Alleged Remains of Royal Martyr St. Nicholas II Exhumed

Moscow, September 23, 2015


Samples of the alleged remains of Nicholas II and his spouse Alexandra, as well as samples of the clothes of Emperor Alexander II were taken by specialists of Russia’s Investigative Committee on Wednesday in St. Petersburg as part of new genetic tests in the assassination case of the last Russian imperial family, senior criminal investigator of the Main Criminal Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Solovyov, who has investigated the assassination case of the tsarist family, told Interfax on Wednesday.

During the time of the exhumation the St. Catherine Side Altar—where the supposed remains of Nicholas II and Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna are buried—was partly closed for visitors.

There are as of yet no plans to take DNA samples from other representatives of the Romanov House for research Solovyov said.

"The best specialists in the world are working," he said, and the whole scope of research will be done in Russia.

The studies, beginning on Thursday, are expected to last between a month and a month and a half. Solovyov declined to say where the studies would be conducted, as his silence was requested by the genetic experts.

The relevant criminal case was launched in 1993 following the discovery of a group burial with nine bodies on the outskirts of 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, Aloizy 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 stated 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 also supports the decision to resume the investigation of the death of Nicholas II, his family and entourage.

"The resumption of the preliminary investigation of the criminal case of the death of members of the royal family is a landmark event of our time," lawyer of the House of Romanov German Lukyanov told Interfax on Wednesday.

"[It] indicates that not all questions raised by the Russian Orthodox Church have been answered and that not all circumstances of the case were established," he said.

"Head of the House of Romanov Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna supports the resumption of the investigation and insists that all questions asked by the Church would be given full and clear answers in the course of the preliminary investigation and that the studies be of a scientific nature," Lukyanov said.

In July 2015 in compliance with instructions from a representative of the Russian government a mixed working group was set up to deal with issues related to the examination and burial of the remains of Tsarevich Alexey and Grand Duchess Maria stored at the State Archives.


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