13 October 2011

2011-10-13 Rossiiskie vesti about Copy of Report

T. Vladykina and E. Iakovleva, “Heavenly Protectors. The Investigative Committee has presented to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church a copy of its report on the closing of the case of the murders of the Romanoffs” [“Nebesnye pokroviteli. Sledstvennyi komitet predostavil glave RPTs kopiiu postanovleniia o prekrashchenii dela ob ubiistve Romanovykh”], in Rossiiskie vesti, October 13, 2011м

The remains found near Ekaterinburg in 2007, which experts believe belong to Tsesarevich Aleksei and Grand Duchess Maria, will remain in the custody of the State Archives of the Russian Federation until a decision about their burial is made.

This news was reported by the chief criminal investigator of the Central Criminal Division of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Wladimir Solov’ev, at the video conference “The Royal Family—Finding Peace.” He stressed that there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that these remains belong to the Imperial Family.

“Yes, categorically, 100 percent. These are the Romanoffs,” the investigator said. “The methods used in these investigations are so new that they likely will become mainstream only years, perhaps a decade, from now. The likes of these specialists are so rare that one would be hard pressed to find such specific expertise anywhere in Russia, or even anywhere in the entire world.”

He also stated that a copy of the Investigative Committee’s report on the closing of the case on the murders of the members of the Imperial Family will shortly be conveyed to the Romanoffs.

“The documents are presently being prepared. I think that, when everything is ready, we will with appropriate solemnity give it all over to them,” he said. A copy of the report on the closing of the criminal investigation by the Investigative Committee has already been shared with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. According to Wladimir Solov’ev, a dialogue with the Church is complicated by the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church has created its own special commission to investigate the identification of the Ekaterinburg remains, and that commission had still not begun its work.

It will be recalled that, in 2007, during the course of archeological digs approximately 70 kilometers south of the first burial location, there were found the remains of two persons. Many experts have affirmed that these remains belong to Tsesarevich Aleksei and his sister Maria. However, representatives of the House of Romanoff fear jumping to conclusions and believe that the question of the authenticity of the remains of the Imperial Family should be approached with great sensitivity.

“Today the question is posed as if there are absolutely no doubts at all that the remains found near Ekaterinburg belong to the Imperial Family,” said Alexander Zakatov, the Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna. “As if the matter were entirely proven, and that only a dark and ill-intentioned coterie remain opposed to this conclusion. And opposed to this dark and ill-intentioned coterie on the other side are the good and well-intentioned people, who just want to see the Imperial Family buried so they might be at peace. But this, of course, is not how the issue really is. The on-going doubts about the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg remains have not been extinguished, and even His Holiness Patriarch Aleksei II at the time expressed his doubts about this matter, and the position of the Church has ever since been clear: there are many questions about this identification that have yet to be fully answered.”

He underscored the fact that this question cannot help but be a source of great concern for Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, and their relatives.

“There can be no doubt that everyone would like to get at the truth of the matter,” Alexander Zakatov continued. “Both the Church and the Imperial House are closely following this in order to know for certain whether the Ekaterinburg remains are actually the holy relics of the royal martyrs. If so, the Church would have yet one more venerable relic, and the Imperial House would finally be able to lay to rest the remains of their relatives. However, the Orthodox Church, which must make the spiritual determination of whether or not these Ekaterinburg remains are the relics of the Holy Royal Martyrs, has yet to find sufficient grounds to make this determination. No one is saying that the remains are 100 percent inauthentic, just that there are still many unresolved questions that must be addressed.”

In general, according to Alexander Zakatov, this entire matter has been surrounded by doubts and omissions. The Grand Duchess even had to take the Investigative Committee and the Attorney General to court in order to obtain the release of the investigative report on the closing of the criminal case, which contains the Committee’s findings. At the end of the day, the Supreme Court concurred with the grand duchess and ordered the Investigative Committee to turn over the report.

“We hope that soon we can familiarize ourselves with these documents and draw our own conclusions. Obviously, everyone wants these unfortunate remains to be properly buried, whether or not they belong to the members of the Imperial Family. But neither the Church nor the House of Romanoff can lead their countrymen to a falsehood. In the absence of complete certainty, we cannot declare these remains to be holy relics. How would it be if suddenly it turned out that they were not authentic? This would be a severe blow to the reputation of the Church and the Dynasty. Therefore we call for an open discussion of this question. We are ready to listen respectfully to the position of the other side. What is needed is a calm discussion that will lead to a consensus. What is also needed is a consideration of the position of our main spiritual center in the country—the Church—because we are talking not simply about the emperor and members of his family, but also about human beings who have been canonized and are to be regarded as heavenly protectors of all the Orthodox faithful.”

The original article can be found here: http://www.rg.ru/2011/10/13/dokument-site.html

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