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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Family Seeks to Clear The Last Tsar's Name

APTsar Nicholas II and Alexandra posing with their children in an undated photo.
Members of Russia's former royal family have asked the government to officially clear the name of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, children and other relatives executed by the Bolsheviks after the 1917 Revolution, royal representatives said Friday.

The royal family filed the necessary documents with the government's commission for rehabilitation of Soviet-era political repression victims, said Alexander Zakatov, a representative of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Romanova.

The government "should denounce lawlessness committed against its citizens, regardless of whether they were members of the imperial house or simple people," Zakatov said, adding that by not acting the state would "justify the crimes that were committed in 1918."

A commission spokesman refused to comment on the royal request.

Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their five children were killed by a firing squad on July 17, 1918, in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. Most of the bodies were burned, doused with acid and thrown into a pit outside the city.

Their remains were exhumed in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. After years of genetic tests and disputes about their authenticity, they were buried in 1998 in the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg.

By requesting official rehabilitation for the tsar, the royal family is seeking to clear its name -- not demand financial restitution or promote restoration of the monarchy, Zakatov said.

The family waited more than a decade to start the process because it took years to acquire death certificates for Nicholas II, his wife, four daughters and son -- a requirement for seeking official rehabilitation, said German Lyukanov, another royal representative.

Also on the list submitted to the government are the tsar's brother Grand Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich, his sister-in-law Grand Duchess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna, an uncle and three cousins. All were killed in 1918, part of the Bolshevik campaign to wipe out all descendants of the royal family, Zakatov said.

Today members of the royal family, who are scattered across the globe, are taking a more active role in Russian society, having made some 40 visits to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, he said.

The Prosecutor General's Office in 1999 cleared the names of four Romanovs -- including three of the tsar's nephews -- who were declared enemies of the state and executed by the Bolsheviks.

Zakatov said he hoped the government would move to rehabilitate the tsar and his immediate family as well in the interest of "historical fairness and legal fairness."