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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

07/17/1997

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Last Tsar's Remains Remain in Limbo

With processions, church services, and private prayer, many Russians are commemorating the 79th anniversary Thursday of the death of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, executed by the Bolsheviks on July 17, 1918. One ceremony that won't be held anytime soon, however, is a funeral. Six years after the royal family's remains were found, and despite scientific proof of their identity, Russian church and government officials are unable to decide when, where or how to bury the last Russian tsar. The reasons include government indecisiveness, caution by church officials, nationalist myths about the death of the royal family, lack of funds and mistrust of the government. Like the question of whether to bury Lenin, the indecision over the tsar symbolizes Russia's difficulties in assessing its past.

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