder Restoration of Monarchy
Topic: Russian Monarchy

The popularity of a recent exhibit on the House of Romanov has led some observers to believe there is a growing sympathy towards the monarchy in Russia and perhaps the desire to return to it. A recent poll by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion has shown that 28 percent of Russian citizens would support a restoration of the monarchy.

Journalists asked some of the thousands who stood in line to see the exhibit why they were so interested and if they could imagine the return of the monarchy in today’s Russia.

David Gzgzyan, head of the department of theological disciplines and liturgy of St. Philaret Orthodox Christian Institute

People want to have iconic figures to look up to, and today in Russia the choice is very limited. The two most prominent figures in popular consciousness are Stalin and Nicholas II. This exhibition plays up the glory of the monarchy and makes the institution appear attractive; it does not dwell on the monarchy as an institution of power.
Russian people are used to looking backward. The future scares people with its uncertainty. Our compatriots are especially frightened of the future, because everything is unstable. There are no social institutions that work. Everything exists due to inertia, and the inertia forces a person to seek support in the past. Therefore, there is a demand for attractive symbols of this past.

Sergey Moshchenko, 59, retired astronaut, Moscow

I stood in line for three hours. After I retired, I had a lot of free time and became interested in history. Much has been said on television and on the Internet about the dynasty; it seemed that there was no one as outstanding as Peter the Great. But after I began to study it, it turned out that there were other outstanding tsars worth talking about. The entire history of the House of Romanov was thorny and intricate. Peter chopped off heads, and sometimes this was necessary, and he performed the dirty work. He was able to understand the people. They would steal, yes, but also work. As a result, the country prospered.
A return to the monarchy? Yes, why not?

Vera Ilincheva, senior citizen, Moscow Region

I came together with my friend; we go to the same church. We came to learn about the history of the Romanovs. Moreover, we want to see the icon – Our Lady of St. Theodore – which was the patron icon of the Romanov family and the patron saint of Nicholas II. We wish to have a faith as strong as his.
It is difficult to say whether we need a monarchy. People have lost faith, and they cannot believe that the monarchy will bring a bright future to our children.

Alexey Bulygin, 28, engineer, St. Petersburg

Yesterday I came to Moscow on a business trip and learned from friends about this exhibition. I decided to visit since I have some free time. I heard that the exhibition is presented in a new, interactive format, and I am curious as to what it looks like. Generally speaking, I do not visit exhibitions.
I think that maybe someday we shall return to the monarchy. People have been given such freedom that perhaps they will ask someone to stand over them and make them do things.

Olga Trinkunas, 41, entrepreneur, Moscow

I was advised by a colleague to visit this exhibition, which had had a great impact on her. I wanted to see the icon. It is too bad that there is such a long line. When I came on Saturday, the line was so long that I did not wait. I thought that during the week the line would be smaller, but unfortunately the situation is the same. I wonder what they are showing about the Romanovs that so many people are waiting in line. I think the Romanovs have done a lot for the country.

The sad fate of the last emperor cannot make people indifferent. The monarchy has perspectives. The country needs a strong hand.

Dasha Popova, 15, student, Moscow

I have been waiting for three hours. My teacher advised us to visit this exhibition. I came here for the sake of learning something new. What this exhibition is about, to be honest, I do not know. I think we spoke about the Romanovs during history lessons. Many people have come, because the entrance is free. In Moscow these days, almost nothing is free. I do not support the monarchy.
© Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 November, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:52 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 27 November 2013 1:15 PM EST
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Saturday, 18 May 2013
A Russian View of Monarchy
Topic: Russian Monarchy

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:42 AM EDT
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Russians Don't Like Idea of Bringing Monarchy Back - Poll
Topic: Russian Monarchy

A poll conducted by the Levada Center shows that the majority of Russians are confident that Russia does not need a monarchy and Russia's last emperor Nicholas II was not the best leader. The 145th anniversary of the birth of Russia's last Emperor Nicholas II will be marked on May 18th.

 The study shows that 10% of the respondents (against 9% in 2000) favor the restoration of monarchy in Russia. These people are mainly workers (14%), public servants (13%), respondents aged between 25 and 55 (13%), people with vocational degrees (13%), and supporters of Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (13%).

 An overwhelming majority of the respondents (76%, against 91% in 2000) oppose the restoration of monarchy in Russia. These people are mainly students (85%), people with disabilities (83%), businessman (82%) Russians older than 55 (81%), people with university degrees (80%), supporters of Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov (89%) or businessman Mikhail Prokhorov (86%).

 Twenty-five percent of the respondents believe Nicholas II "was not a very good leader and made many mistakes, which he, however, redeemed with his death as a martyr." Twenty-three percent of the respondents call him "an innocent victim of the bolshevik terror," 18% believe that Nicholas "abdicated, gave up the country at a difficult moment, and is responsible for what happened to the country after 1917." Another 12% said Nicholas II "reduced the people of Russia to poverty caused a catastrophe in the country, and was overthrown by the people."

Note: the results of this poll do not reflect the opinions of Royal Russia and its administration - PG

© Voice of Russia, Interfax. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 11:56 AM EDT
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Saturday, 13 April 2013
ROC Urges Dialogue on Restoration of Monarchy in Russia
Topic: Russian Monarchy


The Head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin

In an interview with RIA Novosti (April 4th, 2013), the Head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said, when asked the question: "In the Orthodox community we often hear the opinion that the best policitical system for  Russia is the monarchy. Would you agree with this view, that is it possible, in principle, for a revival of the monarchy in Russia? "

"I would not rule out anything. In the "Basics of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church" refers to the possibility of a spiritual revival of society that would allow the transition to a more religiously rooted form of government, one that would include the monarchy. A more religiously rooted form of government is far better form of government than that of a republic. But I would caution against any artificially imposed monarchy, without the willingness of the Russian people, especially the spiritual readiness. This revival would be wrong - and that in itself would devalue and weaken the monarchical idea.

"Moreover, I know that there are some political and technological scenarios, developed by external forces to Russia, which suggest a monarchy under the strict control of foreign - as an option for Russia's subordination to such controls. I am afraid that this "revival" is not accepted by our people and unlikely to favor Russia.

"In general, the debate on this subject should be avoided. However, let the Russian people discuss, argue for and against, and most importantly, let them weight the pros and cons that have taken place during the monarchical history of Russia."

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 April, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:24 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 13 April 2013 1:10 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Over a Quarter of Russians Would Welcome New Monarchy
Topic: Russian Monarchy


28 percent of Russians say they would not mind a revival of the monarchy in the country, a poll has revealed, noting however that people don’t know anyone who could fill such a position.

Meanwhile, four percent of the population both want the Tsar back and do know who could come to the throne, a survey by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) discovered. 

Almost a century after the February 1917 revolution put an end to the rule of Romanov dynasty and the Russian Empire, one in ten Russians still believes that being a monarchy would be better for Russia. Notably, in Moscow and St Petersburg such a view is shared by 19 percent of residents.

However, the vast majority of respondents (82 percent) are happy with the current – republican - form of the government, where the head of the country is chosen through elections. Only 7 percent of people could not decide which of the two they would actually prefer.

Two thirds of Russians are confident that autocracy is a closed chapter for Russia. This opinion is particularly common for supporters of the Communist party and the elderly, pollsters found.

When asked who could hypothetically become a new Russian tsar, 70 percent of people stated that the revival of monarchic rule would simply be “impossible and wrong.”

At the same, time 13 percent of those questioned suggested that a possible ruler could be a politician or a public activist elected either directly by people through a referendum or – alternatively – by parliament.

Only six percent of respondents would want to see the descendants of the Romanov Family on the Russian throne.

2013 marks 400 years after the Romanov dynasty ascended to the Russian throne in 1613, reigning for over three centuries, until the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917. In July 1918, Nicholas and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

Editor's Note: This is just one of many polls conducted in Russia over the past decade asking the same question: "Should the monarchy be restored?" The results have been varied, one poll stating 35% support of a restoration. Even this statistic is remarkable given Russia's turbulent history over the last century. Who would have predicted the fall of the Soviet Union and Communism in 1991, or finding the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, followed by their burial at St. Petersburg in 1998 and their canonisation by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000. The poll fails to acknowledge the fact that many Orthodox Christians support the monarchy, and that the Russian Orthodox Church recognizes HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna as Head of the Russian Imperial House. So, will the monarchy return? Let's wait and see. Winston Churchill once said: "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." -- Paul Gilbert

© Russia Today. 20 March, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:13 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 March 2013 9:05 AM EDT
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