Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatekin) on the Ekaterinburg remains

PHOTO: Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatekin) at the tomb of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, located in St. Catherine’s Chapel – a side chapel in SS Peter and Paul Cathedral – St. Petersburg

Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatekin) is the abbot of the Pechersky Ascension Monastery, and deputy head of the Nizhny Novgorod branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS). He is the author of a new Russian language book on the Ekaterinburg remains ‘Романовы: убийство, поиск, обретение’ [Romanovs: Murder, Search, Acquisition].

Earlier this year, Georgy Kamensky spoke with Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatekin) about the Ekaterinburg remains, published in the Russian language Orthodox site Pravoslavie.ru.

Father Tikhon, what is your opinion on the remains found on the Koptyaki Road, near Ekaterinburg, in 1979 and 2007?

— I regard them as the remains of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich, his August family and devoted servants.

You have finished writing your new book, dedicated to the search for the remains of the Imperial Family. What is it called?

— Indeed, I have finished the layout of my new book. Since 1985, I have been familiar with the researchers who discovered the remains of the Imperial Family – Geliy Trofimovich Ryabov (1932-2015) and Alexander Nikolaevich Avdonin (born 1932). The name of my book is Романовы: убийство, поиск, обретение’ [Romanovs: Murder, Search, Acquisition]. It will be a richly illustrated album, including documents, correspondence and photographs which have never been published anywhere before.

PHOTO: Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatekin) holding a copy of his new book ‘Романовы: убийство, поиск, обретение’ [Romanovs: murder, search, acquisition].

Is it true that Geliy Ryabov and Alexander Avdonin told you back in the 1980s that they had found the remains?

— Yes, for the first time these wonderful men confidentially revealed to me a secret which they swore not to disclose to anyone. In 1986, Geliy Ryabov and Alexander Avdonin took me to Ganina Yama, where they described in detail about the events that took place there in July 1918. In conversations with Geliy Ryabov, I saw how he grieved that no one could read or sing a Panikhida [memorial service for the dead] over the hidden remains of the Imperial Family.

But, it was generally assumed that that Ryabov was an unbeliever, is this true?

— Unfortunately, such assumptions have been made, but this is not true. I have known Geliy Trofimovich personally since the mid-1980s, he was a deeply religious person. Both he and Alexander Nikolaevich Avdonin are intellectuals of incredible erudition and decency. I remember how in 1985, I went with Geliy Trofimovich and his wife Olga Alexandrovna to pray at the Trinity-Sergius Lavra [near Moscow]. There were many pilgrims there that day. Having patiently stood in line, we venerated the holy relics of St. Sergius. It was very touching to see Geliy Trofimovich write a prayer note for “Nikolai, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei.” I placed the note in the hands of an old monk in the Assumption Church.

— In addition, have at my disposal the vast correspondence of Geliy Ryabov with various people, many of his letters reflect the deep, penetrating words of his faith.

There is a rumour that G. T. Ryabov and A. N. Avdonin “discovered” the remains on the instructions of the KGB, and they were planted once by employees of this very organization.

— This alleged report does not stand up to scrutiny. People who adhere to this “rumour”, apart from words, those who adhere to it have failed to produce a single shred of evidence to support such a claim. From the period of the history of “developed socialism” we know about the confrontation between the two giants of the Soviet era – the KGB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Ryabov was an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs N.A. Shchelokov, and not Yu.V. Andropov, who headed the State Security Committee.

— Moreover, the KGB, on the contrary, kept an eye on Ryabov and his activities, and Ryabov himself was well aware of this.

— The correspondence between Ryabov and Avdonin, during their search for the remains of the Imperial Family from 1976-1991, is published for the first time in my book. They had to encrypt their activities, just in case their letters were intercepted and read by the KGB. Therefore, the allegations that Geliy Ryabov and Alexander Avdonin were KGB officers have no basis.

PHOTO: Geliy Trofimovich Ryabov (1932-2015)

PHOTO: Alexander Nikolaevich Avdonin at the Romanov Memorial Hall, Museum of History and Archaeology of the Urals, Ekaterinburg

Can you recommend any books to those who want to learn the truth about the Ekaterinburg remains?

— The three-volume book “The Crime of the Century. Investigation Materials”, explores in detail the murder of the Imperial Family, and the investigation into their death, one which has lasted more than a century. I recommend that you take a look at this work. This is a serious long-term study of the first and second investigations. Experts were involved in this three-volume collection, each of whom performed their work at the highest professional level. These books contain undeniable evidence of the authenticity of the remains found in 1979 and 2007 at Porosenkov Log. In my opinion, the comparison of the documents of the investigation file of Nikolai Sokolov and his book “The Murder of the Royal Family” are of particular importance.

— Millions of people who read Sokolov’s book believe it to be the infallible evidence of the truth. However, one should not forget that a book is a book. Moreover, it was published after the books by Mikhail Diterikhs (1874-1937) and Robert Wilton (1868-1925), who, for some reason, without waiting for the end of the investigative process, hurried to release their books without Sokolov’s consent.

— Recently, a television documentary “The Romanov Case: Investigation has been Established” has also been released. Not everyone was able to read the book published on the website of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, but the documentary, I am sure, was watched by millions of Russians. The documentary was able to convey the conclusion that the tasks set by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ before the new investigation in 2015 were completed, and the last Holy Synod in 2021 came to the conclusion that the investigation left no doubts about the authenticity of the remains of Emperor Nicholas II and his family found near Yekaterinburg. For me, the most important thing is that since 2015, the Church has admitted to the investigative process, which had the opportunity to exercise full control over all research,

PHOTO: the three-volume set of books Crime of the Century has only been published in Russian

The book Crime of the Century you mentioned says that it was you who showed Mine No. 7 to Anatoly Verkhovsky. And yet, there are many who consider him the discoverer of Ganina Yama. What can you tell us about this?

— In 1989, Geliy Ryabov published an article about the discovery of the secret burial place of the Romanovs in the Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper, At the time, Anatoly Verkhovsky was working for me at the parish in the city of Artemovsky, Sverdlovsk Region. After the publication of the article, I told everyone who was present that day in the parish refectory about this secret and my participation in it. Verkhovsky was intrigued by my announcement. I presented him with a copy of Pavel Bykov’s book “The Last Days of the Romanovs“, and also showed him my albums with photographs of the Imperial Family. I also had one special album with photographs from Nikolai Sokolov‘s book The Murder of the Tsar’s Family, which contained a map of the area…

— Verkhovsky was literally shocked by my story that Ryabov and Avdonin had allegedly discovered the Tsar’s remains. It was I who took him to Ganina Yama, where I told him in detail everything that Geliy Ryabov had told me in 1986, and showed him Mine Number 7. Therefore, Anatoly Verkhovsky cannot be recognized as the discoverer of Ganina Yama, because it was Ryabov and Avdonin who discovered the place in 1977-1979, whereupon they created a large-scale map of the area. It is interesting to add, that by the time I showed the mine to Verkhovsky, the Archbishop of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Melkhizedek (Lebedev) had already been made aware of the location of the remains of the Imperial Family by me, and with his blessing, we were making plans to rebury them under the throne of our church in Artyomovsk.

Some people continue to doubt the authenticity of the remains of the Imperial Family, claiming that these remains have not produced any miracles. How do you respond to their claims?

— Archpriest Alexander Shargunov has written about the miracles performed through the prayerful intercession of the Holy Royal Martyrs. The publishing house of the Nizhny Novgorod Caves Monastery is currently preparing the book “Holy Royal Relics. History, Signs, Miracles”, which will tell in detail about the miracles from the relics of the Imperial Family.

— When I visit St. Petersburg, I go to the Russian State Historical Archive (RGIA), where I carry out research for my books. I always stop by the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, where I pray near the tomb holding the relics of the Holy Royal Martyrs. There is a candlestick and an icon next to the tomb, but there is no way to approach the tomb: a red velvet rope barrier hangs in the doors leading to the chapel. Several times I asked the museum workers who were on duty there to let me in to pray, light a candle, put flowers, and I always receive a categorical refusal. Not only do they refuse me, a clergyman in a cassock and klobuk, but Orthodox pilgrims and tourists as well.

Those who dispute the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains predict a new church schism, if they are recognized as Holy Relics by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. What are your thoughts on their claim?

— These people are also trying to find the truth, but the fact that some of them claim that they speak “on behalf of Orthodox people”, focusing on a “possible schism”, is truly terrible. By doing this, they have already separated themselves from the Holy Mother of the Church. Recently, some people have been holding their own conferences, at which they express their opinions and evidence “about the falsification of the Tsar’s remains”, and at the same time they report in the media that they are doing this allegedly “in pursuance of the decision of the Council of Bishops.” I doubt that they received an official blessing at these conferences from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’.

— I can tell you, that during the last two thousand years, the Holy Church has experienced numerous schisms and disorders, but one thing is unshakable – these are the words of Christ the Saviour spoken to the Apostle Peter: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18). Saint Cyprian of Carthage said, accessible to the human mind and heart, very simple words: “He who does not have the church as his mother, does not have God as his father.”

— If the Council of Bishops recognizes the “Ekaterinburg remains” as those of the Holy Royal Martyrs, then the entire Plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church should accept this holy news with reverence and joy. When the relics of the Holy Royal Martyrs are placed in shrines, and due honours are given to them, and numerous pilgrims and pilgrims come to them, then, by the inexpressible mercy of God, they will show us sinners their help, miracles and healings. And then Russia will shine in even greater glory.

‘Романовы: убийство, поиск, обретение’ [Romanovs: murder, search, acquisition]

A new historical work has recently been published Романовы: убийство, поиск, обретение, written by the by the abbot of the Pechersky Ascension Monastery, and deputy head of the Nizhny Novgorod branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatekin).

The work of Archimandrite Tikhon is a colossal study of the murder of the Russian Imperial Family, and the century long investigation. It includes documents, letters and testimonies which have never been published anywhere before. The book is supplement with about 1,500 photographs, many of which are published for the first time.

The memories of all witnesses, as well as archival and photographic materials are placed in chronological order, which cover the entire history of searches and excavations at Porosenkov Log in 1979 and 2007. The author has used photographs, manuscripts, letters and documents from the archive of G. T. Ryabov, kept by his widow Olga Alexandrovna.

The unique correspondence between Ryabov and Avdonin in the 1970-1980s, which was previously completely inaccessible to historians and researchers, is interesting. The author presents evidence, which allows the reader to thoroughly understand how the search was carried out. This was not an easy task, it required courage, bold creative thinking, and analysis from Ryabov and Avdonin.

***

The number of new books published in Russia about Nicholas II and his family each year is simply staggering! Clearly there is a demand for such books, or publishers would not waste their resources on such projects. The fact that so many new titles are being published is a clear indication of public demand. It is encouraging that a new generation of Russian readers have taken an interest in learning about their country’s history, something denied to them during the Soviet years.

© Paul Gilbert. 28 November 2022

ROC delays decision on Ekaterinburg Remains “INDEFINITELY!”

PHOTO: His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia presides over the meeting of Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, 2017

On 25th August 2022, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church announced that it has once again postponed the dates for the Bishops’ Council meeting – which was scheduled to meet in Moscow next month – and has now been postponed “indefinitely”, citing the “current situation in the world”.

“Since the international situation continues to make it difficult for many members of the Bishops’ Council to arrive in Moscow [from foreign countries], a decision has been made to postpone the meeting indefinitely . . . ” the Synod’s resolution states (Journal No. 66) dated 25th August 2022.

Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patrairchate) from more than 70 countries cannot travel to Moscow, due to Western sanctions, which have banned air travel to Russia from many countries around the world.

The Bishops’ Council was originally scheduled to meet in Moscow from 15th to 18th November 2021, however, this was delayed “due to the difficult COVID-19 situation.” The meeting was thus rescheduled for 26th to 29th May 2022. This meeting was also delayed due to the Russian-Ukranian conflict, and postponed until the end of 2022.

A key item on the agenda of the Bishops’ Council meeting is a definitive decision of the Church on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg remains.

The Council of Bishops is the highest body of the hierarchical administration of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Council reviews and approves church dogmas, determines the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on important issues of public life. Thus, at the council of 2000, a decision was made to canonize more than a thousand new martyrs – which included Emperor Nicholas II and his family.

According to the charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Council of Bishops is convened at least once every four years. The previous council took place in Moscow, from 29th November to 2nd December 2017. Between councils, issues of church life are decided by the Holy Synod, which meets every four months.

PHOTO: on 29th November 2017, some 347 bishops from across Russia and around the world, took part in the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow

As of 2019, the Russian Orthodox Church was present in 77 countries – including Russia; with 309 dioceses (of which 19 are in foreign countries); 382 bishops; 40,514 clerics (35,677 presbyters, 4,837 deacons); 38,649 churches or other places of worship where Divine Liturgy is served, not including 977 parishes abroad; 1012 monasteries (972 monasteries in the canonical territory (474 ​​male, 498 female) and 40 in other countries); 5,883 monks and 9,687 nuns (including cassocks) live in monasteries; 5 academies and 50 seminaries in which, at the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year, approx. 14 thousand students; OK. 11,000 Sunday schools with over 175,000 pupils; 145 Orthodox educational organizations; almost 150 maternity protection centers; there are 70 rehabilitation centers, 18 resocialization centers, 67 counseling centers for drug addicts; over 90 shelters for the homeless; there are 10 mercy buses (mobile points for helping the homeless); over 450 charity canteens; more than 160 church humanitarian centers; more than 450 sisterhoods of mercy; over 500 volunteer charity groups; more than 250 charitable voluntary associations of various profiles.

According to the Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the Bishops, members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will return to this issue, when they meet again in December.

Sadly, whatever decision the Bishops’ Council makes, it is sure to cause a schism among Believers who are divided on the authenticity of the remains. Many still adhere to Nikolai Alekseevich Sokolov’s (1882-1924) theory that the bodies of the Imperial Family were completely destroyed with fire and acid at the Four Brothers Mine.

***

BONES OF CONTENTION (Revised Edition)
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ekaterinburg Remains
By Paul Gilbert

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

Full-colour covers, 206 pages + 90 black & white photographs

Originally published in 2020, this NEW REVISED & EXPANDED 2021 EDITION features an additional 40+pages, new chapters and 90 black and white photos. It is the most up-to-date source on the highly contentious issue of the Russian Orthodox Church and their position on the Ekaterinburg Remains.

The world awaits a decision by the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, who will meet in Moscow at some point, during which they will review the findings of the Investigative Commission and deliver their verdict on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains.

The reopening of the investigation into the death of Nicholas II and his family in 2015, caused a wave of indignation against the Russian Orthodox Church. This book presents the position of both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Investigation Committee.

This is the first English language title to explore the position of the Orthodox Church in Russia with regard to the Ekaterinburg remains. The author’s research for this book is based exclusively on documents from Russian media and archival sources.

This unique title features an expanded introduction by the author, and eight chapters, on such topics as the grounds for the canonization of Nicholas II and his family by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000; comparative details of the Sokolov investigation in 1919, and the investigations carried out in the 1990s to the present; reluctance of the Moscow Patriarchate to officially recognize the remains as authentic; interesting findings of Russian journalist, producer and screenwriter Elena Chavchavadze in her documentary Regicide. A Century of Investigation; and the author’s own attempt to provide some answers to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation for example: “Will Alexei and Maria be buried with the rest of their family?” and “Will the Imperial Family remains be reinterred in a new cathedral in Ekaterinburg?”.

This new revised and expanded edition also includes two NEW chapters!

Interviews with Vladimir Soloviev, Chief Major Crimes Investigator for the Central Investigate Department of the Public Prosecution Office of the Russian Federation and Archpriest Oleg Mitrov, a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints – BOTH key players in the Ekaterinburg remains case, reveal the political undertones of this to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Independent researcher Paul Gilbert has spent more than 25+ years researching and writing about the Russian Imperial Family. His primary research is focused on the life, reign and era of Nicholas II. On 17th July 1998, he attended the tsar’s interment ceremony at the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Twenty years later, he attended the Patriarchal Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July 2018, held at the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg. Since his first visit to the Urals in 2012, he has brought prayers and flowers to both Ganina Yama and Porosenkov Log on numerous occasions.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 October 2022

Program for the XXII Tsar’s Days in the Urals – 2022

From 12th to 20th July, the 22nd annual Tsar’s Days will be held in the Urals [Ekaterinburg and Alapaevsk], which includes a series of solemn events [16th to 18th July] dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II and his family, who met their death and martyrdom in Ekaterinburg 104 years ago, on 17th July 1918.

The main events are the night Divine Liturgy, which is performed on the square in front of the Church on the Blood, built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where members of the Imperial Family and their faithful subjects ended their earthly days, and the 21-km [13 miles] Cross Procession to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama, on the site of which the regicides first disposed of the Imperial family’s remains, before returning the following day to exum thre remains and bury them in two separate graves at *Porosenkov Log.

On 18th July, similar events will be held in Alapaevsk, where 8 additonal members of the Romanov dynasty and their faithful servants [see below] met their death and martydom.

The Ekaterinburg Martyrs – 11 victims

Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, and their four faithful retainers Dr. Eugene Botkin (court physician), Alexei Trupp (footman), Ivan Kharitonov (cook), and Anna Demidova (Alexandra’s maid).

The Alapaevsk Martyrs – 8 victims

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, Princes of the Imperial Blood Ioann, Konstantin and Igor Konstantinovich, Prince Vladimir Paley (son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich), and two faithful servants: sister of the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent Varvara Alekseevna (Yakovleva), and Fyodor Semyonovich (Mikhailovich) Remez, secretary of the Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich.

In addition, the XXI International Festival of Orthodox Culture will be held in Ekaterinburg from 12th-20th July. The festival features many events in honour of the Holy Royal Martyrs, including divine services, religious processions, exhibitions, concerts, conferences and other events.

PHOTO: icon depicting the Ekaterinburg and Alapaevsk Martyrs

SERVICE CALENDAR

July 16, Saturday

09:00 – Divine Liturgy at the altar of the Holy Royal Martyrs, situated in the Lower Church of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg.

13:00 — Cross procession along the route in which the Holy Royal Martyrs travelled upon arriving in Ekaterinburg [from Tobolsk] on 30th April 1918, from the Shartash Train Station [Kuibysheva street, 149-a] to the Church on the Blood. Route: [Tsarskaya street, 10] along the route: railway station Shartash – Kuibyshev street – Vostochnaya street – Chelyuskintsev street – Sverdlov street – K. Liebknecht street).

15:00 – Small Vespers with Akathist to the Holy Royal Martyrs. Confession. In the Lower Church of the Church on the Blood.

16:30-20:00 – All-night vigil, on the square in front of the Church on the Blood.

17:00-20:00 – All-night vigil, at the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama.

23:30-02:00 – Divine Liturgy, on the square in front of the Church on the Blood.

July 17, Sunday

~ 02:30 – Traditional 21-km [13 miles] Cross Procession from the Church on the Blood to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama Route: Tsarskaya street, 10 – st. Tolmacheva – Lenin Ave. – V. Isetsky Boulevard – st. Kirov – st. Bebel – st. Technical – st. Reshetskaya – Railway forest park – pos. Shuvakish – Ganina Yama.

Upon the arrival of the procession, a Liturgy to the Holy Royal Martyrs will be performed at the Field kitchen.

06:00 – Divine Liturgy (early). Church on the Blood. In the Lower Church, altar at the site of the martyrdom of the Holy Royal Martyrs aka the Imperial Room [built on the site of the murder room, located in the basement of the Ipatiev House].

09:00 – Divine Liturgy (late). Church on the Blood, Upper Church

09:00 – Divine Liturgy. Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama.

17.00 – All-night vigil. Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh, at Ganina Yama.

17.00 – All-night vigil. Monastery in the Name of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, Alapaevsk.

July 18, Monday

00:00 – Divine Liturgy. Holy Trinity Archbishop’s Compound, Alapaevsk.

02:30 – Small Vespers with Akathist to the Holy Royal Martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and nun Varvara. Holy Trinity Archbishop’s Compound, Alapaevsk.

03:30 – Procession from the Holy Trinity Bishops’ Metochion to the Napolnaya School [where Grand Duchess Elizabeth along with other members of the Imperial family and their servants were held under arrest] and further to the Monastery in the Name of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, Alapaevsk.

05:30 – Divine Liturgy (early). Monastery in the Name of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, Alapaevsk.

09:00 – Divine Liturgy (late). Monastery in the Name of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, Alapaevsk.

Tsar’s Days in the 21st century

The first procession in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs, headed by Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill, took place in 2002, in which more than 2 thousand pilgrims and about 100 clerics participated. In 2012, for the first time since the construction of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, an all-night vigil and Divine Liturgy were performed in the open air.

In 2017 an estimated 60,000 people took part; in 2019, 60 thousand participated; in 2020, 10 thousand people [due to COVID], and in 2021, 3 thousand people [once again, due to COVID]. In addition, up to 2 thousand people gathered an alternative religious procession of the schismatic and tsarist monk Sergius (Romanov) in the Sredneuralsk Convent in Honour of the Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 2018, more than 100,000 Orthodox Christians, monarchists, among others from across Russia and around the world took part in the Patriarchal Liturgy and procession of the cross from the Church on the Blood to the Ganina Yama.

Click HERE to read my article What is Tsar’s Days? – published on 15th May 2021

*NOTE: due to the fact the Moscow Patriachate does not yet recognize the Ekaterinburg Remains as authentic, the Cross Procession does not stop at Porosenkov Log, where the remains of the Imperial family were unearthed in two separate graves in the late 1970s and 2007.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) have confirmed that the Bishops’ Council, will meet in Moscow at the end of 2022, during which they will review the findings of the Investigative Commission and deliver their verdict on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains.

Summer 2022 Appeal

If you enjoy my articles, news stories and translations, then please help support my research by making a donation in US dollars to my project The Truth About Nicholas II – please note that donations can be made by PayPal or credit card. Thank you for your consideration – PG

© Paul Gilbert. 5 July 2022

Russian Orthodox Church postpones recognition of Ekaterinburg remains . . . AGAIN!

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us! 🙏
Святы Царственные мученики, молите Бога о нас! 🙏

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has announced that the Bishops’ Council, which was scheduled to meet in Moscow next month has been postponed until the end of 2022.

A key item on the agenda of the Bishops’ Council meeting is a definitive decision of the Church on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg remains.

The Bishops’ Council was originally scheduled to meet in Moscow from 15th to 18th November 2021, however, this was delayed “due to the difficult COVID-19 situation.” The meeting was thus rescheduled for 26th to 29th May 2022.

The ROC are now citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the reason for the latest delay: “due to the fact that the international situation makes it difficult for many members of the Bishops’ Council to arrive in Moscow, the meeting has been postponed until the autumn or winter period of 2022”.

According to the ROC, the exact dates for the next Bishops’ Council will be discussed by the Holy Synod when they meet this summer.

© Paul Gilbert. 18 April 2022

Nicholas II in the news – Winter 2022

PHOTO: Emperor Nicholas II, by the contemporary Russian artist Vladimir Kireyev

Russia’s last emperor and tsar continues to be the subject of news in Western media. For the benefit of those who do not follow me on my Facebook page, I am pleased to present the full length articles and news stories published by American and British media services.

Below, are the articles published in January, February and March 2022. Click on the title [highlighted in red] and follow the link to read each respective article:

5 curses that haunted the Romanovs

In a 300-year history of the Romanov dynasty, there were dozens of predictions and prophecies about its future and fate. The Editors at ‘Russia Beyond’ picked the five most haunting.

Source: Russia Beyond. 28 March 2022

Rare PHOTOS of Russia’s last tsar Nicholas II + 31 PHOTOS

The art of photography was developing fast during his times, so we are lucky to see lots of images of the Emperor, both official and from everyday life.

Source: Russia Beyond. 28 March 2022

“It is our duty not to anger God and not offend His saints by refusing to recognize their relics” – Archpriest Valentin Asmus on the Royal Martyrs’ remains and the controversy surrounding them

Twenty-two years ago, Emperor Nicholas II and his family were canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate. In May 2022, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet to deliver their verdict on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains.

Why were the remains not recognized as relics immediately? How do the clergy feel about recognizing them? Archpriest Valentin Asmus, rector of the Church of the Protecting Veil of the Most Holy Theotokos in Krasnoye Selo (Moscow), a Ph.D. in Theology, has kindly agreed to answer these and other questions.

Source: Orthodox Christianity. 23 March 2022

Here’s how the luxurious train of Nicholas II looked inside + 35 PHOTOS

In the late 1890s, a brand new train was built for the imperial family. It was a 10-car train that included a bedroom for the Emperor and Empress, a reception room, office, kitchen, dining room, the children’s room, rooms for family members, servants, railroad workers, luggage room, and a specially equipped prayer room.

Emperor Nicholas II was the first and the last tsar to use the train. The following article features 35 extraordinary photos of this ‘palace on wheels’.

Source: Russia Beyond. 22 March 2022

Emperor Nicholas II’s favourite sport + 12 PHOTOS

Tennis came to the Russian Empire from Great Britain in the 1860s and soon became very popular among the local aristocracy. Members of the Russian Imperial Family also played the game. None of them, however, was as obsessed with it as Nicholas II.

In another life, the tsar could have been a professional tennis player. He competed almost as equals on the court against renowned champions.

Source: Russia Beyond. 18 March 2022

How tsarist treasures were saved from being sold to the West + 16 PHOTOS

Having established Soviet power and finishing the Civil War, the Bolsheviks had to take care of the economy of the new country, which was gripped by hunger, poverty and devastation. In the second half of the 1920s, the large-scale “Stalin sales” of the Russian Empire’s art treasures to the West began. Tsarist crowns, diamonds, Faberge eggs, icons and paintings by Old Masters and Impressionists from Russian museums, including the Hermitage, were sold literally wholesale to millionaires in the United States and Europe.

Museum workers risked their lives trying to keep precious relics from being taken out of the country.

Source: Russia Beyond. 7 March 2022

Paul Gilbert’s Romanov Bookshop on AMAZON – UPDATED with NEW titles!!

I have published nearly 30 titles to date through AMAZON – featuring one of the largest selections of books on Nicholas II, the Romanov dynasty and the history of Imperial Russia.

Please CLICK on the LINK above to review my current selection of titles in hardcover, paperback and ebook editions. Listings provide a full description for each title, pricing and a Look inside feature.

© Paul Gilbert. 31 March 2022

Haemophilia gene confirms authenticity of Tsesarevich Alexei’s remains

PHOTO: Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, at the bedside of her son Alexei in 1912

In a new documentary aired on Russian television in January 2022, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, stated that the haemophilia gene was found in the remains of Emperor Nicholas II’s only son, discovered at Porosenkov Log in 2007.

“The haemophilia gene made it possible to confirm the authenticity of the remains of the son of Nicholas II, Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich,” said the director of the Scientific Center for Genetics and Life Sciences of Sirius University, and Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Biological Sciences Evgeny Rogaev in the documentary The Romanov Case. The Investigation Established.

DNA examinations were carried out along three lines – female, male and asexual. “We have now determined who was the carrier of the mutation, and who was not. The tests showed that Alexandra Feodorovna carried both a healthy variant and the diseased variant, as expected, because she has two X chromosomes. Sadly, Alexei carried the diseased variant of the X-chromosome.

Tests were also concluded the status of the Empress’s four daughters. “The older sisters Olga and Tatiana were not carriers of haemophilia, however, in one of the younger sisters we found that she was a carrier of the diseased variant. Based on anthropological studies, we have concluded that it was Anastasia who also carried the diseased variant”, said the expert.

In the burial site, in addition to bone fragments, a piece of burnt striped fabric was discovered, which we believe belonged to Tsesarevich Alexei, who was wearing a vest on the day of the murders in the Ipatiev House.

PHOTO: Only 44 pieces of Alexei and Maria’s bones [1] have been found at Porosenkov Log, near Ekaterinburg

On 30 April 2008, Russian forensic scientists announced that DNA testing had proven that the remains belong to the Tsesarevich Alexei and his sister Grand Duchess Maria. DNA information, made public in July 2008, that was obtained from the Ekaterinburg site and repeated independent testing by laboratories such as the University of Massachusetts Medical School revealed that the final two missing Romanov remains were indeed authentic. In March 2009, results of the DNA testing were published, confirming that the two bodies discovered in 2007 were those of Alexei and Maria.

For many years, it has generally been accepted that Alexei began bleeding from his navel at the age of six weeks . . . this has since been proven incorrect. This was based on an entry in Nicholas II’s diary, six weeks after the birth of Alexis . . . Alix and I were very concerned about the bleeding of little Alexei from his umbilical cord . . .”.

Two noted Romanov historians Margarita Nelipa and Helen Rappaport both tell us otherwise, that Alexei’s bleeding was noted the day following his birth. Their claim is based on two separate, yet reliable sources:

[1] “One day after Alexei’s birth, Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich (1854-1931) came to congratulate the sovereign and stayed for lunch. Upon his departure, the sovereign mentioned the presence of “blood on the diapers”. Returning to his Znamenka estate (in Alexandria), he repeated this detail to his wife who telephoned Nikolai II (before visiting Alix later that evening). During their conversation, he said that the doctors had confirmed that the atypical bleeding was indeed due to haemophilia.”

Source: ‘Alexei. Russia’s Last Imperial Heir: A Chronicle of Tragedy’ by Margarita Nelipa. Published by Gilbert’s Books in 2015

[2] Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich and his wife Grand Duchess Militza Nikolaevna (1866-1951) had driven over to the Lower Dacha the day Alexei was born . . . as their son Prince Roman Petrovich (1896-1978) later recalled in his memoirs [published in Danish].

‘When they returned in the evening to Znamenka, my father remembered that . . . the Tsar had told him . . . That the doctors were concerned about the frequent splatters of blood in his swaddling clothes. . . .”

Grand Duke Peter telephoned the palace, “When the Tsar answered that they had hoped that the bleeding would soon stop, my mother took the receiver and asked if the doctors could explain the cause of the bleeding. When the Tsar could not give her a clear answer, she asked him with the calmest of voices she could manage: ‘I beg you, ask them if there is any sign of haemophilia’ . . . The Tsar fell silent on the phone for a long time and then started to question my mother and ended by quietly repeating the word that had staggered him: haemophilia.”

Source: ‘Four Sisters. The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses’ by Helen Rappaport. Published in 2014

In addition, is a letter dated 1st August 1904 – 2 days after Alexei’s birth, in which the Emperor mentions the “unusual bleeding” to Grand Duchess Militza Nikolaevna:

Dear Militza,

I am writing Alix’s words to you: Thank God, the day passed calmly. After having a dressing at 12 o’clock and up to 9:30 in the evening, there was not a drop of blood. The doctors hope this will continue. Korovin stays overnight. Fedorov leaves for the city and will return tomorrow. We both like him immensely! The little “treasure” is surprisingly calm when a bandage is applied, or he sleeps or lies and laughs. The parents now have a little relief in their hearts. Fedorov says that the loss of blood over two days is roughly ⅛ – 1/9 of the total amount of blood.

Nicholas

Source: Alexei: Russia’s Last TsesarevichLetters, diaries and writings by George Hawkins. Independently published in 2022

NOTES:

[1] For years, the boxes containing 44 bone fragments remained on dusty shelves in the Russian State Archives. In December 2015, their remains were transferred to the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow, where they remain to this day.

© Paul Gilbert. 25 February 2022

The fate of Porosenkov Log and Ganina Yama

CLICK on the image above to watch a 2-minute video tour of the Romanov Memorial at Porosenkov Log

In May, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) will convene in Moscow, to discuss the results of examinations carried out between 2015-2018, by the Investigate Committee of the Russian Federation. It is widely believed that the Council will recognize the authenticity of the remains of the Imperial Family. So, what effect will this have on both Porosenkov Log and Ganina Yama?

Representatives of the Romanov Memorial Charitable Foundation in Ekaterinburg, now fear that the diocese could destroy the original appearance of Porosenkov Log, the spot were the remains of Emperor Nicholas II, his wife, three children and four retainers were discovered in 1991. The remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and his sister Maria were discovered in a nearby separate grave in 2007.

According to Ilya Korovin, Director of the Romanov Memorial Charitable Foundation , Porosenkov Log is the only place in Ekaterinburg connected with the Imperial Family’s final days, which has survived to this day unchanged. “In Ganina Yama, unlike the Porosenkov Log, visitors cannot see the territory as it looked in 1918. Of course, with the recognition of the remains, the question of the future fate of the memorial will arise,” he said during a recent press conference.

As an argument, representatives of the fund cite the fact that in March 2016 the Ekaterinburg Diocese asked for a plot of land at Porosenkov Log, made a request to the Ministry of Culture of the Sverdlovsk Region for the transfer of the territory in and around Porosyonkov Log (added to the cultural heritage list in 2014), transferred to the ROC, to be designated as sacred land and where a memorial and monastery, similar to that at Ganina Yama would be constructed.

The Governor of Sveredlovsk Yevgeny Kuyvashev suspended the process of allocating land for an indefinite period. “Knowing the methods of preserving and developing memorial sites by the Russian Orthodox Church, one can come to the disappointing conclusion that Porosenkov Log will undergo catastrophic changes,” Korovin said. Korovin also noted that the territory of the Railway Forest Park, where the Romanov Memorial is located, is also subject to future development.

Representatives of the Romanov Memorial also added that, previously in 2007-2010 the Russian Orthodox Church planned to seize the territory in the area of ​​the Old Koptyakovskaya Road, partially cut down the forest, in order to build a cemetery and an Orthodox church. Again, the Sverdlovsk authorities were forced to intervene in order to end the conflict.

Sergei Chapnin, a member and expert of the Romanov Memorial Charitable Foundation, believes that Porosenkov Log is a civil memorial and this section of the old Koptyakovskaya Road must be kept intact.

Local Ekaterinburg historian Nikolai Neuimin notes, “if the Bishops Council recognizes that the remains of the Nicholas II and his family are authentic, then it turns out that the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs should not have been built at Ganina Yama, the place where the regicides tried to bury the bodies for the first time. The bones lay there for only a day and a half, while the remains were reburied 3.5 km away in two separate graves in what is today known as Porosenkov Log. As Ganina Yama is the main place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians, no one will demolish or move the seven churches, even if it turns out that the remains in the Porosenkov Log are indeed genuine,” he added.

Chapnin, among others, believe that the recognition by the ROC of the Ekaterinburg will most certainly create a schism within the church. The ROC will be forced to acknowledge that for more than 100 years, they were wrong. This in itself may be perceived by many as a great embarrassment and humiliation to the church.

“Not every one in the church is ready to recognize the authenticity of the remains. Accepting the new reality will be quite difficult,” he added.

© Paul Gilbert. 14 February 2022

Maria Vladimirovna takes the “which ever way the wind blows” approach to the Ekaterinburg Remains

PHOTO: Princess Maria Vladimirovna

On 24th January, the Interfax news agency announced that “The Russian Imperial House will support a Russian Orthodox Church decision to recognize the authenticity of the remains of the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, and members of his family.”

When referring to the “The Russian Imperial House”, the prominent Russian news agency is of course referring to the House of Romanov, the reigning Imperial House of Russia from 1613 to 1917. The Russian Imperial House ended with the murder of Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II on 17th July 1918.

Today’s so-called “Russian Imperial House” is “headed” by Princess Maria Vladimirovna, the Spanish-born granddaughter of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, a coward who lacked a moral compass and a traitor to Nicholas II and the Russian Empire.

According the Robert K. Massie, following the discovery of the remains of Emperor Nicholas II and most of his immediate family in 1991, Maria Vladimirovna wrote to President Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) regarding the burial of the remains, saying of her Romanov cousins, whom she does not recognise as members of the “Imperial House” (including the grandchildren of Nicholas II’s sister Grand Duchess Xenia), that they “do not have the slightest right to speak their mind and wishes on this question. They can only go and pray at the grave, as can any other Russian, who so wishes”.[1]

She has also said, regarding her Romanov relations, that “My feeling about them is that now that something important is happening in Russia, they suddenly have awakened and said, ‘Ah ha! There might be something to gain out of this.”

At the behest of the Russian Orthodox Church, Maria did not recognise the authenticity of the remains and declined to attend the reburial ceremony in 1998, however according to Victor Aksyuchits, ex-advisor of Boris Nemtsov[2], the exact reason behind Maria’s absentance at the state burial for Nicholas II and his family in 1998 was motivated by the Russian government’s refusal to recognize her status as official Head of the Romanov House[3], after requesting such via a letter prior the funeral ceremony.

Despite Maria’s protests, President Boris Yeltsin and his wife attended the funeral along with more than 50 Romanov descendants[4] from all over the world, including Prince Michael of Kent. Members of the self-proclaimed “The Russian Imperial House”- which included Maria Vladimirovna, her son George Hohenzollern, and her mother Leonida Georgievna – were no where to be seen.

Instead, Patriarch Alexei II (1929-2008), Maria Vladimirovna, her son George Hohenzollern, and her mother Leonida Georgievna (1914-2010) attended a liturgy at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church, situated in the town of Sergiyev Posad, about 70 km north-east of Moscow.

The Holy Synod opposed the government’s decision in February 1998 to bury the remains in the Peter and Paul Fortress, preferring a “symbolic” grave until their authenticity had been resolved. As a result, when they were interred on 17th July 1998, they were referred to by the priest conducting the service as “Christian victims of the Revolution” rather than the Emperor and members of his family. Patriarch Alexei II, who felt that the Church was sidelined in the investigation, refused to officiate at the burial and banned bishops from taking part in the funeral ceremony.

So, why has it taken so long for Maria Vladimirovna to acknowledge the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains?[5] Accoring to Alexander Zakatov, who serves as Maria’s senior mouth piece and head of her “chancellery” in Moscow: “The Russian Imperial House – the house, not some private individuals variously related[6] – has always said: we neither affirm not deny the authenticity of the remains but are waiting for the Church’s Council to determine. Once it has done so, the Imperial House will perceive it with joy,” he said.

Maria Vladimirovna has continually claimed that “Neither I nor my son are involved in politics” – she wouldn’t dare! She would never dare speak out against either the Church or Putin. If she challenged or criticized the former, she would no doubt face the wrath of the Church. Likewise, if she challenged or criticized the latter, she would most likely be made persona non grata in Russia.

Maria Vladimirovna’s comments this week are of course political. As she has accused her relatives in the past, perhaps, she also believes ” ‘Ah ha! There might be something to gain out of this!”

NOTES:

[1] Massie, Robert. The Romanovs. The Final Chapter. New York: Random House, 1995

[2] Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov (1959-2015) was one of the most important figures in the introduction of reforms into the Russian post-Soviet economy. Nemtsov, who served as Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin, was charged with organizing the funeral of Nicholas II and his family in 1998. From 2000 until his death, he was an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. Nemtsov was assassinated on 27th February 2015, beside his Ukrainian partner Anna Durytska, on a bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow, with four shots fired from the back.

[3] In addition, many people continue to ask “why”, this woman who claims such an important title continues to live in Madrid, rather than move to Russia. The answer is again motivated by the Russian government’s refusal to recognize her status as official “Head” of the House of Romanov.

[4] At the time of the funeral, Prince Nicholas Romanovich (1922-2014) was recognized by all the living Romanov descandents as the Head of the Romanov Family, with the exception of Maria Vladimirovna, her son George Hohenzollern, and her mother Leonida Georgievna.

[5] It is interesting to note that while Maria has visited the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama, and attended the Patriarchal Liturgy held on 17th July 2018, in Ekaterinburg, she has never visited the Romanov Memorial at Porosenkov Log, where the remains of Nicholas II, his wife and three of their five children were discovered in 1991, and the remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and his sister Grand Duchess Maria were discovered in 2007.

[6] Zakatov is referring to Maria Vladimirovna’s Romanov relations, who are scattered across the globe, and for whom she continually holds in contempt, due to morganatic marriages since 1917, thus she believes that they are beneath her “status” as the self-proclaimed “head” of the now non-existent “Russian Imperial House”. Maria Vladimirovna has many detractors, all of whom refuse to recognize her claim, given that her parents [Vladimir Kirillovich and the divorced Leonida Kirby] married morganatically, and that she is the direct descandant of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich.

© Paul Gilbert. 26 January 2022

“Nothing prevents the ROC from recognizing the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains” – Metropolitan Hilarion

The Russian Orthodox Church has no doubts about the authenticity of the remains of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, found near Ekaterinburg. Nothing prevents the recognition of their authenticity, Metropolitan Hilarion emphasized during an interview held today, on the program Church and World on the Russia 24 TV channel.

The head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church added: “In my opinion, nothing today prevents the recognition of the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains, but in order for them to be recognized as authentic, a conciliar decision of the Church is needed.”

This decision must be made by the highest leadership of the Church, and the highest leadership is the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, he explained. Metropolitan Hilarion emphasized that following the report of the Investigative Committee in June 2021 at a meeting of the Holy Synod, none of the bishops should have had any further doubts about the authenticity of the remains after the examinations.

The Bishops’ Council was scheduled to meet in Moscow 15th to 18th November 2021, however, this was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation in Russia. The Bishops’ Council will now convene from 26th to 29th May 2022.

“If the arguments in favour of the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains prevail, then a final decision will be made,” Metropolitan Hilarion noted. He explained why a decision by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church is important in this case. “If the Synod recognize the Ekaterinburg Remains as the remains of the Imperial Family, it means they are holy relics, it means they need to be venerated appropriately”.

Metropolitan Hilarion also said that the Council of Bishops will determine the final resting place of the Imperial family’s remains. It should be noted, that 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.

In July 2020, the historical and archival examination, which was carried out as part of the investigation into the murder of the Imperial Family, confirmed the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg remains. Associate professor of the Historical Archive Institute of the Russian State Humanitarian University Evgeny Vladimirovich Pchelov, explained, genetics were involved in the identification of the remains. In addition, researchers analyzed over 2,000 historical documents: written sources, photographs, and audio recordings. The documents were collected from more than 15 Russian and foreign archives.

Vladimir Nikolaevich Soloviev, retired senior investigator and forensic expert at the Main Department of Criminalistics (Forensic Center) of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, who from 1991 to 2015 led the investigation into the deaths of the Imperial Family, fully supports the decision of the Russian Church to recognize the Ekaterinburg Remains as authentic, considers it indisputable.

“I fully support this statement. I categorically say that these are the remains of the Imperial Family, geneticists told us with 100% accuracy,” Solovyov told Interfax on Saturday, commenting on the Russian Orthodox Church’s statement that there are no obstacles to recognizing the authenticity of the remains.

© Paul Gilbert. 22 January 2022

Bones of Contention: The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ekaterinburg Remains

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

Full-colour covers, 206 pages + 90 black & white photographs

Originally published in 2020, this NEW REVISED & EXPANDED 2021 EDITION features an additional 40+pages, new chapters and 90 black and white photos. It is the most up-to-date source on the highly contentious issue of the Russian Orthodox Church and their position on the Ekaterinburg Remains.

In May 2022, the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, will meet in Moscow during which they will review the findings of the Investigative Commission and deliver their verdict on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains.

The reopening of the investigation into the death of Nicholas II and his family in 2015, caused a wave of indignation against the Russian Orthodox Church. This book presents the position of both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Investigation Committee.

This is the first English language title to explore the position of the Orthodox Church in Russia with regard to the Ekaterinburg remains. The author’s research for this book is based exclusively on documents from Russian media and archival sources.

This unique title features an expanded introduction by the author, and eight chapters, on such topics as the grounds for the canonization of Nicholas II and his family by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000; comparative details of the Sokolov investigation in 1919, and the investigations carried out in the 1990s to the present; reluctance of the Moscow Patriarchate to officially recognize the remains as authentic; interesting findings of Russian journalist, producer and screenwriter Elena Chavchavadze in her documentary Regicide. A Century of Investigation; and the author’s own attempt to provide some answers to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation for example: “Will Alexei and Maria be buried with the rest of their family?” and “Will the Imperial Family remains be reinterred in a new cathedral in Ekaterinburg?”.

This new revised and expanded edition also includes two NEW chapters!

Interviews with Vladimir Soloviev, Chief Major Crimes Investigator for the Central Investigate Department of the Public Prosecution Office of the Russian Federation and Archpriest Oleg Mitrov, a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints – BOTH key players in the Ekaterinburg remains case, reveal the political undertones of this to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Independent researcher Paul Gilbert has spent more than 25+ years researching and writing about the Russian Imperial Family. His primary research is focused on the life, reign and era of Nicholas II. On 17th July 1998, he attended the tsar’s interment ceremony at the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Twenty years later, he attended the Patriarchal Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July 2018, held at the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg. Since his first visit to the Urals in 2012, he has brought prayers and flowers to both Ganina Yama and Porosenkov Log on numerous occasions.

© Paul Gilbert. 23 November 2021