NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 15 February 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG
This article has been edited and amended from its original by Paul Gilbert
The Ekaterinburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church has launched a Telegram channel devoted to Tsar Nicholas II’s family. The project precedes the centenary anniversary since the Tsarist Family’s brutal murder in the basement floor of a local mansion in July 1918.
Every day, the diocese will publish excerpts from the diaries of the Tsar and Tsarina Alexandra, which they kept during their exile in the West-Siberian city of Tobolsk and in Ekaterinburg.
“Upon the blessing by Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, the царская-семья.рф Telegram channel has come on stream,” a spokesman for the diocese said. “The project is timed for the centenary anniversary of the new regal holy martyrs’ act of martyrdom. The publication of diaries will be synchronized with the events of a hundred years ago.”
“This means, for instance, that today, on 14 February 2018, we’re publishing the entries [the Tsar and the Tsarina] made on 14 February 1918,” he said.
“The contents of the project don’t envision any evaluative judgments on the part of historians or writers living nowadays,” the spokesman said. “This is people’s direct discourse, diaries and letters.”
“By way of counterbalancing distorted information that spreads in society sometimes, we bring to spotlight the real individuals, their thoughts, hopes, aspirations, and love,” he said.
Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne on 15 March 1917. Soon after that, he himself, Tsarina Alexandra and their five children were interned. The provisional government that came to power in the wake of the revolutionary events of February and March 1917 sent them off to Tobolsk in August of the same year.
The Bolsheviks came to power as a result of a new revolution in November 1917. The new authorities ordered the transfer of the Imperial Family to Ekaterinburg in the Urals at the end of April 1918.
The climax of the tragedy came on the night 16/17 July 1918, in the basement floor of a mansion that formerly belonged to mining engineer Nikolai Ipatyev. On orders from Moscow – supposedly from Jacob Sverdlov, one of the top officials on the Bolshevik government – a team of members of the Ekaterinburg committee of workers deputies executed the entire family by shooting.
Executed together with them were their closest assistants – family doctor Eugene Botkin, the Tsar’s footman Alexei [Aloiz] Trupp, the Tsarina’s lady-in-waiting Anna Demidov, and chef Ivan Kharitonov.
The further plight of their bodies still gives rise to some questions. Historians and criminology experts proceeding from the findings done by the investigator Nikolai Sokolov, who worked for the anti-Bolshevik forces under the command of Admiral Kolchak from 1919 through 1921, say the bodies were destroyed by burning with the aid of the rectified oil of vitriol and no remains were left.
However, a crew of amateur detectives found the remains of several people near an old local road in 1979. Suggestions that these were the remains of members of the Czarist Family surfaced in the professional milieu. In 1989, the information was made public.
Excavations at the site were done in the early 1990’s and the investigators found more human bones. Sophisticated testing done in several countries proved these were the remains of bodies of Nicholas II’s family with the highest degree of probability.
Entombment of the remains took place in 1998 at the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul in St Petersburg but the Russian Orthodox Church did not take part in the ceremonies because it still questions the identity of the bones.
Supplementary excavation at the site near Ekaterinburg followed in 2007. It resulted in more material finds, the forensic scrutiny of which continues to this day.
On 20th August 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) canonized Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Tsesarevich Alexis, and the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia as new holy martyrs for faith.
Note: On 1st November 1981, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) canonized the Russian Imperial family as new martyrs
© TASS News Agency / Paul Gilbert. 14 December 2019
© Paul Gilbert. 13 December 2019