As Russians marked the 90th anniversary of the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family, investigators reaffirmed that the two charred remains found in a forest in the Ural Mountains were indeed those of the Czar’s son and one of his daughters.
At the same time, Russians are honoring the Czar as the greatest Russian of all time in a recent poll. Many see him as a martyr and as a symbol of the imperial glory which plenty are now seek to recapture.
Hundreds of Russians packed the Church of the Blood in Ekaterinburg, which was built over the site where the last Czar and his family were murdered. Across Russia, church services were held in memory of the events.
During the night of July 16 -17 1918, Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and their son Aleksei, were awakened and told to go to the basement of the house their were imprisoned in. Four servants followed them. It was in that room that all 11 people were gunned down by Bolsheviks. The gunmen then put the bodies in a mine shaft in a forest, before bringing up the bodies the following night and then burying them in another forest outside Ekaterinburg. Two bodies – that of Maria and Aleksei – however were separately burned and buried 77 yards from where their family was buried and kept for nearly 75 years. When the remains were uncovered, the two skeletons were missing, prompted many to believe that some of the family had survived the shootings, particularly Anastasia. DNA tests in the 1990s proved that the remains were those of the Czar and his family. In 1998, the remains were buried in St Petersburg in the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the traditional burial site of Romanov czars.
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