Russia Exhumes Relics of Royal Martyrs

September 25, 2015  (Source:

Russian investigators have exhumed the remains of the last tsar and his wife, as they re-examine their 1918 murders.

Samples were taken from Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and from the bloodstained uniform of Alexander II, Nicholas’s grandfather, killed in 1881.

The Romanov family members, who were killed by revolutionary Bolsheviks, are buried at a St Petersburg cathedral.

The Orthodox Church wants to confirm family links before other relatives can be reburied with them.

The long-running murder case had been closed in 1998, after DNA tests authenticated the Romanov remains found in a mass grave in the Urals in 1991.

But the DNA tests did not convince some Russian Orthodox Church members, because the remains of two – Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria – were found only in 2007, at a different spot in the Urals.

The Investigative Committee, a state body, says new checks are needed in order to authenticate the remains of those two.

Russia plans to rebury Alexei and Maria alongside the rest of the family in St Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Cathedral. But for that to happen the Church wants to be certain about the remains.

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