November 11, 2015
According to several articles released by Interfax-Religion the first stage of the forensic testing on the supposed relics of Sts. Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra has been concluded. Vladimir Solovyov, senior investigator with the main Criminalistics Department of the Investigative Committee, stated on Wednesday: "At this stage, we faced the task of identifying the skulls of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. The studies have confirmed that they indeed belong to them. This identification has been completed.”
"The samples exhibited heteroplasmy, a rare genetic mutation present in Nicholas II samples," Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
Additionally, DNA extracted from the alleged lower of jaw of the Empress Alexandra yielded rare mitochondrial DNA which matches that found in descendants of her grandmother, the British Queen Victoria, Markin stated.
Although investigators are already convinced that the samples are genuine, further tests will be conducted in an attempt to provide irrefutable evidence of the veracity of the remains, including comparisons with blood samples taken from the clothes worn by Emperor Alexander II on March 1, 1881, the day of his assassination, which have been kept in the State Hermitage Museum.
For its part, the Russian Orthodox Church will wait until all investigations have been concluded before making a decision about the veracity of the alleged relics. "I think we should wait for the results of these tests and then the Church will weigh all available information and will make its decision in good time," Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, who is also a member of the working group on issues relating to the study and reburial of the remains of the tsar's family, stated on Wednesday.
The House of Romanov, headed by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna who lives in Spain, hopes to become privy to the findings of the DNA investigations. Royal House lawyer German Lukyanov stated, "The Russian Imperial House has a right to become familiar with the results of the tests and all conclusions drawn by experts. We are hoping that it will happen after the investigation is completed and the criminal case is closed.”
A burial ceremony for St. Alexey the Tsarevich and St. Maria the Grand Duchess may be celebrated in February, according to Russian State Archive head Sergey Mironenko.