Moscow, February 3, 2022
The commission of the Russian Orthodox Church tasked with studying the results of the extensive scientific examinations of the remains believed to be those of the holy Royal Martyrs reports that the remains are indeed those of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
The commission was created in 2015, and after reviewing the results from several years of expert examinations by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, it has published its report and conclusions on the site of the Russian Orthodox Church, offered for the consideration of the hierarchs, clergy, and laity, leading up to the Bishops’ Council in May.
While the Holy Synod consists of 12 hierarchs, the Bishops’ Council is a higher administrative authority, including every hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate. It was initially expected that the hierarchs would consider the issue at the Council in 2017, in time for the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Royal Family in 2018, but the decision was postponed.
In the view of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), there is no reason why the Council shouldn’t recognize the Ekaterinburg remains as genuine relics. The experts of the state’s Investigative Committee already concluded several years ago that they are the remains of the Royal Family.
A grave with nine bodies was found on Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Ekaterinburg in July 1991, including those of Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, and their daughters Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia. The remains of two more people, Tsarevich Alexei and his sister Maria, were discovered during archaeological excavation works 70 meters south of the first grave on July 26, 2007.
As the Church commission reports, the Investigative Committee has established that the remains from both discoveries are those of two parents and their five children. And through DNA comparisons with other known Romanov remains, it has established that they are Romanov remains.
The remains of the family’s servants Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp, and Ivan Kharitonov were also discovered in 1991. The examinations have demonstrated that these remains are those of people unrelated to the Romanovs.
The Bishops’ Council could decide in May to officially recognize these remains as the relics of the Royal Martyrs.