The Last Tsar: How Russia Commemorates the Brutal Communist Murder of Emperor Nikolai II’s Family

On the night of July 16-17, 1918, the Bolsheviks shot the family of the last Russian tsar, Nikolai II. Eleven people were killed in total: The emperor, the empress, five of their children, and four royal servants. The remains were secretly buried in an abandoned mine, the location of which was hidden until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The family of Nikolai II was subsequently canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, and for the last 30 years, in mid-July, Christians from all over the world participate in a church procession from the murder site in Ekaterinburg to a monastery in Ganina Yama. An RT correspondent learned the story of this extrajudicial massacre and talked to pilgrims about their attitude to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.

In March of 1917, before the October Revolution, Russia’s provisional government decided to arrest the royal family. At first, the Romanov’s lived at Tsarskoye Selo, but in August, they were forced to go to Tobolsk. In the spring of 1918, the group was moved to Ekaterinburg, where they stayed in the house of an engineer named Nikolay Ipatiev, which had been requisitioned by the Bolsheviks, and sometimes received food from the nuns of the Novo-Tikhvin convent.

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