Monarchists Tell Moscow To Rename Metro Station

The Voikovskaya metro station, named after one of Tsar Nicholas II's executioners, should be renamed, monarchists said Friday, a week before the 90th anniversary of the royal family's killing.

The tsar, his wife and five children were killed on July 18, 1918, by a Bolshevik firing squad acting under Pyotr Voikov. The metro station on the green line in the north of Moscow was named in Voikov's honor by Soviet authorities.

"We are not against having places named after Soviet figures. We're just against naming the station after an executioner," said Alexander Zakatov, head of the Imperial House of Her Imperial Highness Great Princess Maria Vladimirovna.

Zakatov said the authorities said it would be expensive to change, but he said it was an example of Russia's failure to fully confront the darker side of its Soviet past. "If in Germany, people went on to the streets with portraits of Hitler they would be punished, but in our country it happens at every step," he said.

Voikov, a revolutionary activist, played a key role in arranging for Bolshevik troops to shoot the tsar and his family in Yekaterinburg to prevent them being rescued by advancing counterrevolutionary forces.

Monarchists said they also would use the 90th anniversary to press their legal case for the tsar and his family to be recognized as the victims of a politically motivated murder.

Last November, the Supreme Court rejected a request for the royal family to be rehabilitated.

"We are sending the case for the rehabilitation of the tsar's family back for a new trial," German Lukyanov, the monarchists' lawyer, said Friday.

Descendants of the tsar's family will be joined by the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II in Yekaterinburg this week for anniversary commemorations.