Results of investigation of remains of tsarist family released


RIA Novosti, 3 July 2017


The Russian Orthodox Church [RPTs] has received permission from the Investigative Committee of the RF for publication of materials of the investigation of the case of the murder of members of the tsarist family, the expert analysis of which has been completed, the secretary of the Church Commission for Study of the Results of Examination of Remains Found near Ekaterinburg, Bishop of Egorev Tikhon, told RIA Novosti in an interview on Monday.


After a conference in the St. Daniel's monastery, which was held in mid-June with the participation of Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill, representatives of the Investigative Commission of the RF, and members of the church commission, the RPTs declared its intention to request permission from the Investigative Commission for publication of those materials of the investigation, the expert analysis of which has been completed.


"As of the present, permission from the Investigative Committee for publication of the results of the completed expert analyses has been received. As soon as these and other expert analyses are completed, we will conduct interviews with experts and publish their articles," said Bishop Tikhon.


He clarified that the materials will be published on the church portal Pravoslavie.Ru. "The chief thing is that the articles and publications have a scientific and dispositive character," the news agency's interlocutor added.


The last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, and his family were shot in the summer of 1918 in Ekaterinburg. In 2000, the Russian Church enrolled Nicholas II and members of his family in the ranks of saints after the opening of a burial site near Ekaterinburg, and the remains of members of the imperial family were interred in the sepulcher in the Peter and Paul cathedral of St. Petersburg.


In the fall of 2015, investigators reopened the investigation of the case about the death of members of the Romanov family. At the present time, expert analyses are being conducted connected with establishing the authenticity of the alleged remains of Tsarevich Alexis and Princess Maria. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 July 2017)


by Bishop Tikhon

Pravoslavie.Ru, 3 July 2017


As already reported, in accordance with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, an inquiry was sent to the Investigative Committee of the Russian federation with the request to permit, as an exception, the publication of the results of expert analyses from among those that have already been concluded as of the present on case No. 252/404516-15, concerning the murder of members of the Russian imperial house in 1918-1919. According to Russian legislation, experts sign a pledge, under pain of criminal charges, of nondisclosure of the results of expert analyses before the investigative case is closed.


As of today, permission from the Investigative Committee for publication of the results of expert analyses that have been completed has been received. In the name of the chairman and members of the Church Commission for Study of Results of the Examination of Remains Found near Ekaterinburg, we are grateful for the understanding and support of the chairman of the Investigative Committee of the RF, Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin, and his first deputy, Igor Viktorovich Krasnov, who directed this investigation.


The Pravoslavie.Ru portal is beginning the publication of interviews of experts and also of articles prepared by experts and expert groups. In them will be presented answers to questions raised in the course of the new investigation in 2015-2017 before experts—criminalists, historians, archivists, forensic medics, geneticists, anthropologists, soil scientists, and other specialists. Questions were formulated by the investigative group under the direction of General I.V. Krasnov by the experts themselves and also by representatives of the Orthodox community. We are publishing the list of questions today.


For conducting interviews with experts, the Pravoslavie.Ru portal invited Orthodox Christians who are well known in church circles and who have been engaged for many years with both the topic of the murder of the tsarist family and the topic of the "Ekaterinburg remains." These are the chief editor of the website "Russkaia narodnaia liniia," Anatoly Dmitrievich Stepanov, and historian and publicist Leonid Evgenievich Bolotin. They will have the possibility of posing for experts all questions of interest to them and their colleagues and to learn first hand about the course of investigations and to present these results to those who are striving to study objectively and responsibly all possible materials, former and new, of the investigation which has gone on now for 99 years.


In the autumn, God willing, we will plan one or, if necessary, several conferences devoted to presenting the results of the expert analyses and discussion of their results. Then, when the investigation is completed, and all materials of the expert analyses and conclusions of the investigative group have been received, His Holiness the patriarch will suggest that it is important to conduct broad scientific and public discussion of these results.


The most important task posed for the church commission by His Holiness Kirill is to receive from all investigators, without regard to their position regarding the inauthenticity or authenticity of the "Ekaterinburg remains," their well founded opinions on matters relating to the case of the evil murder of the tsarist family and to provide the possibility of conducting responsible scientific discussion with a single goal—to establish the truth. In connection with this, the editorial board of the Pravoslavie.Ru portal awaits from specialists responses to published materials, which we are prepared to post on our website for further church discussion.


And so, today we are publishing:

--questions presented to the investigation and expert group by the Investigative Committee of the RF and experts and representatives of the Orthodox community;

--an interview by Anatoly Stepanov with the criminalist and forensic medic Professor Viacheslav Leonidovich Popov.  (tr. by PDS, posted 4 July 2017)



Interfax-Religiia, 3 July 2017


Expert analyses which have been conducted in the case of the murder of the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, his wife, and children have revealed indirect evidence that the "Ekaterinburg remains" belong to the tsarist family.


"We found in the head (presumably of Nicholas II—IF) traces of a saber blow," the famous Russian criminalist Viacheslav Popov said in an interview published on Monday on the website Pravoslavie.Ru.


V. Popov participated in the examination of remains that were found in the vicinity of Ekaterinburg, which were interred in the Peter and Paul fortress as the presumed remains of the tsarist family, and he participated as an expert in forensic medical and anthropological investigations within the framework of the revived criminal case of the murder of the family of Nicholas II.


As the expert noted, in 1991 they carefully searched for traces of blows on the presumed skull of the last Russian emperor, but they mistakenly searched on the other side of the skull, on the left, because they presumed that the saber blow of the attempt on the life of Tsarevich Nicholas in 1891 by a Japanese policeman fell in the left part of the head.


He said that now two contemporary x-ray examinations have been conducted. Multispiral computer tomography revealed on the skull two longitudinal grooves. This was an old healed fracture, because sclerosis of bone tissue, which healed after the trauma, occurred.


"But we did not restrict ourselves to this procedure, and we made an x-ray with direct magnification of the image and we studied the structure of the bone tissue which differed along the edges. One can affirm with certainty that this was a fracture that occurred during lifetime and is an old fracture and it corresponds with a blow by an oblong cutting object, for example, a saber," V. Popv reported.


In addition, he confirmed that in the burial site found in 1991 near Ekaterinburg there were five relatives; this was revealed by dental expert analysis.


"Five persons, especially four women, were from a single family. These women had a peculiar structure of teeth and jaws. For example, the fourth lower right tooth in each was rotated. This is an important evidence of kinship. The second sign of connection is an inherited tooth disease. In all of them decay had begun early. A young girl had fillings in almost all teeth," the expert explained.


He said that these women had high social status, because they had a personal dentist. "The family dentist knew the characteristics of the family, that they all had tooth disease, and therefore before the growth of cavities he put in silver fillings. I note that commoners did not receive silver amalgam fillings. If one speaks about skeleton number 7 (presumably the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna), here there were implanted false teeth of fine work. For example, two front incisors were made of porcelain with gold rods and platinum crimps," V. Popov noted.


In addition, a mathematical examination of skulls was conducted. Three to four dozen different points were exposed and with the help of correlation analysis the kinship ties of the skulls were established.


As regards genetic analyses, V. Popov stated that they are still being conducted and their concluding stage is going on, and when this analysis is completed, "they will be posted with every 'i' dotted."


Earlier the Investigative Committee decided to publish the results of expert analyses from among those that were already finished in the case of the murder of members of the tsarist family. In this way the publication of the interview with V. Popov marked the start of publication of the first results.


In mid-June, in Moscow, a conference was held in Moscow under the chairmanship of Patriarch Kirill on the question of establishing the identity of the "Ekaterinburg remains." Participants in the session were representatives of the Investigative Committee led by chairman Alexander Bastrykkin and members of the special church commission on the "Ekaterinburg remains." At the session were heard interim reports about conducting of the planned expert analyses within the framework of the criminal case prepared by representatives of the Investigative Committee and the expert community.


In January of this year the secretary of the church commission on the "Ekaterinburg remains," Bishop Tikhon, told the portal Interfax-Religiia that in the best laboratories of the world genetic expert analyses were being conducted, a very large-scale anthropological expert analysis "with fundamentally new data" was being concluded, and historical and criminological expert analyses were being conducted. As regards the recognition or nonrecognition of the remains as sacred relics, the bishop said that "final conclusions will be made only by a bishops' council."


In July 1991, on the Stary Koptyakovsk road near Ekaterinburg a burial site was uncovered in which were remains of nine persons. In the opinion of the investigation, they belonged to members of the tsarist family—Nicholas II, his spouse, their daughters, and also a doctor and servants. After conducting expert analyses, the remains were interred in 1998 in the sepulcher of the Peter and Paul cathedral of St. Petersburg.


On 29 July 2007 during conduct of archaeological excavations to the south of the site of the first burial site, remains of another two persons were found. Numerous expert analyses have confirmed that the remains belong to children of Nicholas II, Alexis and Maria. A government working group proposed conducting a ceremony of interment of these remains in the family vault of the Romanovs in the Peter and Paul fortress. At the same time a group raised the possibility of additional studies in order to dispel the church's doubts as to the authenticity of the remains.


Following this the Investigative Committee reopened the investigation in the criminal case of the death of members of the tsarist family. This allowed for the start of additional expert analyses with the participation of the church for confirmation of the authenticity of the remains of Alexis and Maria. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 July 2017)

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