27th February. Monday. Disorders started several days ago in Petrograd; unfortunately, even the troops have begun to take part in them. It is a sickening feeling to be so far away and to receive fragments of bad news. Did not spend much time listening to reports. During the day took a walk along the highway towards Orsha. The weather was sunny. After dinner I decided to quickly head to Tsarskoe Selo, and at 1 o’cl. in the morning boarded the train.
THE ROMANOV FAMILY: LETTER FROM GOVERNOR’S MANSION IN TOBOLSK
(WITH FLOOR PLAN)
This letter below was sent by Prince Vasily Alexandrovich Dolgorukov (“Valya”) to his mother after he arrived in Tobolsk with the Romanov family and suite. Originally written in French and translated by Nick Nicholson.
I was a little boy, just twelve years old. I did not know of the evil in people’s souls. We were living at the Popov house near the Ipatiev house. In the middle of the summer of 1918, I was afraid and worried for Alexei. I wanted to see him and at the same time I am sure he wanted to see me too. Until that sad day of July 17, 1918, my father, Gilliard, Gibbes, and others knew everything, but I knew nothing. Something terrible was going to happen, but I didn’t know what it was… In the last week of July 1918, myself, my father, Gilliard, Gibbes, and others entered the Ipatiev house. There was a terrible scene… The house was in complete chaos; diaries, letters, albums, and other things were strewn all around in the house.. “But where is Ieskela*?” I asked my father, but he stayed silent. Ieskela’s diary was found by a White guard, I think his name was Nemetkin, I am not sure. But Leonid Sednev… I saw him. He cried. His cries were so loud… so loud!
Testimony of Father [Protoirei] Ioann Storozhev (as given to investigator Nikolai Sokolov)
Around 8 o’clock in the morning on 14 July, a soldier came to see me, and requested I serve obednitza at the Ipatiev house. At 10 o’clock, I was already at the Ipatiev house with deacon Buimirov. Inside, behind the fence, at the bottom of stairs and inside the house, there were lots of armed young men, standing on guard. When we entered the commandant’s room, we saw disorder, dust and mess. Yurovsky was sitting at the table, drinking tea and eating bread with butter. Another man was sleeping on the bed, fully dressed. Having entered the room, I said to Yurovsky: “The clergy was invited here, so here we are. What do we need to do?” Yurovsky directly stared at me without a greeting, and said “Wait here, then you will serve obednitza” I asked “Obednya or obednitza?” “He wrote obednitza”, said Yurovsky.Read more THE ROMANOV FAMILY: LAST PRAYER SERVICE AT THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE.
On the 20th of January, 1917, things are still relatively normal for Olga Romanov and her family. Only a few weeks later, the abdication of her father takes place, as the events of the Russian revolution quickly approach.