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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Governor Orders Church to Mark Murder Site of Tsar and His Family

YEKATERINBURG, Ural Mountains -- Long-stalled plans to honor Russia's last tsar and his family at the site where they were killed have gotten a boost with an order by the regional governor to build a church there.


Interfax reported Monday that Sverdlovsk Regional Governor Eduard Rossel has signed a decree approving plans for constructing a church at the site of the Ipatyev house in Yekaterinburg, where Czar Nicholas II and his family were kept captive and then shot in July 1918.


The building was demolished in 1977 on orders by President Boris Yeltsin, who was the region's top official at the time.


The latest plan for a church, to be named All Saints, or Cathedral on the Blood, was proposed by the regional branch of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchy in 1993. It has been approved by members of the Romanov royal family, the report said.


Interest in the tsar has risen steadily since the fall of communism in 1991 and the rise of the Russian Orthodox Church following decades of oppression by the officially atheist state.


The burned remains of the slain Romanovs were found near Yekaterinburg in the late 1980s and identified through a complex process involving genetic analysis.


A government-appointed commission has recommended giving the tsar and his family a proper burial in St. Petersburg, the capital of the tsarist empire, where the other Romanovs are buried.


But the government and the Russian Orthodox Church have made no decision on when or where the burial would take place. Rossel argues that the proper place for burial is Yekaterinburg, where the Romanovs were murdered.


The Orthodox Church's ruling organ, the Holy Synod, is looking into the possibility of canonizing Nicholas, who abdicated the throne with the advent of the Russian Revolution in 1917.