The Russian Orthodox Church has finally provided an explanation as to the purpose of the exhumations including that of Tsar Alexander III. I am not completely convinced by this reasoning, but at least they are responding to the questions and criticism. Please read on.
The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Russian state authorities have confirmed that work on the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and Alexander III is being conducted simultaneously. The challenge posed was to carry out entire complex of genetic, anthropological as well as historical studies. But what was the purpose of exhuming Alexander III?
As preparations for the exhumation of the remains of Tsar Alexander III at the Peter & Paul Cathedral began, observers may have viewed ROC’s position as something akin to grave robbing. But it all fell into place when Bishop Tikhon, who was present at the exhumation, spoke at the press conference:
“In many ways, this is no easy task – to invade the tomb of an Emperor, even for genetic tests. On the one hand we understand that this is necessary, but there was also another reason. For many years, there have been myths and written evidence that that the tombs at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, had been opened. Perhaps even numerous times”.
“The material taken during the exhumation of Nicholas II and Alexander III was sealed in special waterproof and sterile tubes. The job of the geneticists was to completely eliminate any contact with the environment which may contaminate the samples. The sealed samples cannot be opened without breaking the seal, which contains signatures of the members of the Inquiry Commission as well as those of the Patriarch’s Committee, who were present at these events, ” stated Vladimir Solovyov, the senior investigator. “Sculpture restoration specialists from the Hermitage are engaged in this project and they will do everything to make sure there is no unnecessary damage of the tombstone,” Solovyov emphasized.
One of the first things that the investigators noticed was that the plate on the tomb of Alexander III was slightly beveled. In a video recording of the process it was evident that the tombstone was previously disturbed and studied using some unknown devices. What was going on and who were the people who did it?
The area was surrounded by shields so that the tomb was dismantled and the cover removed before the plate. It is all done now. “What did we see? Slots in the white wall. There should have been long metal straps that pull two marble tombstones covers together. They were not there“, said Bishop Tikhon.
According to the Bishop, nothing like this is supposed to happen during imperial burials. There was one another strange thing: the same plate which was to be removed was damaged. The corner was either broken off in order to pry off the bottom, or when the plate was removed it was broken and then placed back. In general this a strange thing, and for this too, we need an answer.
But why were the remains of Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna exhumed once again? In one of the photographs it is clearly visible that this time the samples were taken from the skulls, not the bones. This is because in one of the versions of the story, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin kept the skull of Nicholas II on his desk in Moscow, which means that the Tsar’s skull was not supposed to be in the Ekateriburg grave. The question of whether the skull indeed belonged to Nicholas II was answered by this latest DNA examination, which clearly means that the skull on the desk story was only a myth. “We can now categorically state that the skull and the rest of the skeleton are from one and the same person,” said Vladimir Solovyov.
But, of course, in all this are many political overtones. What was the reason that the imperial graves were disturbed immediately after the revolution? “What could have been their motives? From basic grave robbery – it was a hungry revolutionary time – to the hypothesis that Vladimir Ulyanov’s (Lenin) hatred of the tsarist government was extremely personal, because his brother, Alexander Ulyanov was hanged and his death penalty was approved by Tsar Alexander III, whose assassination the elder Ulyanov brother plotted,” said Bishop Tikhon.
“The new studies will also include aspects that have never been done before by any expert in the field of genetics or forensic science”, said Vladimir Solovyov. The investigator is referring to the assassination of Tsar Alexander II – the grandfather of Nicholas II, in particular the traces of his blood on the uniform he wore that terrible day in 1881, which had been preserved.
“The year 1881 is very long time ago, and we can now look forward to the outcome of another key expertise through the grandfather of Nicholas II, Tsar Alexander II”, explained Solovyov, “Especially since the current collaborative work between the state and the church includes elements that previously were not included in the scientific investigation”.
The future Tsar Nicholas II saw the bloody uniform with his own eyes, on the day that his grandfather had been blown up. Still alive, Alexander II was taken to the Winter Palace, where the teenaged Nicky witnessed the violent death of his grandfather. Nicholas II recalled this horrible event for the rest of his life.
According to one of the insiders, there are still many important examinations that need to take place on the Romanov family remains, but the most important thing is that this time they are being done with everyone’s consent and without haste. As to the discovery of truth, Bishop Tikhon added: “There is nothing so secret as not to become known.”