The Russian Investigative Committee has announced on Friday, July 17 that the forensic examination of 37 human remains, found in a forest near the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, located east of the Ural Mountains, belong to the last Russian last tsar Nicholas II and his family members.

In a statement, the Committee said, "Based on numerous expert findings, the investigation has reached the conclusion that the remains belong to Nicholas II, his family, and persons from their environment."

Russian Imperial Family
Nicholas II of Russia with the family (left to right): Olga, Maria, Nicholas II, Alexandra Fyodorovna, Anastasia, Alexei, and Tatiana. Wikimedia commons

As reported by the Russian newspaper Izvestia, the senior investigator Marina Molodtsova said that based on the expert molecular-genetic findings, the remains of two people were found in 2007 near the burial site of nine other victims, belonged to the daughter and son of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov.

"Biological kinship with both parents has been established for both Alexei and Maria," she added. Currently, the Russian investigators are trying to find out how actually the Russian imperial family was killed.

The Mystery Around Romanov Family

As per the historic evidence, Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, their five children, Anastasia, Maria, Tatiana, Olga, and Alexei were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 after the October Revolution. Although there is no clarity whether the Romanov family was killed on July 16 or 17, most sources claimed that the executions took place on July 17. After the death of the last Russian emperor, he was recognized as a martyred saint in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church.

It also claimed by many that their bodies were burned, cast into an abandoned mine shaft, and then buried elsewhere. But a spokeswoman from the new investigation team, Alexandra Romanova told Izvestia, "Our experiments denied the version that the bodies of the victims were destroyed with sulphuric acid and burned."

Nicholas II
The last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II Wikimedia commons

However, it was reported that in 1976, a team of Russian scientists located the remains of the Romanov family but kept it as a secret till the collapse of the Soviet Union. The findings of the remains in a burial site, near Yekaterinburg, was first announced in 1991. It was said that those remains belonged to the imperial family including the ex-Tsar, his wife, and three daughters Anastasia, Tatiana, and Olga, as well as their doctor and servants.

Later, in 2007, researchers carried out an archaeological dig in the south of the original burial site and discovered the remains of what they believed were two remaining children, Alexei and Maria. After conducting several rounds of forensic analysis, investigators confirmed that they have found all the remains that belonged to the Romanov family.