Tsar Nicholas II: Myths and Reality

Click on the image above to watch this 14 minute video [in English]

This is one of the finest videos produced to date by the Mesa Potamos Publications. Thanks to the research of Father Andrew Phillips, it provides viewers with many new facts, which are often overlooked or ignored by Western historians. This video is a “MUST” watch for any one interested in the truth about Russia’s much slandered Tsar.



‘A weak, stupid, incompetent reactionary, who blocked progress towards a Western-style constitutional monarchy or republic. Such is the primitive Western stereotype of the much-slandered and later martyred Tsar Nicholas II, whose only real fault was probably that he was too kind. In actual fact, the above widely- repeated stereotype says very little about him, but far more about the hateful xenophobia and arrogant, hypocritical and self-justifying prejudices of those who hold it.

What they are saying in reality is that the innocent Tsar, who opposed their Western materialist ‘progress’, had to be destroyed, however embarrassing to them the barbaric manner of his and his family’s deaths. The remarkable thing is that this anti-Russian Western historiography coincides perfectly with both Soviet and pre-Revolutionary anti-Orthodox historiography. Why? Simply because its writers have the same sources – in the same anti-Christian, materialist ideology which developed in the West and which the West has spread worldwide. What are some of these myths?


Serfdom was not Russian – it was introduced from the West together with absolutism, i.e. tyrannical monarchism. Serfdom was gradually introduced into Russia by Western rulers or rulers with a Western mentality, notably the Emperor Peter I and the German Empress Catherine II. It lasted only some 200 years and was abolished peacefully before the USA abolished its system of slavery – only in the USA it took a dreadful war and half a million dead before slavery there could be abolished. As regards Western Europe, it should be added in the nineteenth century the condition of its agricultural workers and toiling industrial masses was little better than slavery.

Tsar Nicholas’ Personality

Tsar Nicholas spoke five languages fluently, had travelled the world and was very well-acquainted with European history. To call him stupid or intellectually limited is absurd. True, he was not an ‘intellectual’ – but then has any intellectual ever made a great ruler? If he had been weak, he would have fallen to the stress of being Tsar long before the First World War. If he had been weak, he would never have taken over the command of his Armed Forces from the incompetent in August 1915. He was not incompetent – though many of the generals, ministers, aristocrats and bureaucrats around him, including his Romanov cousins, certainly were incompetent – as well as being futile idlers.

One of the Tsar’s greatest problems here was finding disinterested, trustworthy and competent administrators. It was precisely the treachery of untrustworthy and incompetent careerists that brought about the Tsar’s abdication. To call the Tsar reactionary is also absurd. For instance, it was he who, against all the advice, appointed the brilliant liberal Petr Stolypin as his Prime Minister. He taxed the rich and gave to the poor, turning peasants into landowners – much to the irritation of certain Romanov family members and other over-wealthy aristocrats, who then plotted against the Tsar. The tragedy was that Stolypin was assassinated by a terrorist after only five years at the helm and before his reforms had obtained all the results required.

Tsarina Alexandra’s Personality

The Tsarina was not hysterical, immoral or pro-German. She identified fully with Orthodox Russia; her alienation from decadent St Petersburg society was precisely because she was moral. And having seen her kingdom of Hesse destroyed by Prussianism, she only had dislike for the German militarism that lay behind the Kaiser’s War. She certainly suffered greatly with anguish at her son’s condition, but as for hysterical, how could she have been, when she chose to wash and dress the wounds of soldiers day in, day out for two years?


The quite unforeseen stampede of people at Khodynka Field after the Tsar’s coronation in 1896, in which many hundreds died can hardly be blamed on the Tsar. Like recent stampedes in Western countries, it was a dreadful accident, causing the death of hundreds in a then unprecedented crowd of 500,000. The compassionate Tsar gave the families of those who had suffered large sums of his own money in compensation.


By far the worst anti-Jewish riots (‘pogroms’) at the turn of the century took place not in the Russian Empire, but in Berlin, Vienna and elsewhere in Western Europe. (Who has forgotten Dreyfus?). In Russia these riots were strongly discouraged and involved small numbers in Poland, Bessarabia and the western Ukraine. The Tsar’s government did its utmost to defend the Jews of his Empire, who had moved there, seeking protection from persecution in Western Europe. Thus, the Jews were kept away from large areas of Russia for their own protection from peasants, who felt exploited and aggrieved by the successful commercial genius of the Jews. As we all know, it was not Russians who killed millions of Jews in the 1940s, but Western Europeans – and, it should be said, not only Germans.

The Russo-Japanese War

A belligerent, impatient and imperialistic Japan attacked Russia without warning at Port Arthur in 1905, just as it attacked the USA without warning at Pearl Harbour in 1941. Russian unpreparedness came in part because it had spent so little on its armed forces – unlike the aggressive Western nations and their imitator – Japan. It was Tsar Nicholas who had proposed international disarmament at the Hague. To accuse this peacemaker of starting the war to create national unity is simply a myth of those who know no history. With only about a quarter of Western European and Japanese military spending, a peace-directed Russia was ill-equipped to fight a war thousands of miles from its capital. To blame the Tsar for Japanese aggression or the disastrous inefficiency of individuals in his administration before and during that war is hardly just.

Bloody Sunday

In the absence of the Tsar from St Petersburg (because of the almost successful assassination attempt on him and his family three weeks before), a violent mob (and not ‘peaceful and unarmed’, as the Western propaganda goes), burning and looting vehicles and other property revolted on Bloody Sunday in 1905. It was led by a renegade, twice-married priest, Fr George Gapon, who hanged himself the next year, when it was discovered that he was in fact a secret agent. In order to defend the fearful citizens of St Petersburg, troops opened fire and tragically killed about 100 of the mob, not ‘thousands’, as the Western propaganda goes. The soldiers had to open fire in defence of the people of St Petersburg, who had barricaded themselves inside their homes from terror. The tragedy was that people died.

Russia’s Alleged Backwardness

Russia was not as backward as the Western media make out. In many respects much of Western Europe and the USA were far more backward. In 20 years under Tsar Nicholas II the population of his realm increased from 123 million to 175 million. By 1913 the speed of industrial development in Russia had outstripped that of the USA. By 1913 its grain production had outstripped that of the USA, Canada and Argentina combined by one third. The Russian Empire had become the granary of Europe; its grain production increased by 70% between 1894 and 1914. Between 1894 and 1913 its industrial production quadrupled. In 1914 the French economist Edmond Théry predicted that by 1950 Russia would dominate Europe politically, economically and financially.

Social Insurance was introduced in 1912, and there was a factory inspectorate, but laws banning certain forms of exploitation had been passed for the first time in the world as early as the eighteenth century, including introducing a maximum ten-hour day. 80% of the arable land was in the hands of the peasants by 1914, the Tsar himself freely giving up 40 million hectares of land in Siberia. So many tens of thousands of schools were opened that by 1917 the level of literacy stood at 85% – comparable to that in the USA today. The Tsar’s Russia was not destroyed because it was ‘backward’, but because it was the last bulwark of Christianity and the materialist enemies of the Gospel, Capitalist or Communist, could not tolerate that.

World War I

The aim of the Western Allies was not only to defeat Germany. It was also to weaken and divide Russia. The West knew that with thirty more years of peace, Russia would become the most prosperous nation in the world. The West would not allow this. Thus, as soon as the Western-organised Revolution had taken place in early 1917, the USA entered the War and the American century began. By 1945 all of Western Europe had become the USA’s puppets. This was no coincidence. The Tsar’s loyalty to the Allies forbade him from making any separate peace; sadly, his loyalty and sacrifices for the Allied cause was met by the Allies’ disloyalty to him and his realm. What was remarkable about the outcome of the War was the treachery of the West. At the Tsar’s abdication, Lloyd George actually said in Parliament that through it ‘Britain has achieved one of its major war aims’!

After the coup d’état of the Bolsheviks, who seized power from the incompetent aristocrats and bourgeoisie who had carried out the Revolution, the British landed in the far north and at Baku in the far south of the Russian Empire, giving independence to Azerbaijan, as they were greedy for its oil. The Italians marched into Georgia and created an independent state there, as they were greedy for its manganese. The French occupied Odessa and intrigued for the independence of the Ukraine. Instead of equipping the Whites, the West gave its arms to the Poles, who then invaded and occupied Kiev and Smolensk. Then the Americans and the Japanese landed in Vladivostok. The renegade General Brusilov who had passed from White to Red, remarked that, ‘The Poles are besieging Russian fortresses with the help of the nations whom we rescued from certain defeat at the beginning of the War’. Even though he was a traitor to the Tsar, here he spoke the truth.


This video is produced as part of the project for the book The Romanov Royal Martyrs, which is an impressive 512-page book, featuring nearly 200 black & white photographs, and a 56-page photo insert of more than 80 high-quality images, colorized by the acclaimed Russian artist Olga Shirnina (Klimbim) and appearing here in print for the first time. EXPLORE the book / ORDER the book.

© Father Andrew Phillips. 4 October 2021

What awaits Ganina Yama, after the ROC recognizes the Ekaterinburg Remains?

PHOTO: The Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama. A wooden causeway surrounds the abandoned mine shaft – visible as a depression in the ground – where the remains of Nicholas II and his family were first discarded after their brutal murder at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg

Thirty years after the discovery of the burial site of the Imperial Family in Porosenkov Log, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is apparently now ready to accept the findings of numerous genetic examinations and admit that the remains of the bodies found there really belong to Emperor Nicholas II and his family.

It is not yet clear whether a new monastery will be built on the site, in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs, but the church has already requested that Porosenkov Log be transferred to the Ekaterinburg Diocese “for the purpose of carrying out religious activities.” And, will most likely, receive it.

It is speculated, that next month, the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) will formally recognize the results of examinations which prove the authenticity of the remains of the Imperial Family, exhumed in the summer of 1991 in the area of ​​Porosenkov Log on the Old Koptyakovskaya Road.

“The examinations that have been carried out convincingly show that the remains found near Ekaterinburg are indeed the remains of the Imperial Family. But for the church to recognize this, it is necessary that all bishops study the results of these examinations. I think as soon as this happens – probably at the bishops’ council in November – the authenticity of the “Ekaterinburg remains” will be recognized by the church,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (Alfeyev), chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate in September 2021.

PHOTO: Porosenkov Log, situated 3.8 km from Ganina Yama. The main grave is seen in the center of the photo, a small path (seen in the upper left) leads to the second grave, where the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and his sister Grand Duchess Maria were discovered in 2007

The discovery of the remains of the Imperial Family in Porosenkov Log

The family of Nicholas II were shot in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg on the night of 16/17 July 1918. The bodies were then taken out of the city to an area of ​​old mines in the Ganina Yama tract, where their killers attempted to destroy the remains using fire and acid.

For many years the Russian Orthodox Church insisted that the bodies of members of the Imperial Family had been destroyed. According to the inhabitants of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama, the monastery stands on the ground, where the ashes from the burnt remains were scattered.

However, historians believe that Ganina Yama is the site of the first attempt of burying the remains, however, the killers returned the following day, exhumed the remains and transported them 3.8 km, and reburied them near the Old Koptyakovskaya Road, which led from Ekaterinburg to Lake Isetskoye.

The remains of the Imperial Family were originally found in 1978 by a group of enthusiasts led by the Ural geologist Alexander Avdonin, who worked under the patronage of film director Geliy Ryabov. Due to the political situation in the Soviet Union at the time, no exhumation of the remains was carried out. It was not until 1991, after the victory of Boris Yeltsin in the presidential elections of the RSFSR, that Avdonin decided that it was time to make the discovery public.

Meanwhile, the search for the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria continued, and discovered in 2007 at Porosenkov Log, in a second grave [only 44 pieces of their bones had been discovered at the site] just meters from the main burial site.

Since that time, the authenticity of the bones of Nicholas II and his family has been confirmed three times. In January 1998, the Commission of the Republican Center for Forensic Medicine of the Ministry of Health of Russia concluded: “The remains found in Ekaterinburg are the remains of Nicholas II, members of his family and his retainers.” In 2008, the authenticity of the remains was also confirmed by a genetic analysis carried out by experts from Russia and the United States. In the summer of 2018, the official representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) Svetlana Petrenko said that repeated commissions of molecular genetic examinations confirmed the authenticity of the remains of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.

PHOTO: The tomb of the Imperial Family in the St. Catherine Chapel of the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg

Why has the Russian Orthodox Church not recognized the authenticity of the remains for 30 years?

Despite these numerous extensive scientific studies and examinations, the Russian Orthodox Church has still not officially recognized the remains discovered at Porosenkov Log. There are several reasons for this:

First, the recognition somewhat discredits the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama. If the remains of the Imperial Family are nevertheless recognized as genuine, it will turn out that the monastery has to be rebuilt in another place. At the same time, Ganina Yama is the main place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians, where traditionally all religious processions in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs end.

Secondly, as the historian and local historian Nikolai Neuymin explains, there will be confusion in the minds of believers, since “there will be several graves: at Ganina Yama, Porosenkov Log and the Peter and Paul Fortress [St. Petersburg].”

Thirdly, the recognition of the remains threatens a split among Orthodox Believers, some of whom will not believe the results of the genetic examination.

Fourth, the Russian Orthodox Church will be forced to publicly admit that for more than 100 years, they were wrong.

Click HERE to read my article The Fate of the Ekaterinburg Remains, published on 18th June 2021

PHOTO: Independent researcher Paul Gilbert, standing at the entrance to the Romanov Memorial at Porosenkov Log. 2nd June 2016

What will happen to Porosenkov Log and Ganina Yama?

If the Russian Orthodox Church does recognize the remains, then, most likely, it will most likely construct a new monastery, church or just a chapel for pilgrims. It is difficult, however, to say at this time.

In March 2016, the Ministry of Culture of the Sverdlovsk Region reported that if the ROC requests the transfer of the territory in and around Porosyonkov Log (added to the cultural heritage list in 2014), would be designated as sacred land and transferred to the ROC, where a memorial and monastery, similar to that at Ganina Yama would be constructed. This in itself suggests that perhaps the ROC has already come to a decision on the authenticity of the remains, and were making preparations?

Porosenkov Log is currently under the administration of the Sverdlovsk Museum of Local Lore, who have plans to build a museum complex on this territory. As a result, Governor Evgeny Kuyvashev suspended the process of land allocation for an indefinite period.

It should also be added, that if the ROC recognize the remains of the Imperial Family as Holy Relics, they cannot be returned to their tomb in St. Catherine’s Chapel [SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg], as relics cannot be returned to the earth. They must be placed in reliquaries above ground which allows the faithful to venerate them. This would be one very important reason why their remains would be interred in a new cathedral named in their honour.

Even if a new monastery is constructed at Porosenkov Log, it will not take away the significance and historic importance of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama, because the burial of the Imperial Family took place at each in the summer of 1918.

In conclusion, perhaps, after the recognition of the remains by the church, the annual Cross Procession in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs, will end not end at Ganina Yama, but at that of Porosenkov Log.

© Paul Gilbert. 3 October 2021