The Russian Orthodox Church has announced that the results of the DNA-examinations of the “Yekaterinburg remains”, or better said the remains of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and their children, will be announced in the second quarter of 2017.
“Very intensive work is going on. The genetic expertise has been held in the best world’s laboratories. Very extensive and interesting anthropological expertise with principally new data is being completed, now I can’t be more precise. The Anthropology Institute, coroners, anthropologists were also involved in it. There also was a historical expertise.”
The final decision on the recognition or non-recognition of the remains as holy relics will be with the Council of Bishops. On 15 August 2000, Nicholas and his family were canonised as passion bearers, a title commemorating believers who face death in a Christ-like manner, by the Russian Orthodox Church within Russia.
“By now they have discovered many interesting, principally new things. The case has not been closed, and we are not authorised to tell the details of the investigation,” said Bishop Tikhon.
In July 1991, the bodies of nine people were found near Yekaterinburg. The remains were identified as those of Emperor Nicholas II; his 46-year-old wife, Alexandra Feodorovna; their daughters Olga, 22; Tatyana, 21; and Anastasia, 17, and their servants, Yevgeny Botkin, 53; Anna Demidova, 40; Aloise Trupp, 62; and Ivan Kharitonov, 48. After examination of the remains, the royal family was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. In 2007, the remains of two others were found. Numerous examinations argue that the remains belong to Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria. These two remains were under further investigation by the church. These remains currently lie in the State Archive in Moscow.
Following this, an investigation into the criminal case of the deaths of the royal family was reopened. Samples were taken from the skeletons of Nicholas II and his wife, as well as his grandfather, Alexander II. They also opened the tomb of Alexander III to take a DNA-sample.