Russia Commemorates
the Holy Royal Martyrs - 2013

For the 12th consecutive years in a row, the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg marked the 95th anniversary of the murders of the Holy Royal Martyrs

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Video No. 1 - An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Orthodox Christians and monarchists took part in the 12th annual Tsar's Days Festival at Ekaterinburg
Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

In Russian churches, there were prayers in memory of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, and their children, shot 95 years ago in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. Earlier this week, on the night of 16/17 July, at the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, built on the site of the murders, an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 people took part in a procession. It ended at Ganina Yama, where the killers dumped the remains of the royal family after they were shot. Not only believers from Yekaterinburg participated in the affair, people came from all over Russia. Believers call the night of 16 to 17 July a time of both repentance and massacre… they call it “the Russian Golgotha”. In memory of a tragedy that changed the course of history, for twenty consecutive years, Orthodox have, in detail, retraced the final journey of the last Russian tsar.

The Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood attracts pilgrims not only from all over Russia, but from all over the world as well. After a service that lasted a couple of hours, believers marched to the pit at Ganina Yama where, in 1918, the remains of the imperial family were thrown into an abandoned mineshaft. With every passing year, the procession becomes larger. Some of the pilgrims had walked all the way from St Petersburg, taking the same route that the Romanovs took to their final destination. A female pilgrim told us, “Seriously, the power of the Spirit helps us, prayer helps us. It was about 3,000 kilometres from St Petersburg to here. On the feastday of the Holy Royal Martyrs, everybody is on the road. We do it in honour of the Holy Royal Martyrs, which show the way for everyone”. Amongst the marchers, one saw children, oldsters, and disabled people. Kristine’s only seven, but this was her second time in the procession to Ganina Yama, together with her father, who is a priest from Tsaritsyn. He said, “Our legs will get a workout today, we’ll all get there when we can”.

At sunrise on the 17th, the procession participants reached the memorial complex at Ganina Yama. It’s 20 kilometres from the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood to Ganina Yama, but the pilgrims make good time and most cover the distance in three hours. Many sit down around the church, taking a break after their hard journey. In Soviet times, this place was considered ominous. Despite the fact that the fate of the imperial family was a taboo subject, some believers came here to pray in secret. Many mysteries still shroud the events surrounding the death of the Romanovs. Their remains were found in a pit near Ganina Yama in 1991, but some were missing. The remains of Tsarevich Aleksei and Grand Duchess Maria were found in 2007. Soon afterwards, the investigation into the murder of the imperial family was closed, but scientists continue to follow leads.

Geophysicists doing research near the Koptyakovsky Road found several anomalies where there may be either bone fragments or other artefacts. Both historians and archaeologists believe that there are still quite a few secrets shrouding that fateful night. Vladimir Momot, a historian said, “I read through the historical archival documents. It turns out that two soldiers refused to participate in the shooting, and they were shot and buried in the same place”. If such is true, it means that soldiers of the Latvian Rifle Regiment refused to take part in the massacre. Shedding light on this chapter of history may help provide more clues to one of the greatest mysteries of 20th century Russian history.

Video No. 2 - Thousands took part in the procession from the Church on the Blood to Ganina Yama
Language: Russian. Duration: 46 seconds

The Ural city of Ekaterinburg was not alone in its commemoration of the Holy Royal Martyrs. Memorial services and liturgies were held at churches all across Russia. Processions took place in other cities, including St. Petersburg, Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo), Alapeyevsk, Kostroma, among other cities in Russia.

There is no question that more and more Russians are coming to terms with the atrocities committed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family remain one of the most horrific crimes in 20th century Russian history.

Video No. 3 - NTV Russia reports on the events surrounding the 95th anniversary of the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family
Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 51 seconds

Source & Copyright: Royal Russia
20 July, 2013

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Article, Photographs and Videos About Last Year's (2012) Tsar's Days Events

||| Russia Commemorates the Holy Royal Martyrs - 2012 includes 3 VIDEOs + 25 PHOTOS |||