Historians Reconfirm Authenticity Of Romanov Family's Remains Found Outside Yekaterinburg

Historians Reconfirm Authenticity of Romanov Family's Remains Found Outside Yekaterinburg

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st July, 2020) Historical and archival research conducted as part of the investigation into the murder of Russia's Romanov Imperial family has reconfirmed the authenticity of their remains found near the Ural city of Yekaterinburg, historian Evgeny Pchelov, an expert group member, told Sputnik.

In July 2018, the Russian Investigative Committee said that complex genetic tests confirmed that the remains found outside Yekaterinburg belonged to the Romanov family and the servants who remained with them during the exile after Nicholas II's abdication. In addition, a DNA test proved a biological relationship between Emperor Alexander III, who had been exhumed in St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Cathedral, and the deceased man identified as Emperor Nicholas II. Back then, the Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized the Romanov family in 2000, said that it will make final conclusions on the authenticity of the remains after the historical and archival research is conducted as part of the investigation.

"The historical and documentary research, which was carried out on the basis of both the documents of the investigation conducted by the White Army and quite numerous testimonies of those involved in the murder and then the process of hiding the bodies, confirms that the remains that were found in Porosenkov log at the time are really the remains of the Imperial family and their entourage," Pchelov, who is the head of the department of auxiliary and special historical disciplines of the Institute of History and Archives of the Russian State University for the Humanities, said.

According to him, the historical research as part of the probe has been finished. During the process, the expert group has analyzed over 2,000 historical sources - those written, photographic, and even audio recordings.

The researchers have collected a very large set of documents from more than 15 Russian and foreign archives.

As a result, the expert group has managed to reconstruct a fairly complete picture of what happened in the days immediately preceding the murder of the last tsar's family and those following their brutal execution, according to Pchelov.

"The Investigative Committee set questions - what happened, starting with the abdication of Nicholas II and afterward: their transfer to Siberia, Tobolsk, Yekaterinburg, and so on. So this was very large-scale research," the expert explained.

According to Pchelov, the researchers still have some questions that "cannot be answered based on the state of the modern source base," as some documents simply do not exist any more. Still, these are "separate issues," and "the main picture has been clarified," the expert said.

As for the identification of the remains, the researcher recalled that it had been carried out by geneticists. The DNA tests were carried out separately in several scientific centers, independent of each other.

On July 17, 1918, the Bolsheviks executed the Russian Imperial family and secretly buried their bodies at an enormous site near Yekaterinburg. Most of the Romanovs' hidden remains were discovered in the area called Porosenkov log outside Yekaterinburg in 1991. The grave of Alexei and Maria Romanov was discovered in 2007.

The Russian Orthodox Church has not recognized the found remains as authentic, citing lack of evidence. In the fall of 2015, the investigation into the murder of the Romanov family was resumed.