Marble (Mountain) Hall opens in the Alexander Palace

PHOTO: the restored interior of the Marble [aka Mountain] Hall in the Alexander Palace. © Tsarskoye Selo State Museum

Sixteen months after it’s official reopening in August 2021, the restoration of the interiors of the Alexander Palace continues. On 2nd February 2023, the Marble Hall – which is part of the ceremonial enfilade – officially opened it’s doors to visitors for the first time in 80 years.

Visitors can now see the Marble Hall as it looked in the 1930s when the Alexander Palace was a museum before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War in 1941. The opening of the Marble Hall is the fourteenth interior restored or reconstructed in the Alexander Palace since the large-scale restoration began in 2012.

The restoration work on the Marble [nicknamed the Mountain Hall by Emperor Nicholas I, 1796-1855] included the restoration and cleaning of the artificial marble walls and fireplaces. The highlight of the interior, however, is the recreation of the wooden slide, thanks to financial support of the Transsoyuz Charitable Foundation.

The Marble (Mountain) Hall which connects the Large Library with the Portraits Hall, is now included in the Alexander Palace tour.

PHOTO: the recreated slide in the Marble [aka Mountain] Hall
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum

The restoration of the Marble Hall interior was developed by specialists of the Studio 44 Architectural Bureau in St. Petersburg, while the actual restoration of the interior and the reconstruction of the slide was carried out by the specialists of PSB ZhilStroy.

The interior, like other halls of the ceremonial enfilade, have retained some elements of their original decoration. During the process of work, the artificial marble walls of light gray and lilac shades, the parquet flooring and a fireplace were cleaned and restored. In addition, historical photographs helped experts recreate a picturesque frieze imitating artificial marble, as well as oak door and window fillings.

During the work on a lunette – situated above the mountain slide – an authentic oil painting on canvas imitating a window was discovered and restored. During the restoration of the ceiling, the metal rosette in its center, was dismantled, restored and reinstalled.

PHOTO: view of the restored interior of the Marble [aka Mountain] Hall
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum

The project for the recreation of a chandelier was developed by specialists of the Tsarskoye Selo Amber Workshop according to the historical model; the painstaking work on creating a copy of the 40 candle chandelier was carried out by Studio Yuzhakova.

The restored interior has been further complemented with furniture from the museum’s collection; bronze items and porcelain vases, and a fireplace screen, the original from this interior; a bronze clock and candelabra with figures of Orpheus and Eurydice.

PHOTO: the Marble (Mountain) Hall as it looked before the Second World War

The mountain slide was ordered in 1833 by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna [wife of Emperor Nicholas I] for the New Palace [Alexander Palace] at Tsarskoye Selo.

Following the completion of the parquet and other finishing works of the Marble Hall’s interior in 1843, the question of replacing the “mountain slide”, which had fallen into disrepair was discussed. In the report dated 18th March 1843, the architect I.Ye. Efimov notes that the existing foundation of the old hill, “was all split, the surface chipped in several places, out of which nails were dangerously exposed and thus beyond repair.”

Efimov announced that the cost to replace the wooden slide would be 500 rubles [a significant fee in the mid-19th century].

The Mountain Hall and its slide were enjoyed by the future Emperors Nicholas I, Alexander II and Alexander III, all of whom played on the hill as children. The Emperors, even after they became adults, periodically slid down the mountain along with other members of their family. For example, the educator of the future Alexander III S.A. Yuryevich wrote to his parents in 1847, after moving at the end of August from Peterhof to Tsarskoye Selo, anticipating “noisy games in the Mountain Hall”.

A member of the aristocracy noted in her memoirs how Emperor Alexander II invited her to the Alexander Palace as a child and invited her to play on the wooden mountain. She noted that Alexander II who was then 50 years old at the time “himself, slid down with his grandson in his arms.” It is worth noting that this particular grandson was the future Emperor Nicholas II.

The four daughters of Nicholas II and their brother Tsesarevich Alexei were the last of the Imperial Children who played in the Mountain Hall. As in previous years, adults also entertained themselves on the slide with equal pleasure. In 1908, Lili Dehn, recalls riding with the Grand Duchesses “on the mountain slide, installed in one of the premises of the palace. We had fun for hours, getting great pleasure from the ride. I completely forgot that I was a married woman who was going to become a mother in a few months. ”

PHOTO: In the 1930s. the ceremonial dresses of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of Emperor Nicholas I, were exhibited in the Marble (Mountain) Hall

During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), the Marble (Mountain) Hall was damaged during the Nazi occupation of Tsarskoye Selo.

Following the war, the Director of the Alexander Palace Anatoly Mikhailovich Kuchumov (1912-1993), describes the destruction of the Hall: “We go to the Hall with a slide … the amazing color of the marble is still pleasing , which is especially evident now that all the curtains have been removed. There is not even a trace of the hill, the mirrors have been ripped out, the marble fireplace is broken – the caryatids have all been stolen. The massive gilded frame from the picture hanging above the hill seems to have miraculously survived. The vault of the hall in one second has been damaged by dampness, since the roof over this hall was torn apart by a shell ”

© Paul Gilbert. 2 February 2023

New books on the Romanovs scheduled for 2023

In response to the numerous queries I have been receiving over the past few months with regards to the new book projects which I have been working on over the past year, I decided to provide the following update . . .

Many of you may recall that 2022 was not a good year for me due to health reasons. In April, I was diagnosed with Stage-2 cancer; in May, I had surgery to remove the tumour; in June, I was at home recovering; followed by six months of chemotherapy, which left me both weak and tired. Never, in my life have I ever felt so sick. As a result, my research and writing suffered, delaying publication of the titles pictured above by months.

My chemo ended on 11th January, however, I continue to endure side effects. According to my oncologist, it could take up to two months for my body to flush all the toxins, and any where from six to twelves months before I start to feel my old self again.

Despite that, I am now looking forward to returning to my two favourite passions in life: researching and writing about the life, reign and era of Russia’s much slandered tsar Nicholas II.

Below, is a short summary of each of the titles scheduled for publication this year:

Nicholas II. Photographs – will be my most ambitious publishing project to date, with 200+ pages and richly illustrated with more than 200 high-quality black and white photos of Nicholas II – most of them full-page!

My book will be divided into 12 parts + an interesting foreword on the many albums and individual photos held in archives and private collections; Nicholas’s own interest in photography; efforts to preserve and restore images currently held in Russian archives; and much more.

This beautiful album is a labour of love, and my personal tribute to the memory of Russia’s last emperor and tsar. I am so proud of this book, and trust that this book will one day become a much coveted and sought after collectors title.

The Lost World of Imperial Russia. Volume II – the second volume of my recently published book, which will feature MORE photographs of the the Russian Empire during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II, from 1894 to 1917.

The cover will feature a photo of Andrei Alexeevich Kudinov (1852–1915), who served as bodyguard to Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich (later Alexander III). In December 1878, he was assigned to Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna; he stayed at this post when she became Empress in 1881 and continued until his death.

Volume II will be issued in hard cover and paperback editions, 240 pages, richly illustrated with more than 400 vintage black and white photos!

Sovereign No. 12 – After an absence of nearly four years, I am pleased to announce that my semi-annual periodical ‘Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II’ will resume publication next year. The next issue – the No. 12 issue – will be published in January 2023.

This new issue will feature the following full-length articles – among others, that have yet to be announced:

[1] Mikhail Rodzianko: Gravedigger of the Russian Empire by Andrei Ivanov

[2] Nikolai Sokolov’s Report to Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna on the Investigation into the Deaths of Emperor Nicholas II and his Family

[3] Memorial Museums to Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia by Paul Gilbert

[4] They Were the Last to Help the Tsar’s Family in Ekaterinburg by Abbess Dominica (Korobeinikova)

[5] Loyal to Their Sovereign: Generals Who Did Not Betray Nicholas II in 1917 by Paul Gilbert

[6] Family Disloyalty: Nicholas II and the Vladimirovichi by Paul Gilbert

Olga: Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna – this book is a tribute to one of the most beloved and respected members of the Russian Imperial Family: Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960).

The first part explores her Russian, Danish and Canadian years respectively; the second part explores her love of painting – Olga painted more than 2,000 in her life; the third is about her work and dedication as a nurse during WWI; the fourth is an interview with her daughter-in-law Olga Kulikovsky-Romanoff (1926-2020), who shares her husband Tikhon’s anecdotes and details about his mother: the Grand Duchess of Russia.

Richly illustrated with more than 100 black and white photos. 

Anna: Anna Alexandrovna Taneeva-Vyrubova – Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova (née Taneyeva), was born on 16th July 1884. She is most famous as the lady-in-waiting, the best friend and confidante of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

This new book features 7 chapters, including a synopsis of Vyrubova’s memoirs – published in the 1920s; her home in Tsarskoye Selo; an interview with Anna in 1917; her life in exile in Finland; efforts to have her canonized, among others.

Vyrubova died in exile on 20th July 1964, at the age of 80. She was buried in the Orthodox section of Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki.

Illustrated with more than 60 black and white photographs

The Imperial Train of Emperor Nicholas II – the first English language book about the Imperial Train will explore the Tsar’s luxurious mode of transport on rails. It will feature detailed descriptions – including vintage photos and floorplans – of the train’s interiors. It also tells about the fate of the Imperial Train, the Imperial Railway Pavilions constructed solely for the use of the Imperial Train, and much more.

Traitor to the Tsar! Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Nicholas II – is the first comprehensive study to thoroughly examine the relationship between Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and his first cousin Tsar Nicholas II. It is based primarily on documents and letters retrieved from Russian archival and media sources, many of which will be new to the English reader.

Grand Duke Kirill, was clearly a man who lacked a moral compass. In this book I discuss his entering into an incestuous marriage with his paternal first cousin and a divorcee, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1905, defying both Nicholas II by not obtaining his consent prior, and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Kirill’s act of treason during the February Revolution of 1917, is well known and for which he is most vilified. It was in Petrograd, that Kirill marched to the Tauride Palace at the head of the Garde Equipage (Marine Guard) to swear allegiance to the Russian Provisional Government, wearing a red band on his uniform. He then authorized the flying of a red flag over his palace on Glinka Street in Petrograd.

In June 1917, Grand Duke Kirill was the first Romanov to flee Russia. His departure was “illegal”, as Kirill was still in active duty as a rear admiral in active military service in a country at war, he had abandoned his honour and dignity in the process.

In 1922, Kirill declared himself “the guardian of the throne”, and in 1924, pompously proclaimed himself “Emperor-in-Exile”, creating a schism in monarchist circles of the Russian emigration.

I further explore Kirill and Victoria’s alleged Nazi affiliations during their years in exile, as well as Kirill’s shameful infidelity, of which his wife would never forgive him.

* * *

Please NOTE that I do not have publication dates, bindings (on some titles), page counts, and prices at this time. In addition, the book covers and titles shown are subject to change without notice. ALL of these titles will be made available on AMAZON. Each new publication will be announced here on my blog, my Facebook page and also via my bi-weekly news updates.

© Paul Gilbert. 1 February 2023

New monument of Imperial Family to be installed at Murmansk airport

PHOTO: artist concept of new monument to the Imperial Family at the Nicholas II-Murmansk Airport (above); and the monument of Emperor Nicholas II and his family by the Russian sculptor Semyon Platonov (below)

In June 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the airport in the Russian arctic city of Murmansk would be renamed in honour of Emperor Nicholas II. Murmansk, Russia’s first ice free port was founded in 1916 by Nicholas II and named Romanov-on-Murman.

In the autumn of 2018 a nationwide online poll was held in which the Russian people could cast votes to rename 42 major airports across Russia. More than 5.5 million people took part in the ‘Great Names of Russia’ poll. More than 140,000 people in the Murmansk region took part in the poll on the renaming of Murmansk Airport. The names of Ivan Papanin and Boris Safonov were among the candidates, however. Russia’s last Tsar received 68,260 votes or 48% of the total votes tallied.

In December 2019, the head of the Kola District Administration announced plans to expand and modernize the Nicholas II-Murmansk Airport, which includes construction of a second terminal for flights within Russia began in 2021. The name of Nicholas II will be placed on the facades of each of the two terminals.

In addition is the reconstruction of the square in front of the main air terminal, of which several projects were considered. Initially, a bust-monument of Nicholas II was proposed, however, this idea has now been shelved.

In November 2020, a permanent photo exhibition dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II has opened in the terminal building of Murmansk Airport.

PHOTO: artist concept of the square in memory of Emperor Nicholas II at Murmansk Airport (above); and view of the of new monument to the Imperial Family to be installed in the center of the square (below)

On 26th January 2023, the architecture and landscaping firm Хмель in St Petersburg, published an artist’s concept by architect Marina Khmel of the new square in front of the Nicholas II-Murmansk Airport, the highlight of which will be a major sculptural composition of the last Russian Imperial Family.

The square in memory of Emperor Nicholas II will feature landscaped gardens with flowerbeds and trees, as well a place for holding events, information stands and temporary outdoor exhibitions. The square will also include a quiet space for travelers to rest, and a platform for boarding and disembarking from buses and cars.

In the center of the park will be a monument of Emperor Nicholas II and his family by the Russian sculptor Semyon Platonov. The sculptural composition is based on a famous photograph from 1913, which depicts Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna surrounded by their five children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei.

© Paul Gilbert. 28 January 2023

Lost Orthodox Churches of Imperial Russia

PHOTO: On 5 December 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was dynamited and reduced to rubble

Unlike many of his predecessors, Emperor Nicholas was devoted to the Russian Orthodox Church. It was upon his ascension to the throne in 1894, that his devotion to the Holy Orthodox Church showed his greatest strength. It was during the reign of Russia’s last Tsar – 1894 to 1917 – that the Russian Orthodox Church reached her fullest development and power.

In 1914, the Russian Orthodox Church consisted of 68 dioceses, 54,923 churches, 953 monasteries, 4 theological academies, 185 religious schools, 40,530 schools and 278 periodicals. The clergy consisted of 157 bishops, 68,928 priests, 48 ​​987 clerics, 21,330 monks in monasteries and 73,229 nuns in convents.

The construction of new churches had the full support of the Emperor, who approved funding for the construction of over 7576 new churches and chapels, and the opening of 211 new monasteries. By the end of Nicholas II’s reign there were 57,000 churches in the Russian Empire.

PHOTO: the desecration and looting of Russian Orthodox Churches by Bolshevik thugs and criminals after the 1917 Revolution

Lost Orthodox Churches of Imperial Russia

The Decree on the Separation of Church and State was proclaimed by the Bolsheviks in January 1918. It declared all Church property to be the property of the state. Sanctioned by this licence, Bolshevik squads went round the country desecrating and looting churches and monasteries, mocking religion and religious people unmercifully, even murdering priests, monks, nuns and believers by the thousands.

During the Soviet years, three Anti-religious campaigns were carried out by the Bolsheviks and later the Soviets: 1917–1921; 1921–1928 and 1928-1941, which resulted in the destruction of thousands of cathedrals and churches. Many others were converted to secular use, whereby church buildings were transformed into warehouses, state institutions, cinemas, ice rinks and prisons

Between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to fewer than 500. In 1987, only 6,893 Orthodox churches and 15 monasteries remained in the USSR.

In this post, I have researched the fate of five randomly picked cathedrals and churches which were destroyed during the Soviet years. It is part of an important large-scale historic project which I have planned for 2023-24 and one, which goes hand-in-hand with my own personal journey to Orthodoxy.

No. 1 – Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Bezhitsa)

PHOTO: early 20th century view of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord

The Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord was built in 1880-1884 in Bezhitsa (now the region of Bryansk), according to the project of the Russian architect Alexander Groener. Construction was paid for by the workers of the Bryansk rail-rolling, iron-making and mechanical plant.

The church was five-domed and cruciform in plan. Its frame had been welded from iron rails and sheathed inside and outside with oak planks. The central part was crowned with a massive illuminated octagon under a tent with a dome. The interior decoration was distinguished by its magnificent splendour.

PHOTO: interior of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Bezhitsa, 1895.

In 1894, a parish school was built. In 1897 and 1909, two chapels were added.

On 20th April (old style) 1915, the church was visited by Emperor Nicholas II.

In 1929, the church was closed by the Bolsheviks and converted into a circus and later a cinema. In 1933-1935 it was destroyed.

In 1937, the former rector of the church, priest Athanasius Preobrazhensky and priest Simeon Krasovsky, were shot by the Bolsheviks. The former site of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord is now a wasteland. Only the building of the almshouse has been partially preserved to this day.

No. 2 – Church of Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos (Moscow)

PHOTO: the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (left), the Church of Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos (right) and a monument to Emperor Alexander III (also left). Moscow, 1912.

The magnificent monument to Emperor Alexander III was created by the outstanding Russian sculptor Alexander Mikhailovich Opekushin (1838-1923) and opened in 1912 near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

Opekushin’s creation was to become one of the first victims of Bolshevik vandalism. The monument to the “Tsar-Peacemaker” was destroyed in 1918.

The fate of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow is well known. When Napoleon Bonaparte retreated from Moscow in 1812, Emperor Alexander I signed a manifesto declaring his intention to build a cathedral in honour of Christ the Saviour “to signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her” and as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people. It was destroyed in 1931 on the order of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

PHOTO: early 20th century view of the Church of Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos

The Church of Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos is lesser known. Originally constructed in the 15th century, it was rebuilt several times. In 1705, the Russian nobleman Dementiy Bashmakov rebuilt a stone church at his own expense. The church was rebuilt with the same external and internal appearance: high, five-domed cupolas, a baroque decor and a rare six-tier iconostasis. The church featured a miraculous icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, to which many pilgrims came to venerate.

The Church of Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos existed until 1932, when it to was demolished.

The demolition of both houses of worship was supposed to make way for a colossal Palace of the Soviets to house the country’s legislature, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Construction started in 1937 but was halted in 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union during World War II. Its steel frame was disassembled the following year, and the Palace was never built. In 1960, an enormous outdoor swimming pool was built at the foundation site, which existed until 1994.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was rebuilt on the site between 1995 and 2000. There are no plans to reconstruct either the Church of Praise of the Most Holy Theotokos or the monument to Emperor Alexander III.

No. 3 – Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Vyatka)

PHOTO: the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Vyatka

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Vyatka [renamed Kirov in 1934], was founded on 30th August 1839 in memory of the visit to the city by Emperor Alexander I (1777-1825) in 1824.

The construction of the cathedral was funded by voluntary donations in the amount of 120 thousand rubles, collected over 40 years. Work was carried out by the Russian architect of Swedish origin Alexander Lavrentievich Vitberg (1787-1855).

Completed and consecrated on 8th October 1864, the cathedral combined features of different styles: Romanesque of the Middle Ages, elements of Gothic, and the interior in the Old Russian and late Empire styles.

PHOTO: the main iconostasis of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Vyatka

The construction of the main iconostasis was completed in 1858, the carving in 1859. The committee contracted Academician Gorbunov and artist Vasilyev from St. Petersburg to make the icons for the main iconostasis. The icons were brought to Vyatka in 1863, and the following year, in 1864, the main iconostasis was gilded.

In 1895, a large public garden was built around the cathedral, surrounded by a cast-iron lattice fence. Four gates to the cardinal points were named after four Russian emperors – Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II. In 1896, a bronze bust of Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894), cast in St. Petersburg, and mounted on a tall marble pedestal was installed in the northern part of the garden. In 1905, electric lighting was installed in the cathedral.

In June 1937, at the insistence of the Presidium of the City Council and the Regional Executive Committee, and permission of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was removed from the list of architecture protected by the state and was blown up.

For thirty years the square of the cathedral sat empty, and it was only in the 1960s, that the Kirov Regional Philharmonic was constructed on the site of the once magnificent Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

PHOTO: the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Warsaw

No. 4 – Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Warsaw)

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Warsaw was built on Saxon Square (later renamed Pilsudski Square) in the Kingdom of Poland (then part of the Russian Empire). The cathedral, designed by the distinguished Russian architect Leon Benois (1856-1928), was built between 1894 and 1912. Upon completion, the bell tower of the cathedral reached a height of 70 m [230 ft.], making it the tallest building in Warsaw at the time.

The idea of building a large Orthodox cathedral in Warsaw was expressed in a letter from the Governor General of Poland, Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko, to Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894). He indicated that the Orthodox churches in Warsaw at that time were able to accommodate less than one tenth of the city’s 42,000 Orthodox residents, who urgently needed a new place of worship.

Alexander III gave his approval to fund the cathedral, a significant part of the funds needed were raised by personal donations from almost every corner of the Russian Empire.

PHOTO: aerial view of Saxon Square in Warsaw and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Work on the interior of the cathedral, designed by Nikolay Pokrovsky (1848-1917), continued for another 12 years. The frescoes were painted by Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926). The cathedral was decorated with 16 mosaic panels designed by Vasnetsov and Andrei Ryabushkin (1861-1904). The decorations of the cathedral used precious and semi-precious stones extensively, marble, and granite. The altar was decorated with jasper columns, donated by Emperor Nicholas II. The largest of the 14 bells was the fifth-largest in the Russian Empire.

The main chapel of the cathedral was solemnly consecrated on 20th May 1912, by the Metropolitan of Kiev and Galich Flavian (Gorodetsky) in the name of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky.

At the beginning of 1915, during the First World War, the Russian population was evacuated from the city along with the Orthodox clergy. The iconostasis and the most valuable details of the interior decoration were removed from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

PHOTO: view of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral after its demolition in the 1920s

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was demolished in 1924–1926 – along with all but two Orthodox churches in Warsaw – by the Polish authorities less than 15 years after its construction. The demolition itself was complex, and required almost 15,000 controlled explosions.

The negative connotations in Poland associated with Russian imperial policy towards Poland, was cited as the major motive for its demolition. The cathedral shared the fate of many Orthodox churches demolished after Poland regained its independence from Russia.

No. 5 – Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Moscow)

PHOTO: architect’s drawing of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, 1904

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Moscow was the largest of a series of cathedrals erected in Imperial Russia in commemoration of Alexander Nevsky, the patron saint of Emperors Alexander II and Alexander III.

The creation of the project was entrusted to the architect Alexander Nikonorovich Pomerantsev (1849-1918), who executed it in the Old Russian style according to the sketches of the artist Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (1848-1926), as a 70-metre-tall memorial to Alexander II’s Emancipation reform [the liberation of peasants from serfdom] in 1861.

In 1894, Emperor Nicholas II approved a plan to place the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Miusskaya Square on a site donated to him by the city authorities. The foundation stone of the votive church was laid in 1911, on the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Manifesto, in the presence of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. Construction did not start until 1913, and the First World War impeded further progress.

The first chapel was dedicated to St. Tikhon of Voronezh in 1915, Divine Liturgies were performed here until 1920.

PHOTO: the abandoned Alexander Nevsky Cathedral as it looked in 1921

After the Russian Revolution, the huge 17-domed church [one unconfirmed source cites 21 domes] capable of accommodating more than 4,000 persons stood unfinished, while the Soviets debated whether to have it reconstructed into a crematorium or a radio centre. The building were used as a warehouse for storing the rolled up 115-meter canvas of the Borodino Panorama and parts of the dismantled Triumphal Arch.

The cathedral stood abandoned on Miusskaya Square for many years. The dilapidated concrete shell was eventually torn down in 1952. A Pioneers Palace was constructed – now the Palace of Creativity of Children and Youth – on the old foundation in 1960.

© Paul Gilbert. 26 January 2023

Bloody Sunday 1905: who is to blame?

On this day – 22nd (O.S. 9th) January 1905 – a peaceful procession of workers through the streets of St Petersburg would go down in history as Bloody Sunday.

“In 1905, workers marched to the Winter Palace with a peaceful petition demanding broader rights. Instead, they were met with gunfire, which completely destroyed Nicholas’s reputation and sent the Russian monarchy hurtling toward its eventual demise,” writes Oleg Yegorov in the July 15th 2019 edition of ‘Russia Beyond’

– Click HERE to read the article How Russia’s own Bloody Sunday turned Nicholas II into a public enemy. My personal comments are below – PG

***

There is no question, that “Bloody Sunday” was a tragic event, which sadly resulted in the deaths and injuries of innocent men, women and children. It is a tragedy which continues to haunt the legacy of Russia’s last tsar to this very day. Russian President Vladimir Putin has on more than one occasion, publicly referred to Nicholas II as “Nicholas the Bloody.” 

There are a couple of interesting facts which I would like to add to Oleg Yegorov’s article, on the events of Sunday, 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1905, which are often overlooked or simply ignored by many academically lazy Western historians.

Despite the fact that the Winter Palace was the Tsar’s official residence, even during the early years of Nicholas II’s reign, the palace became little more than an administrative office block and a place of rare official entertaining. As Yegorov rightly points out, the Tsar was neither in residence nor was he present in St Petersburg on the day of the demonstration, which was organized by Father Georgy Gapon (see below).

Many modern-day historians and “experts” continue to falsely accuse Nicholas II of ordering his troops to open fire on the workers, however, there is no truth to support this theory.

This particular theory is the result of provocative rumours spread by the Bolsheviks and later the Soviets, who claimed that “Tsarist troops shot workers on the orders of Nicholas II” (which for obvious reasons later became the official point of view in Soviet historiography, and was never researched or even discussed by Soviet historians). Even more outrageous, was the claim that the Tsar “personally participated in the shootings, allegedly shooting at the demonstrators with a machine gun”.

In addition it is important to add, that upon finding out about the idea of ​​submitting the petition to the Tsar, members of three revolutionary party organizations: the Social Democrats (Mensheviks ), the Social Democrats ( Bolsheviks ), and the Social Revolutionaries, decided to swell the ranks of the “peaceful demonstrators,” on that fateful day. According to new documents discovered in the Russian Archives, it was these revolutionaries – who were both armed and dangerous – that agitated the situation by opening fire on the troops.

PHOTO: Commander-in-Chief of the Guards and the St. Petersburg Military District Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (center), talking with Grand Duke Dmitri Konstantinovich (left) and officers, before the parade of the Pavlovsky Life Guard Regiment, on the Field of Mars, St. Petersburg. 30th August 1904

It was St Petersburg Governor General Ivan Aleksandrovich Fullon (1844-1920), who provided comprehensive support to the “Assembly of Russian Factory Workers of St. Petersburg”, with the priest Georgy Gapon leading the way. 

However, it was Guards Commander Prince Sergei Illarionovych Vasilchikov (1849-1926) who developed a plan of action for the police and troops to prevent the procession from even taking place.

It is interesting to note that Prince Vasilchikov was under the command of the Tsar’s uncle Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909), who served as Commander-in-Chief of the Guards and the St. Petersburg Military District. 

On the eve of of the procession 21st (O.S. 8th) January, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich ordered his subordinate to use military force to prevent the procession from taking place. Vasilchikov obeyed his superior, and the following day when a large group of workers reached Winter Palace Square, troops acting on direct orders from Vasilchikov opened fire upon the demonstrators. 

Although Grand Duke Vladimir claimed no direct responsibility for the tragedy, since he was also away from the city, his reputation was tarnished. General Fullon was discharged after the events of Bloody Sunday.

The number of victims is greatly exaggerated by many historians. According to the Tsar’s official records: 130 dead and 299 injured; while anti-government sources claimed any where from 1,000 to 4,000 dead.

That evening, the events in St. Petersburg were reported to Nicholas II. The emperor was distressed and wrote in his diary:

“A terrible day! There were serious disturbance in Petersburg as a result of the workers wishing to reach the Winter Palace. The troops were forced to open fire in several parts of the town, there were many killed and wounded. Lord, how painful and how sad!” 

Photos: Father Georgy Gapon (1870-1906) ; the house in Ozerki, where Gapon was killed

Father Georgy Gapon (1870-1906) – the organizer of the procession – was a charismatic speaker and effective organizer who took an interest in the working and lower classes of the Russian cities. However, Fr. Gapon also had a hidden dark side, which has been proven by post-Soviet scholars – the priest was a police informant. 

After Bloody Sunday, Gapon fled to Europe, but returned by the end of 1905, and resumed contact with the Okhrana. On 26 March 1906, Gapon arrived for a meeting at a rented cottage outside St. Petersburg. A month later, his body was found hanged. Gapon had been murdered by three members of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, after they had discovered that Gapon was a police informant.

* * *

FURTHER READING:

Click HERE to read Bloody Sunday 1905. What is the truth? [includes VIDEO in English] originally published on 21st October 2020

© Paul Gilbert. 22 January 2023

Unique icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs consecrated in the Urals

PHOTO: the new icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs in the Holy Trinity Cathedral on 6th January 2023

On 6th January 2023, Metropolitan Daniel of Kurgan and Belozersky visited the Holy Trinity Cathedral[1] in the Ural city of Kurgan[2], where he performed a Divine Liturgy followed by the rite of consecration of a new icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs.

What is unique about this particular icon is that it features a small antique icon of Our Saviour mounted into the larger icon. This icon belonged to Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, and accompanied Emperor Nicholas II and his family when they were sent into exile in August 1917. The icon was discovered among the items not pilfered or destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg after the family’s murders in July 1918.

PHOTO: Tsesarevich Alexei’s small icon of Our Saviour (above) has now been mounted into Alexei’s hands in the larger icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs (below)

Metropolitan Daniel thanked the family of Russian Senator, member of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Sergei Nikolaevich Muratov, through whose efforts and generosity that the Holy Trinity Cathedral was rebuilt in Kurgan[1], and this new icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs was presented to the cathedral.

“I am sure that the faithful will come from near and far to venerate this small icon of Our Savior, mounted in the larger icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs. They will come to pray to receive help, because each member of the Imperial Family held the icon in their hands and prayed in front of it,” Vladyka Daniel said at the end of the ceremony.

Russian Senator Sergey Muratov told the story of how he managed to acquire this miraculously preserved icon, how he showed the image to the former Head of the Kurgan Metropolis, Metropolitan Joseph: “It was five years ago that Vladyka Joseph wisely proposed that the icon not be sold to a private collector or museum, but to be made public so that Orthodox Christians could come to the church and pray before it. He noted that this icon with such a significant provenance should be venerated according to the traditions of Russian icon painting. He suggested that the icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs should depict Tsesarevich Alexei holding the icon of Our Savior in his hands. “

PHOTO: full view of the icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs shows an empty box giving the impression that Tsesarevich Alexei is holding the icon of Our Saviour in his hands

Metropolitan Joseph’s wishes were honoured. As time passed, and already with the blessing of Metropolitan Daniel, the large icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs was created, in which Tsesarevich Alexei’s icon of Our Saviour was mounted into it. As planned, the work was completed by the feast of the Nativity of Christ, which is observed on 19th (O.S. 6th) January.

NOTES:

[1] The original Holy Trinity Cathedral was built on Trinity Square in Kurgan. Construction began on 16th (O.S. 5th) June 1763, the central altar was consecrated in 1805. On the night of 17/18 (O.S. 5/6) 1837, the heir to the throne Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich – the future Emperor Alexander II – attended a Divine Liturgy in the new cathedral. 

During the Soviet years, the cathedral was closed on 25th May 1937. Some twenty years later on 25th May 1957, the cathedral was blown up.

On 26th August 2017, construction began on a new Holy Trinity Cathedral just south of the original cathedral, on the bank of the Tobol River. The patron of the construction of the new cathedral was Russian Senator Sergey Nikolaevich Muratov. On 27th November 2021, Metropolitan Daniel performed the rite of consecration of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

[2] Kurgan is situated 370 km [229 miles] southeast of Ekaterinburg

© Paul Gilbert. 21 January 2023

The fate of the Kornilov House in Tobolsk

PHOTO: early 20th century view of the Governor’s House (left) where the Imperial Family were held under house arrest from August 1917 to April 1918, and the Kornilov House (right) where their servants and retainers were housed in Tobolsk

When Emperor Nicholas II and his family were sent into exile from Tsarskoye Selo on the morning of 14th August (O.S. 1st) 1917, they were not alone. They were accompanied by an enormous entourage of servants and retainers, all of whom followed the Imperial Family voluntarily into an unknown future.

The two trains[1] carrying the Imperial Family, their entourage of nearly 40 servants and retainers[2], plus trunks, suitcases and other personal belongings – all under the watchful eyes of Colonel Eugene Kobylinsky[3] and 330 soldiers – arrived four days later in Tyumen, where they boarded the steamer Rus, which transported them a further 200 miles northeast, a two day journey on the Tura and Tobol rivers arriving in the historic capital of Siberia: Tobolsk.

According to the diary of Nicholas II, after a delay of several days, the Imperial Family were moved into the former Governor’s Mansion[4] on 13th August (O.S.). The family occupied the second floor of the building, the first floor included a dining room and rooms for servants. According to Russian historian Peter Multatuli, the following servants also lived in the Governor’s Mansion: Terentiy Chemodurov, Anna Demidova, Alexandra Tegleva, Elizaveta Ersberg and Maria Tutelberg. Despite being the largest residence in Tobolsk, it was not large enough to house the Imperial Family’s entourage.

The former house of a merchant named Ivan Nikolaevich Kornilov, situated on the opposite side of the square, housed the remaining retainers of the Imperial Family, as well as some of the Guards. Each day the servants and retainers walked across the road to perform their services to the Imperial Family. No one was allowed to enter the Kornilov House without a special permit. 

Persons accompanying the Imperial Family – source: Russian historian Pyotr Multatuli:

1 – Adjutant General Count Ilya Tatishchev
2 – Marshal of the Imperial Court Prince Vasily Dolgorukov
3 – Lady in Waiting Countess Anastasia Hendrikova
4 – Court physician Dr. Evgeny Botkin
5 – French language tutor Pierre Gilliard
6 – Russian language tutor Catherine Schneider
7 – Tutor of Countess Hendrikova Victoria Nikolaeva
8 – Nursemaid Alexandra Tegleva
9 – Assistant to A. Tegleva Elizaveta Ersberg
10 – Kamer-Jungfer[5] Maria Tutelberg
11 – Lady in Waiting Anna Demidova
12 – Nicholas II’s valet Terentiy Chemodurov
13 – Chemodurov’s assistant Stepan Makarov
14 – Valet Alexei Volkov
15 – Footman of the Tsesarevich Sergey Ivanov
16 – Children’s footman Ivan Sednev
17 – Sailor-nanny of the Tsesarevich Klimenty Nagorny
18 – Valet Aloysius Troup
19 – Footman Tyutin
20 – Footman Dormidon
21 – Footman Kiselev
22 – Footman Ermolai Gusev
23 – Waiter Franz Zhuravsky
24 – Senior Cook Ivan Kharitonov
25 – Assistant cook Kokichev
26 – Assistant cook Ivan Vereshchagin
27 – Assistant cook Leonid Sednev
28 – Minister Mikhail Karpov
29 – Kitchen attendant Sergey Mikhailov
30 – Kitchen attendant Franz Purkovsky
31 – Kitchen attendant Terekhov
32 – Servant Smirnov
33 – Clerk Alexander Kirpichnikov
34 – Hairdresser Alexey Dmitriev
35 – Wardrobe Stupel
36 – Head of the Wine Cellar Rozhkov
37 – Servant of Countess Hendrikova Paulina Mezhants
38 – Servant of Catherine Schneider Ekaterina Zhivaya
39 – Servant of Catherine Schneider Maria

Later arrivals included source: Russian historian Pyotr Multatuli:

40 – English language tutor Charles Sydney Gibbs
41 – Doctor of Medicine Vladimir Derevenko
42 – Lady-in-waiting Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden
43 – Kamer-Jungfer[5] Magdalene Zanotti
44 – Room girl Anna Utkina
45 – Room girl Anna Romanova

Sophie Buxhoeveden: “Though I was allowed to stay at the Kornilov house with the other members of the Household for some weeks, I had ultimately to lodge in the town, though I could see the members of the suite every day; and while I lived in the Kornilov house, I was never once allowed to go out for a walk.”

On 26th (O.S. 13th) April 1918, Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, Dr. Eugene Botkin were transferred from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg. The following month, on 20th May, the four remaining children: Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia, along with Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich joined their parents and sister in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg.

The Imperial Family and four faithful retainers were held under house arrest in the Ipatiev House, where they were subsequently murdered by the Ural Soviet on the night of 16/17 July 1918.

PHOTO: main façade of the Kornilov House as it looks today

PHOTO: side view of the façade of the Kornilov House as it looks today

PHOTO: rear view of the façade and entrance to the courtyard of the Kornilov House as it looks today

Following the transfer of the Imperial Family to Ekaterinburg, the remaining servants and retainers in the Kornilov House were free to leave. Many of them returned to their homes or started new lives in Tobolsk or elsewhere. A number of them, however, wanted to make the journey to Ekaterinburg with the hope of reuniting with the Tsar and his family. Their captives warned them that any one who went with the four Romanov children to Ekaterinburg would remain at liberty, at worse, they would not even be permitted to live in the same house with the Imperial Family but tossed in the local jail.

Despite the warning, a few of them made the journey to the Ural capital, and, sure enough were imprisoned and later murdered by the Bolsheviks. Among them were Prince Vasily Dolgorukov, Ilya Tatishchev, Ekaterina Schneider, Anastasia Hendrikova, Klimenty Nagorny and Ivan Sednev. 

As foreign nationals, Pierre Giliard and Sydney Gibbes were both set free. So were a number of others with no explanation and amid rumours that they had abandoned the Imperial Family, sold a few secrets and begged for their lives.

Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden attributed her unexpected release by the Bolsheviks to her “foreign” surname – it was Danish by origin – however, the even more foreign name of “Catherine Schneider” did not prevent the poor woman from being shot.

During the Russian Civil War, the Kornilov House became the headquarters of Vasily Blyukher’s 51st Division. Later, the building housed the State Bank. In 1993, the Center for Russian Culture occupied the former mansion. In November 2010, the Kornilov House underwent an extensive restoration, and today houses the justices of the peace and the Museum of the History of the Judicial System of Western Siberia.

PHOTO: a portrait of Emperor Nicholas II today hangs in the History of the Judicial System of Western Siberia Museum, housed in the former Kornilov House

NOTES:

[1] The trains in which the Imperial Family and their entourage travelled were disguised for security purposes as a Red Cross Train and flew a Japanese flag. The train made regular stops which allowed the August prisoners to roam the woods in search of flowers and berries, always taking their two dogs with them. As the train approached stations and large towns, the curtains of their private wagon were always drawn shut.

The train were considered a “luxurious vehicle for transporting prisoners”. The first train carrying the Tsar and his family was a comfortable wagon-lits of the International Sleeping Car, and including a restaurant car stocked with wines from the Alexander Palace’s wine cellar.

[2] Some sources claim that 45 servants and retainers went into exile with the Imperial Family, however, this author could only identify 39 persons. If we include the 6 persons who later joined them after their arrival in Tobolsk, then this number is correct.

[3] Eugene Stepanovich Kobylinsky (1875-1927) was born into a noble family in Kiev. In 1909 he became a lieutenant in the St. Petersburg Imperial Guard regiment. After Nicholas II abdicated the throne in February 1917, Kobylinsky became an employee of the Provisional Government. On 14th March [O.S. 1st March] 1917, he was appointed commandant of the Alexander Palace, where the Tsar and his family were being held under house arrest at Tsarskoye Selo.

[4] The Governor’s Mansion was an extensive two-storey house built in the Empire Style facing Platzparadnaya Square. It was one of the first houses in Tobolsk to have electricity and fresh water supply installed. The last governor who lived in the house was Nikolai Alexandrovich Ordovsky (1863-1950), who held the post from November 1915 until the October 1917 Revolution. 

Not only was Ordovsky a devout Orthodox Christian, he was also a monarchist who was dedicated to Nicholas II. Following the Tsar’s abdication he refused to accept it nor the new Provisional Government. Upon leaving the city for Petrograd, he said to one of his escorts: “I will not go to any of the members of the Provisional Government, because I served the Emperor, I fulfilled his will. I will not serve any other government” 

In 1918 he was arrested and imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress. As a former officer, he was included in the “Officer’s List” of those to be executed. Despite his poor health, he managed to escape both the prison and Petrograd. How he managed his miraculous escape remains unclear.

At the end of 1918 he managed to emigrate to Europe. In 1923, in Germany, he was ordained a priest and received a parish in Hamburg; later, having disagreed on some issues with the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, he came under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Patriarchate. Already in Germany he was tonsured a monk with the name Nikon, then in Serbia he received the rank of hegumen and archimandrite. In 1945, he cared for Orthodox believers in displaced persons’ camps and was tonsured by Metropolitan Seraphim in the great schema with the name Nicodemus.

In 1948, while in Germany, he began to write voluminous memoirs about his life in pre-revolutionary Russia. Life in exile was full of wanderings, deprivations, loneliness. Nikolai Alexandrovich Ordovsky died in a hospital in Bavaria in 1950.

NOTE: The former Governor’s Mansion has survived to the present time and today houses the Museum of the Family of Emperor Nicholas II, which opened on 26th April 2018.

[5] In two cases – Nos. 10 and 43 – I have been unable to find the correct English translation of the positions of Kamer-Jungfer, therefore, I have left it in the original in italics.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 January 2023

Paul Gilbert resumes sale of personal royal library

Now that my chemo is over and done with, I can now resume the sale of the remaining books from my personal library. I have about 300+ titles remaining in my collection on Russian, European and British royalty – some titles of which are very rare and/or in mint or very good condition.

In preparation for my planned move back to England in the summer of 2025, I have been forced to sell the bulk of my personal library, which originally consisted of more than 2,000 new, rare and second-hand titles on the royal houses of Russia, Europe and Britain.

The ONLY books that I will be taking with me to England, are my collection of titles on the life, reign and era of Nicholas II.

I have created a special online bookshop for the sale of my collection [see link below]. The titles listed are all one-of-a-kind, there are no duplicates! Books will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. The condition of each book varies and is noted with each listing. Titles are available in a variety of languages: English, French, German and Russian. Please check individual listings before ordering.

ALL prices are in US dollars! Payment can be made securely online with a credit card or PayPal. I will also accept payment by personal check or money order in USD. Shipping rates are for Canada and United States orders ONLY. ALL sales are FINAL!

Please take a moment to review my current catalogue, bearing in mind that I still have many additional titles on European and British royalty to add over the coming weeks ahead.

Additional titles will be added on a regular basis, so please bookmark or check back for new listings. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me by email – royalrussia@yahoo.com

© Paul Gilbert. 20 January 2023

Monument to Nicholas II consecrated in Bijeljina

On 4th January 2023, a new monument to the Holy Royal Martyrs was installed and consecrated on the grounds of the Monastery of St. Petka in Bijeljina in Republika Srpska [one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina].

The monument was made in bronze in the Russian style, by the Serbian sculptor from Belgrade, Milos Komad, and financed by the retired Bishop of Zvornik-Tuzla Vasilije.

The marble pedestal, and placement is the work of academician Drago Mirković, an artist, a great humanist and church benefactor. Mirkovic chose the inscriptions which appear on all four sides of the pedestal quotes by Sergei Bektayev, the Russian national poet, the texts of St. Peter of Cetinsky, Dostoevsky, Pushkin and Emperor Nicholas II’s words of support to the Serbs.

The combined height of the bronze monument and marble pedestal is almost 5 meters [16 ft.] high.

PHOTO: view of the bronze monument before it being mounted on the marble pedestal

PHOTO: full front and rear view of the Holy Royal Martyrs monument

© Paul Gilbert. 19 January 2023

‘You reap what you sow’ – Monarchists take revenge on the regicide Peter Ermakov

PHOTO: the desecrated grave of the regicide Peter Ermakov in Ivanovo Cemetery in Ekaterinburg

Every year on 17th July – the day marking the anniversary of the murder of Emperor Nicholas II and his family – the grave of the Bolshevik revolutionary Peter Ermakov, has been vandalized by local monarchists, who douse his gravestone with red paint.

This annual protest began shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. The red paint symbolizes the blood which this evil man spilled, and his involvement in the regicide.

Pyotr (Peter) Zakharovich Ermakov (1884–1952), was one of several men responsible for the murder of Emperor Nicholas II, his wife, their five children, and their four faithful retainers in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg.

He was also among the men in the firing squad, and considered to be the most bloodthirsty of the executioners. His Mauser revolver, which he alleges fired the fatal shot which ended the life of the Tsar is preserved today in the Museum of History and Archaeology of the Urals in Ekaterinburg.

According to his own recollections, it was he who also murdered the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the cook Ivan Kharitonov and the doctor Eugene Botkin. He often boasted of his crime, without feeling any sense of remorse: “I shot the Tsarina who was seated only six feet away, I could not miss. My bullet hit her right in the mouth, two seconds later she was dead. Then I shot Dr. Botkin. He threw up his hands and half turned away. The bullet hit him in the neck. He fell backwards. Yurovsky’s shot knocked the Tsesarevich to the floor, where he lay and groaned. The cook Kharitonov was huddled over in the corner. I shot him first in the torso and then in the head. The footman Troupe also fell, I don’t know who shot him … ”

PHOTOS: (above) Ermakov standing on the grave of members of the Imperial Family and their retainers at Porosenkov Log in the 1920s; (below) Ermakov (far right) posing with a group of prominent Ural Bolsheviks on the Tsar’s grave, his Mauser pistol can be seen in the foreground in front of P.M. Bykov, author of The Last Days of Tsardom (1934)

In the 1920s, Yermakov returned to Porosenkov Log where he had his photograph taken standing on the railway ties which concealed the second grave of the Imperial Family. On the reverse of this photo, he wrote: “I am standing on the grave of the Tsar”.

In 1951, at a reception, which gathered all the local Party elite in Sverdlovsk [Ekaterinburg], Peter Ermakov approached Soviet Red Army General Georgy Zhukov (1896-1974) and held out his hand. Frowning in disgust Zhukov looked Ermakov in the eye, and muttered, “I do not shake the hands of the murderers.”

Ermakov died in Sverdlovsk on 22 May 1952 from cancer at the age of 67, he was buried in Ivanovo Cemetery in Ekaterinburg.

In January 2022, the famous Russian sculptor Konstantin Vasilievich Grunberg has proposed replacing monuments of the Bolshevik leaders Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) and Yakov Sverdlov in Ekaterinburg.

Grunberg also called for debunking the image of the revolutionary “hero” Pyotr Yermakov. “People still bring flowers to his grave. We need to destroy this regicide’s grave!” the sculptor said.

PHOTO: Ermakov’s Mauser revolver, which he alleges fired the fatal shot which ended the life of Russia’s last Tsar is preserved today in the Museum of History and Archaeology of the Urals in Ekaterinburg

Click HERE to read my article Yakov Yurovskys’ ashes remain hidden from vandals in Moscow, originally published on 23rd November 2019

Click HERE to read my article The fate of the regicides who murdered Nicholas II and his family, originally published on 28th October 2020

© Paul Gilbert. 17 January 2023