Two New Memorials to Imperial Family Established in Russia & Ukraine


Black granite memorial to Nicholas II and his family in Pokrovskoye

On 17th November, a monument dedicated to the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family, was established on the grounds of the Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum, in Pokrovskoye, situated in the Tyumen region of Siberia.

The Imperial family stopped in Pokrovskoye on their way from their exile in Tobolsk Ekaterinburg, where they were subsequently murdered by the Ural Soviet, on the night of 16/17 July 1918. “. . . We had to change horses in the village of Pokrovskoye, which meant standing for a right opposite Grigoriy [Rasputin’s] house, and we saw his whole family looking through the window . . . ,” Nicholas II wrote in his diary on 27th (O.S. 14th) April 1918.

The monument is a slab of black granite, split in two by a cross. On one half is a quote from the tsar’s diary, on the other, the prophecy of Grigoriy Rasputin: “They will come to Tobolsk and, before they die, they will see my native village.”

The initiator and organizer of the installation of the memorial is the founder and owner of the Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum Marina Smirnova.


The Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum in Pokrovskoye


Chapel dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Rasputin’s death in Pokrovskoye

“It is symbolic that the Imperial family stayed in Pokrovskoye, not just in front of the house of Grigoriy Rasputin, but at the very place where in 1914 an attempt was made on him, where his blood was shed,” she said.

In 2016, Marina Smirnova, using her own funds, installed a chapel on the site of the Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Rasputin’s death on 30th (O.S. 17th) December 1916.

Today, Pokrovskoye is included in the program of the national tourist project “The Imperial Route”, which connects cities and villages of Russia related to the last days of Nicholas II and his family.


Memorial cross to Nicholas II and his family opposite the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra

A memorial cross dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II and his family has been installed on the Kaminschik Mountain, opposite the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra, situated in the town of Pochayiv, in Western Ukraine.

The memorial cross was consecrated on 8th November, by the priests of the Moscow Patriarchate.

“This cross was established by the faithful parishioners of of the Orthodox Church in honor of the 100th anniversary of the martyr’s death of the Holy Royal Martyrs and all the saints during the times of persecution from the godless power for the faith of Christ the slain. 1918-2018,” says the explanatory tablet to the cross.

In 2017, the official website of the Pochayiv Lavra called for the faithful to pray to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers for the fate of Russia. Pilgrims held a cross procession from Kamianets-Podilskyi to the monastery, carrying with them a large icon of the Russian tsar Nicholas II.

One of the monks of the Monastery declared that the restoration of the Russian Orthodox monarchy is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 November 2018


Monument to Four Faithful Subjects of Nicholas II to be Established in Ekaterinburg

A monument to four faithful subjects who followed Emperor Nicholas II and his family into exile in 1917, and later murdered by the Bolsheviks will be established on the grounds of the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in Ekaterinburg.

Craftsmen from the Glyptica-Stone Company in St. Petersburg are currently working on a stone stele monument, which will depict life-sized images of the four loyal subjects of the Imperial family.

Adjutant General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev (1858-1918), Marshall of the Imperial Court Prince Vasiliy Aleksandrovich Dolgorukov (1868-1918), sailor Klimentiy Grigorievich Nagorny (1887-1918) and boatswain Ivan Dmitrievich Sednev (1881-1918). All of them were buried in the territory of the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent. 

– Now the place of their burial is unknown. All the graves at the convent cemetery were destroyed during the Soviet years. But for the sake of preserving historical memory, with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, a stele will be installed on the territory of the monastery to these selfless noble people, said a spokesperson for the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent.


Adjutant General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev is one of four subjects depicted in the monument

The manufacture of the 4-meter monument, designed to perpetuate the memory of the martyrdom of the Royal Passion-bearers, was ordered by the Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvin Convent in Ekaterinburg.

“It is a great honour that we received such an order, such an opportunity, ” said Mikhail Sergeyevich Parfentiev, general director of the Glyptica-Stone Company. – This is a piece of Russia’s history.

As Mikhail Sergeevich notes, this project is a great responsibility for all participants in the process.

Among the images of the subjects of Nicholas II, who voluntarily followed the sovereign into exile, first to Tobolsk, and then Ekaterinburg, the sculptors portray Adjutant-General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchevas- a man full of nobility and love for his neighbors, who loved the Gospel and knew it by heart.

The figure of Tatishchev, is depicted holding the gospel in his hands. He received this as a gift from his mother and carried it with him throughout his life. 

The monument of the four loyal Imperial subjects, will take place next year, on the territory of the Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent. Thus, this monument will remind people for centuries of the martyrdom of the saints of the Royal Martyrs and their loyal subjects.

A Divine Liturgy was performed in Ekaterinburg on 10th June 2018 for General Ilya Leonidovich Tatishchev and Prince Vasili Alexandrovich Dolgorukov. Tatishchev and Dolgorukov were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in October 1981. Click HERE to read more.

A Divine Liturgy was performed in Ekaterinburg on 28th June 2018 for Ivan Dmitriyevich Sednev and Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny.  Nagorny and Sednev were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) on 14 November 1981. Click HERE to read more.

They were listed among 52 confidants of the Imperial family, who were rehabilitated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation on 16 October 2009, as victims of political repression.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 9 November 2018

“A lie undermines our society” says great-great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III


Paul Kulikovsky standing in front of a portrait of his great-great- grandfather Emperor Alexander III

A descendant of the Russian Imperial family, the great-great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III, Paul Kulikovsky, is convinced that there is a lack of reliable information about the last Russian emperor and the epoch of his rule for both Russians and foreigners.  Kulikovsky believes that the new English version the website will help foreigners have a better understanding of the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.

AiF-Ural: How important is this project today in the work of the Church for the return of the good name of the sovereign Nikolai Alexandrovich and the restoration of the historical memory of society?

Pavel Kulikovsky:  – I think that the web site is very important for a variety of reasons. First, I would note that in modern society, people are trying to get information quickly and easily, by accessing the Internet, not books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Therefore, the Church must be represented on the Internet to be one of the sources, and be part of the learning process. They must make it interesting and attractive, and by offering something which other sources do not offer. I also find it important to attract young people. Many young people do not go to church, therefore, in order to reach them, you need to find another way. Some may be attracted to history, others like stories about princes and princesses, and some are looking for role models. As soon as they find something of interest to them, they will find such information on the site.

A more serious reason is that there is so much false information, direct lies, myths, propaganda and half-truths about Emperor Nicholas II and his family making it is very difficult to find material which contains the truth.

These massive repetitions of false information over the past 100 years have made people think that these old stories are true. But, as many of us know, a lie will not be true, no matter how much you repeat it.

It could be assumed that this would cease when the godless Soviet regime collapsed. But nothing like this happened. Twenty seven years later, the Communists and their supporters continue this senseless repetition of false information. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to have a site that not only provides the truth, but is well known and respected as a reliable source.

You can deceive people for a long time, but not infinitely. Sooner or later the truth will prevail. One step in this struggle is to give people the opportunity to learn the truth, and this is, I think, what this site is doing – both in relation to Emperor Nikolai Alexandrovich and to restore the historical memory of society.

– This project is dedicated to the royal family, which is a model of relations both between family members as well as their relations with their neighbors and their Fatherland. How relevant is this family example for modern society?

– I think that in terms of family relations, the imperial family is in many ways a model for modern society.

What, in essence, is the task of any family? I believe that it is this social institution that gives the new generation the best chances for family happiness, that is, creating their own family. It is in the family that children must learn to love and care, understand what is right and wrong, and how to become responsible adults.

In this, the imperial family can be a source of inspiration. Members of this family were associated with wonderful relationships based on love and respect. In everything they did, they were guided by Christian family values. They cared very much about each other, and about other people. They considered charity not as a debt, but as something natural.

Over the past 50 years, the family, as an institution, has undergone dramatic changes, a transformation. The traditional family is being destroyed not only in Russia, but throughout the world.

For many, happiness now lies in having more and more things. Family time and energy is spent on the acquisition of wealth and less – on relationships and spiritual values.

An increasingly secularized society dilutes fundamental Christian values ​​and makes it difficult for people to understand the difference between what is right and wrong. In a sense, people have lost their sense of proportion. Moral standards are changing.

Having learned about the imperial family, they will see an alternative, perhaps they will change their life both within their family and in relation to their neighbors and society as a whole.

– On 14th October, the English version of the web site was launched. Why is this necessary for a foreign audience?

– There is a great interest in the royal passion bearers outside Russia, but for the most part people abroad do not know Russian, so the English version of the site will help those who are looking for reliable information.

In addition to the learning aspect, there are also materials on the site which elicit an emotional response — diaries, letters, and memories — and this can inspire some. Foreigners, too, need it.

I also think that it would be really good if foreigners could learn more about Russia and, in particular, the history of the reign of Emperor Nicholas II. I think it would be fair to say that in the West many historical books and textbooks are colored by communist propaganda. This English web site will present a different perspective on the reign of Nicholas II, and some people may be surprised by all the successes that have been achieved thanks to him and his character. This can change their perception of the personality of Nicholas II, Russian history and, ultimately, Russia.

Finally, I think that the English  site will present a positive image of Russia.

– Information about the members of the House of Romanov is an important component of the restoration of historical justice in relation to the Russian tsars in Russia. What else do you think should be done to eliminate the “white” spots in the history of the country?

– I think this problem has two aspects. One of them is the real “white” spots, when information about something is simply not available in the public forum, but it can exist. You just need to conduct research, and then publish the results.

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the murders of the imperial family, one “white” spot was studied. The question was whether it was possible to save the imperial family after the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, and did anyone try to do this? At least two books in English were published on this issue, and this gap was unexpectedly filled.

What else needs to be done? I would like representatives of the Church to compile a list of gaps in history and begin a research program. Perhaps different groups of historians, students, and the church community can explore these white spots and report at the end of the year. Perhaps a competition could be announced, during which a prize would be awarded and, of course, their work could be published in the future.

Another problem with the “white” spots, is that some are actually painted in black. This is information that someone decided that the public should not know or remember. This happens when events are distorted by propaganda and lies, and the real facts disappear from people’s memory.

The Bolsheviks and the Communists have accomplished this in Russia, during the last 100 years.

Here I see a real problem, because if society is based on myths and lies, in the end it’s very difficult to understand what is right and what is wrong. People create life based on the concepts of interconnections and come to an opinion on the basis of false ideas. And this can undermine our whole society.

That is why it is so important to fill in the “white” spots. Provide people with the truth.

And this also happens with the participation of the Church. The difficulty is to encourage people to absorb and accept this information. As the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

And this is a real challenge. How to make people recognize that their knowledge of a particular subject is not 100% correct and perceived new information.

Maybe it is also necessary to provide training for journalists to reveal these myths, lies or fake news and urge them to reveal this or that as a lie every time it appears in the media.

Of course, a web site like can be used to refute lies and propaganda against Emperor Nicholas II and his family. 

Click HERE for more information about the English-language web site

© Information Agency of the Yekaterinburg Diocese / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 October 2018

Children’s Procession in Ekaterinburg Honour Memory of the Imperial Family


On September 30, 2018, a religious procession from the Church in Honour of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Seven Keys in Ekaterinburg to the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers in Ganina Yama took place. Despite the bad weather, the 6th annual procession united about 1,700 children and adults.

In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of the Tsar’s family, the children’s procession, which took place with the blessing of Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, is timed to the beginning of the school year and is dedicated to the memory of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.

Pupils of Sunday schools, their parents and teachers, cadets and representatives of youth organizations took part in the prayer procession which began with a Divine Liturgy in the Church on the Seven Keys. Parishioners came with their families – with children of different ages, including babies in prams to take part in the eight-kilometer journey.


In addition to residents of Ekaterinburg, children from other cities in the region took part: Krasnoufimsk, Berezovsky, Sredneuralsk, Polevsky, Kamensk-Uralsky and others.

The procession was led by children carrying banners, singing prayers and glorifications throughout the procession. They were accompanied by Cossacks of the Orenburg military Cossack society.

The harsh Ural weather did not dampen the spirits of the 1,700 people who took part in the procession, to unite and pray to the Lord God and the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, asking for strengthening their faith and help in the upcoming school year.

A prayer service took place near the worship cross installed in Ganina Yama At the end of the service, Priest Andrei Schukin, Chairman of the Department of Religious Education and Catechism of the Ekaterinburg Diocese, addressed the children and their families with a parting word.


“Today we made this little feat even in the pouring rain,” Father Andrei said. “In our hearts, love for the holy Royal Passion-bearers does not fade, and the proof of this is the multiplicity of our religious procession.

Father Andrei noted that “the love for the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, who loved their Fatherland, loved the Lord God, remains in our heart and performs its saving action.”

At the end of the moleben, participants in the procession were asked to eat porridge and warm themselves with hot sweet tea. The crusaders returned to the city on comfortable buses organized for the participants in the prayer procession. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 2 October 2018

In the Path of Love and Blood – Romanov Newsreel Footage


– Available now in MP4 format with direct download –

A special edition featuring 30 minutes of high-quality Romanov newsreel footage from the Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archive (RGAKFD). Total runtime is 40 mins.

The documentary features footage from the Stantart, the Crimea, the White Flower Day festival, Easter at Livadia, visits to Sevastopol, the Battle of Borodino centennial anniversary, the Romanov Dynasty tercentenary celebrations, Military Maneuvers, World War I, and the Russian Military Headquarters.

A non-narrative documentary, with Russian music from early 20th century and best quality pictures from GARF. Produced by Tatiana Zakhryapina.

Click HERE for more info, video selections, and orders 

© Brotherhood of Mesa Potamos Monastery. 19 September 2018

The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity



In this day and age, when children are exposed to more and more violence on television, distracted by video games and texting on their mobiles, it is still a blessing that we have books to enlighten them.

Holy Trinity Publications, the publishing arm of Holy Trinity Monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Jordanville, New York, have released a new publication in honor of the Royal Martyrs, for children aged 7-12, or for parents to read to their children of younger age.

The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity by Maria Maximova, shares the story of the last Russian emperor and his family. Their life was not necessarily what one would expect;  there was much more than fancy clothes and  delicious food. They shared happy memories but also great hardships. They nursed the sick, ate porridge, kayaked along the Finnish coastline, and cared for chickens. Today we know them as the Royal Martyrs — deeply pious Orthodox Christians who laid down their lives for the Faith and role models of Christian virtue who showed kindness even to the guards who taunted them.  


Beautiful colour illustrations by Victoria Kitavina


The author Maria Maximova is an expert on the history of Russian literary culture. She has authored a number of books retelling the lives of Orthodox Christian saints for children.

This thought provoking, hard cover book features 56 pages, with beautiful colour illustrations by Victoria Kitavina. Translated from Russian into English by Nicholas Kotar. The price is $9.95 USD.


The Romanovs: Family of Faith and Charity is one of two new titles published by Holy Trinity Publications, in time for the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Tsar Nicholas II and his holy family, on July 17, 2018. The other title The Romanovs Under House Arrest: from the 1917 Diary of a Palace Priest by Archpriest Afanasy Belyaev, rector of the Tsar’s Feodorovsky Cathedral at Tsarskoye Selo, and subsequently the father confessor of the Russian Imperial family during their first five months of confinement following Nicholas II’s abdication in early 1917.

© Holy Trinity Publications, Jordanville, NY / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 September  2018

Divine Liturgy for Countess Anastasia Hendrikova Performed in Ekaterinburg


Countess Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova (1888-1918) in Tobolsk 1917 

Sunday 4th September, marked the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of the Countess Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova (1888-1918), the personal lady in waiting of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

A Divine Liturgy was performed in the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, situated in the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in Ekaterinburg. 

–  Today, exactly 100 years have passed from the day of the martyrdom of Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova, the personal maid of honour of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. She was killed by the Bolsheviks in Perm on September 4, 1918. Anastasia Vasilievna was distinguished by deep piety, nobility, selflessness and in the most difficult circumstances retained her faith in God. In our metropolia, they collect materials for the glorification of Anastasia Hendrikova in the saints’ face. And today we will honor her memory, serve liturgy, pray for her, and she will pray for us before the throne of God,” said the priest who performed the Divine Liturgy.

Countess Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova was born in 1888. Although Anastasia Vasilievna born to the nobility, she was very simple in her way of life from early youth, she dressed very modestly, even old-fashioned and, unlike most noble girls, never participated in balls and entertainments.

In her youth, the Countess Hendrikova became the personal maid of honour of the Empress. The Empress, the Grand Duchesses, and the courtiers loved her for her kindness, affability, meekness, simplicity and openness in communication.

In February 1917, Countess Hendrikova, at the insistence of the Empress, went to a seriously ill Sister of Mercy in Kislovodsk, but when she arrived there she learned that the Emperor had abdicated the throne. Anastasia Vasilyevna hurried back to Tsarskoye Selo. It is known that at that time the majority of courtiers and servants, under different pretexts, took leave of the Tsar’s family, basically everyone cared only about their own well-being. Anastasia Vasilyevna could have remained in Kislovodsk where she would have been safe, but she, unlike the other courtiers, overcame all obstacles and returned to the Imperial family. A few hours after she arrived at the Alexander Palace, the former Imperial residence became a prison for all who voluntarily wished to remain in it. That evening, she wrote in her diary: “Thank God, I managed to arrive on time to be with them.” Her presence was a great support for the royal prisoners. Always happy, meek, smiling, she cheered everyone up. 

Anastasia Vasilievna followed the Tsar’s family into exile to Tobolsk. Before leaving, she wrote in her diary: “I can not leave here without thanking God for that wonderful peace and power that He sent me and supported me for all these almost five months of arrest. I close my eyes, give myself completely, without questions or murmurings into the hands of God with confidence and love. “

In May 1918 Anastasia Vasilievna arrived in Ekaterinburg with four of the Tsar’s children. But she was not admitted to the Ipatiev House, but was instead transferred to a Perm prison. Anastasia Vasilievna, prayed fervently and tried to remain cheerful, although she was exhausted by the illnesses and burdens of imprisonment.

On the night of 4th September 1918, Countess Hendrikova was awakened and taken with a group of prisoners outside the city where they were killed. Only a few months later, after the arrival of whites, the bodies of the dead were discovered, and Anastasia Hendrikova was buried in the cemetery in Perm.


The corpse of Countess Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova, discovered in Perm between November 1918 to January 1919


Memorial cross to Countess Hendrikova and Ekaterina Schneider in the Yegoshikha Cemetery, Perm

The bodies of Hendrikova and Ekaterina Adolfovna Schneider (1856-1918) were recovered by the Whites in May 1919, and were reburied in the Yegoshikha Cemetery. However, their graves were later destroyed when the Bolsheviks regained control of the city. In October 2012, thanks to the efforts of a group of parishioners from churches in the city, and with the blessing of the Metropolitan of Perm and Solikamsky Methodius, a new cross was erected at the site where their remains had been initially buried.


Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Perm

A memorial service with prayer was also performed for Hendrikova and Schneider on 4th September, at the alleged burial site in the Yegoshikha Cemetery, which is situated near the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Perm.

In October 1981, Hendrikova was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). On 16th October 2009, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation decided to rehabilitate 52 persons of the Imperial family and their retainers who had been subjected to repression, including Countess Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 4 September 2018

Memorial Cross to the Holy Royal Martyrs erected in London


On 13th July 2018, the day after the Feast of the Holy Apostles Sts Peter and Paul, a new memorial Cross to the Holy Royal Martyrs was erected on the grounds of the Diocesan Cathedral of the Mother of God and the Royal Martyrs in London.

The memorial Cross, which has been commissioned to mark the centenary of the martyrdom of the Imperial Family, was carved of red granite by special commission of the parish. The lower Altar of the Cathedral is dedicated to the honour of the Holy Royal Martyrs, and it seemed fitting to the faithful of the community to pay homage to the holy intercessors by erecting a Cross in their honour, to serve as a perpetual monument to the God-pleasing lives of these saints.

The initial erecting of the Cross will be followed by landscaping of the nearby territory to accommodate the new monument, which will be formally blessed on the day of the Cathedral’s full consecration on the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, 21st September 2018.

The Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs took place at the London Cathedral at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 17th July 2018 (n.s.), served in the Lower Church. It was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Irenei together with clergy of the Cathedral, Diocese, and guests from the surrounding areas. The new memorial Cross was visited as part of the Cross Procession of the Altar Feast. 

© Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR). 22 August 2018

Cypriot Monastery Completes Video Tribute to Russian Royal Martyrs

The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos, Cyprus has published a series of high-quality video interviews with top Romanov historians in honor of the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the last Royal Family of Russia.

The tribute is entitled The Romanov Royal Martyrs: Centennial Tribute. The series consists of six episodes, which have been received very well, and which the monastery has now finished. The videos also include stunning unpublished Romanov colored pictures by acclaimed Russian colorist Olga Shirnina.

The series is as follows:

1. Tsar-Martyr Nicholas Through His Last Diary, with Helen Azar
An interview with Helen Azar about Tsar Nicholas’ II conduct during after his abdication, as seen in his last diary.

2. Tsarina Alexandra Through Her Letters, with Helen Azar
An interview with Helen Azar about the real Tsarina Alexandra as she is seen through her diaries and letters.

3. The Imperial Children Through Their Writings, with Helen Azar
An interview with Helen Azar about the personalities of all the Romanov children, according to their diaries’ entries and their letters. Helen also speaks about her involvement in the project “The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal”.

4. Nicholas II: His Reign – His Faith – His Family, with Nicholas B.A. Nicholson
An interview with Nick Nicholson. Nicholas speaks about Nicholas’ II reign, faith, and family. He also speaks about his involvement in the project “The Romanov Royal Martyrs”.

5. The Conspiracy Against Nicholas’ II, with Paul Gilbert
An interview with Paul Gilbert. Paul speaks about the main plots which aimed to overthrow Nicholas II from his throne. He also refers to the myths regarding Nicholas’ II alleged weakness as a ruler.

6. Romanov Family – Faith in God to the End, with Helen Rappaport
An interview with Helen Rappaport about the spirituality of the Romanov family and the last stage of their imprisonment in Ekaterinburg.

Click HERE to visit the special Romanov Royal Martyrs web site, created by the Monastery of St. John the Forerunner Mesa Potamos


The English edition of The Romanov Royal Martyrs will be available in early 2019

What is the truth about the last Romanovs? Why, for more than a hundred years, have there been methodical efforts to distort the facts of their life, while the Orthodox Church has glorified them as saints?

The Monastery of St John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos, Cyprus, having made use of the primary sources, presents for the first time the biography of the Royal Martyrs through an Orthodox prism bringing to light what silence could not conceal.

The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner is also the publisher of the first complete Greek-language biography of the Royal Martyrs, which was released in January of this year. The English language edition of The Romanov Royal Martyrs will be published by  St Vladimir’s Seminary Press in early 2019. 

© Mesa Potamos Monastery. 15 August 2018

Russian Orthodox Church in Dispute Over Porosenkov Log


Royal Russia Founder at Porosenkov Log, during his visit to Ekaterinburg, July 2018

Back in March 2016, I reported that Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye had made a request to the Sverdlovsk regional government to transfer the land in and around Porosenkov Log (3.7 hectares) to the Ekaterinburg Diocese. The territory is simultaneously claimed by the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local History in Ekaterinburg. My report was followed up by a second article on the dispute in July 2017 (see links below for both articles – PG). 

Since the events marking the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family last month, the subject is again making headlines in the Urals media.

According to a document signed by the head of the regional forestry department Oleg Sandakov, as early as 2016, Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye made a request to the regional government to transfer Porosenkov Log to the diocese “for gratuitous urgent use for religious activities.” Scans of the relevant documents (see below) were published last week on the Memorial of the Romanovs Facebook page.


In June 2014, a request was made to recognize Porosenkov Log as a cultural heritage site. Then, the regional ministry of culture planned to transfer the Romanov Memorial site to the Sverdlovsk Museum of Local History. The official opening of the memorial was planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the deaths and martyrdom of the Holy Royal Martyrs in July 2018.

In 2016, however, the Ekaterinburg Diocese began to interfere with the plans. In February of the same year, Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye sent an appeal to the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Evgeny Kuyvashev, in which he asked to declare invalid the document on the transfer of the site to the museum. The governor granted the Metropolitan’s appeal, with the regional ministry of culture subsequently putting the project on hold. 

“Due to the historical and spiritual significance of the territory, and in order to avoid any disagreements between secular and religious parties, an official note was sent to the governor of the Sverdlovsk region on the expediency of organizing a discussion on the development of the territory as a cultural heritage site with all interested parties,” said the head of the regional department of forestry Oleg Sandakov.

On the eve of the Tsar’s Days held in Ekaterinburg last month, the Russian Investigative Committee confirmed that genetic examinations on the remains found at Porosenkov Log belong to the murdered Imperial family. It was hoped that Patriarch Kirill would officially recognize the remains during his visit to Ekaterinburg, however, this did not happen. An estimated 100,000 people took part in the pilgrimage from the Church on the Blood to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama, where once again the final prayer service was held, which is still considered by the ROC to be the final burial place of the bodies of the royal martyrs. Porosenkov Log was not included in the pilgrimage.

Despite the fact that the authenticity of the “royal remains” has not been recognized by the ROC, the Ekaterinburg Diocese is unlikely to back away from its plans. It can not be ruled out that the dispute over the site will be put on hold until the time when the church changes its position.

It is believed that not “if” but “when” the Moscow Patriarchate officially recognize the “Ekaterinburg remains”, that a new monastery in honour of the Holy Royal Martyrs, similar to the one situated 3.8 km down the road at Ganina Yama, will be constructed at Porosenkov Log.


Paul Gilbert at the second grave where the remains of Alexei and Maria where discovered in 2007

Click HERE to read my article ROC Seeks Claim to Site of Royal Remains Grave Near Ekaterinburg (3 March 2016); and HERE to read my article Ekaterinburg Eparchy and Local Museum Argue Over Future of Porosenkov Log (24 July 2017)

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 August 2018