Investigators to Step up Search for
Remains of Alapayevsk Martyrs

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Investigators consider it necessary to intensify the search for the remains of the representatives of the House of Romanov executed at Alapayevsk in 1918, senior criminal investigator Vladimir Solovyov of the Main Forensics Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee told a press conference at the Interfax head office.

"I think it is necessary to step up the search and bury the martyrs with dignity, especially because there are grounds for the search. It is well known that the martyrs were buried in China," Solovyov said.

Head of the Chancellery at the House of Romanov Alexander Zakatov said that the martyrs were buried at an Orthodox church in China.

"During the cultural revolution in China the church was demolished. Now we know roughly the place of the burial," Zakatov said.

The expression 'Alapayevsk martyrs' (or the martyrs of the Alapayevsk mine) is used to call the members of the House of Romanov and the people close to them, who were executed by the Soviets on July 18, 1918, the day after the execution of the royal family, within 18 kilometers from the town of Alapayevsk near the Nizhnyaya Selimskaya mining site. Their bodies were dumped into one of the mines. On June 8, 2009, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office rehabilitated posthumously the Alapayevsk victims killed near Alapayevsk.

The six members of the Romanov family murdered at Alapayevsk included Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, Prince Ioann Constantinovich, Prince Constantine Constantinovich, Prince Igor Constantinovich, and Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley. Only two of those executed near Alapayevsk - Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna and nun Varvara - were canonized as saints by the Russian Orthodox Church.

On 8 October 1918, White Army soldiers discovered the remains of Elizabeth and her companions, still within the shaft where they had been murdered. Elizabeth had died of wounds sustained in her fall into the mine, but before her death had still found strength to bandage the head of the dying Prince Ioann. Her remains were removed and ultimately taken to Jerusalem, where they lie today in the Church of Maria Magdalene.

Source & Copyright: Interfax and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
27 October, 2011