The search for additional remains of two of Emperor Nicholas II’s five children, Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria, should continue until all their remains have been found, said Peter Sarandinaki, president of the SEARCH Foundation.
It is important to note that Sarandinaki is not the first to call for a new search for more remains of the Alexei and Maria. In 2016: “the search for the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria should continue in and around the Koptyaki Road area near Ekaterinburg,” said Archpriest Oleg Mitrov at a 2016 conference. Mitrov, who is a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints, is also engaged in the study of the issues surrounding the murders of the Imperial family.
On 17th July 1918, the Bolsheviks murdered the Russian Imperial family and secretly buried their bodies at an enormous site Porosenkov Log, near Ekaterinburg. The grave of Alexei and Maria was discovered in 2007, and an Investigative Committee of Russia’s Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the authenticity of the discovery.
“We have to search for more remains of Alexei and Maria,” Sarandinaki said, adding that only 44 pieces of their bones had been found at the site. “The rest of the area of that forest glade will need to be further searched to make sure that all their remains, if they are there, are found.”
Sarandinaki – a native of Argentina, but a citizen and resident of the United States – has been engaged for many years in the search for the remains of the Russian Imperial family.
For the past few years, he has led a team of US and Russian experts who are searching for the remains of Tsar Nicholas II’s brother, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich. The Grand Duke along with his secretary Nicholas Johnson were murdered by the Bolsheviks on 13th June 1918 near the city of Perm.
Three years prior to the discovery of the area where the Romanovs were buried, Sarandinaki explored the area and stood at the exact place where some of Alexei’s and Maria’s remains were later discovered.
Sarandinaki emphasized that it is up to the Russian Orthodox Church and the local authorities to make a final decision with respect to continuing the search for Alexei’s and Maria’s remains.
“I think once the Russian Orthodox Church comes to a conclusion [to proceed], a thorough search would need to be done there,” Sarandinaki said.
© Paul Gilbert. 19 July 2019