Russians mark 100th anniversary of czar’s execution

Associated Press

Moscow – Thousands of Russian pilgrims have walked in a procession marking the 100th anniversary of the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family.

Russia’s last czar, his wife and five children were executed by Bolshevik soldiers in the city of Yekaterinburg 18 months after Nicholas abdicated in the February 1917 revolution. They had been moved from detention in St. Petersburg and then in Siberia as the Russian Civil War raged.

The procession started out late Monday from the Church on the Blood, which was built on the site of the execution, and ended Tuesday at the site where the bodies were dumped 13 miles away.

The procession was led by Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has canonized the czar and his family as martyrs. Kirill then led a religious service Tuesday where the bodies were dumped.

Nicholas ruled Russia from 1894 until his ouster in March 1917. The remains of Nicholas and his family were reburied in St. Petersburg in 1998.