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Russian Church official says Czarist family murder might have ritualistic character

Bishop Tikhon said along with it this version needs to be supplied with solid evidence and well-grounded

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Murder of Czar Nicholas II and members of his family might have a ritualistic character, the Secretary of the Patriarchal commission for scrutiny of the results of forensic studies of the presumable czarist remains, Bishop Tikhon said on Monday at the conference ‘A Case for the Murder of the Imperial Family: New Expert Studies and Materials. A Discussion'.

The conference took place at the Sretensky monastery in downtown Moscow.

"We’re treating the ritualistic murder version in the most serious way," he said. "More than that, a considerable part of the Church commission doesn’t have any doubts it was exactly that type of killing."

Bishop Tikhon said along with it this version needs to be supplied with solid evidence and well-grounded. "This must be proved and supplied with evidence," he said.

"The very fact that someone killed a Czar, albeit already after his abdication, in such a way and that the killers distributed their would-be victims among themselves - Yurovsky, one of the organizers of the murder, left evidence about it - and that many wanted to be killers of the Czar proves they viewed as a particular ritual," the bishop indicated.

Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, and Grand Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia were executed by shooting on July 17, 1918, in the basement floor of the Ipatyev house in Yekaterinburg. Investigator Nikolai Sokolov, who worked for the White Guard anti-Bolshevik forces and who did the investigation from 1919 through to 1922 drew a conclusion that the bodies of all the twelve people killed by the executioners [including the Czarist family’s servants] had been destroyed by burning.

A group of scouts found remains of human bodies, supposedly those of members of Czar Nicholas’s family, in the early 1990’s. They were placed to rest in the St Peter and Paul’s fortress in St Petersburg in 1998.

The Russian Orthodox Church put forward a number of questions to the state commission and to the investigators but did not get answers to them. Therefore, it believed the forensic research of the remains found in Yekaterinburg was incomplete.