16 Jul 2018

100 years on: The murder of the Russian Tsar and his family

July 17th is the anniversary of the execution of the Czar Nicholas II of Imperial Russia and his family in 1917 at Yekaterinburg. The story of the fall of the Romanov family and the murder of the royal family at the hands of drunk soldiers in a dark and dank cellar has fueled mystery and speculation since the event happened and was badly hidden by the Bolsheviks in 1917 right up to the present day when there is still a dispute about the remains of the royal family found in 1992 and 2007.

BBC Witness - 100 years on: The murder of the Russian Tsar and his family
The Independent - Tsar Nicholas II's murder 100 years on: The terrible fate of Russia’s imperial family
The Atlantic (March 1928 edition) - The Last Days of the Romanovs
National Geographic - Tsar's Family Death

In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonised the royal family. Strictly speaking, of course, the Tsar, his wife and their children did not die for their faith. Renouncing their religious beliefs would never have saved the Romanovs from the Bolshevik firing squad which executed them in July 1918. But the Russian Orthodox Church saluted the Christian humility with which the family met their death by making them saints.

NYT - Nicholas II And Family Canonized For 'Passion' 
Telegraph - Romanovs move from tsardom to sainthood

But still today, their history and their killing still inspires passions across some sectors of Russian society including within the Kremlin and the higher levels of the Russian Orthodox Church.

BBC - The legacy of the Romanovs: how is the last Russian royal family remembered in Russia?

TASS - Patriarch Kirill leads prayer at site of execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family
Pravmir - Patriarch Kirill to lead 21-km Procession in Memory of Nicholas II’s Family
Catholic Herald - The Russian Orthodox believers who treat the Tsar like a God


Services in Honor of the Royal Passion Bearers of Russia - More than 100,000 marched in a procession from the Church on the Blood in Yekaterinburg to the monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers outside the city. There followed a moleben in honor of the Royal Passion Bearers and a hierarchical liturgy that night.

An American Shrine to Honor the Russian Royal Martyrs

The Last of the Tsars by Robert Service review – dispelling the myths

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