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On This Day… The Day The Romanov Family Were Murdered

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 May 2019

It was on this day, 16th July back in 1918 when the Russian Imperial Romanov family were shot, bayoneted and clubbed to death. The family included Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five children. In total eighteen Romanovs were killed. The shocking incident was an outcome of the February Revolution, when Russians protested against the monarchy, and following lots of violent clashes the Russian Army sided with the revolutionaries. This led to Czar Nicholas II abdicating, which ended Romanov dynastic rule and the Russian Empire. The Romanov family and their loyal servants were then imprisoned. Eventually they were killed by several Bolshevik troops. Their bodies were stripped, mutilated, burned and disposed of in a field in the Koptyaki forest.

The Romanov family

The Romanov family

The fate of the family was kept secret for years by a systematic web of disinformation. Many different stories arose, in 1919 it was claimed that they were murdered by left-wing revolutionaries, in 1922 it was denied that they were even dead, and then in 1926 following an investigation it was acknowledged that the bodies were destroyed, and that Lenin's Cabinet was not responsible. Then from 1938 onwards discussion regarding the fate of the family was suppressed by Joseph Stalin. However, in 1979 their burial site was discovered, but it wasn’t until ten years later when the existence of the remains was made public. Finally, in 1998 they were reburied in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, eighty years after they were killed

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