Manmohan’s family visits execution site of Russia’s last tsarJune 16th, 2009 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS
By Manish Chand
Yekaterinburg (Russia), June 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur, who has accompanied him to this Russian industrial city, Tuesday visited the site of the gruesome massacre of Russia’s last tsar and his family that has now turned into a centre of pilgrimage.
Tsar Nicholas II and his close family have been canonized and are now revered as saints. Hordes of Russians and tourists visit the Church of Spilt Blood that stands as a testimony to the dark past of revolutionary purges and Russia’s turn to reconciliation and spirituality in the post-glasnost era.
They light candles, say their prayers quietly and bow their heads in an act of atonement at this cellar-turned-church where the last tsar of Russia and his five young children were shot dead in cold blood over nine decades ago.
Archbishop Vikenty of the Russian Orthodox Church, dressed in priestly robes studded with precious stones and sporting a long beard, shepherded the prime minister’s family around the elegant interiors of the church and showed them the precise place where the organised massacre took place in a cellar.
As a Russian guide recalled that dark night of Jan 17, 1918, when the Bolshevik Guards called the Tsar and his family to the cellar and shot them, Kaur and her daughter Upinder, a historian who teaches at New Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College, appeared quite moved.
Legend has it that the bloodthirsty executioners had a tough time eliminating the tsar’s wife and her four daughters and a son as they were wearing heavy jewellery in their corsets. “Bullets bounced off them and they had to finally bludgeon them to death,” narrated Elena, a Russian guide.
Early this month, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office rehabilitated six other members of the former Russian royal family, Romanovs, by declaring them victims of repression.
Manmohan Singh Tuesday addressed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit here.
- Manmohan's family goes on trip down Russia's tsarist past (Lead) - Jun 16, 2009
- Russian diplomat wants Prince Harry to be Tsar of vacant throne - May 04, 2011
- Heir demands reopening of investigation into murder of Russian Tsar Nicholas II - Jan 16, 2010
- Tsar's murder case reopens in Russia after 90 years - May 13, 2010
- Russia's last tsar, family members declared victims of repression - Oct 01, 2008
- Russia closes probe into murder of last tsar Nicholas II - Jan 15, 2009
- Experts confirm bodies of last tsar's children disfigured - Jun 28, 2008
- Communists caught in time warp, bloodlust still rules (Comment) - Jun 02, 2012
- A little holiday for the PM - Sep 26, 2011
- Be responsible human beings: Dalai Lama - Dec 31, 2011
- Calls for ban on 'Russia slandering' film Ivan the Terrible - Nov 28, 2009
- Russia allows NATO to use air base - Jun 30, 2012
- Russian executed in 1918 cleared 94 years later - Aug 24, 2012
- Forensic experts suggest existence of another Russian tsar family burial site - Sep 08, 2008
- Tsar Nicholas II's billions of pounds worth lost gold found in world's deepest lake in Siberia? - Sep 01, 2010
Tags: elegant interiors, executioners, four daughters, gursharan kaur, light candles, manish, manmohan, manmohan singh, priestly robes, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, romanovs, russian guide, russian orthodox church, russian prosecutor general, russian royal family, shanghai cooperation organization, tsar nicholas ii, tsar of russia, yekaterinburg russia