Arson suspected near the Romanov Memorial

PHOTO: a large Orthodox cross marks the spot – covered with rail ties – where the remains of Nicholas II, his wife, three of their children, and four servants were exhumed in 1991

On the evening of Tuesday 3rd May, a fire broke out in the Porosenkov Log near Ekaterinburg, almost reaching the Romanov Memorial. According to Ilya Korovin, Director of the Romanov Memorial Charitable Foundation, the fire came within 50 to 70 meters of the main grave site, where the remains of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, three of their children and four servants were exhumed in 1991.

Two emergency vehicles were dispatched to the scene at around 6:30 in the evening. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before coming within 10 meters of a gas pipeline, which runs in behind the memorial site. Firefighters struggled with the fire for about two hours, bringing the fire under control shortly after eight in the evening. Had the fire not been contained, a massive explosion would most certainly have occurred if the flames had reached the pipeline. According to the emergency crews, “it was definitely arson”.

The area of the fire spread to about 4 thousand square meters, mostly forest. The fire did not cause any damage to the territory in or around the Romanov Memorial. “From the gas pipeline to the road, everything burned out—an area of about 100 square meters,” added Ilya Korovin – “Where there was once a swamp, is now nothing more than a large black sport, and an unpleasant smell.”

© Paul Gilbert. 4 May 2022