Moscow, July 3, Interfax - The forensic tests performed in the case involving the killing of Russia's last Emperor Nicholas II, his wife and children have revealed indirect evidence that the 'Yekaterinburg remains' belong to the tsar's family.
"We have found traces of a sword blow to the head [presumably of Nicholas II]," criminalist Vyacheslav Popov said in an interview posted on the website Pravoslavie.ru.
Popov was involved in the study of the remains found on the outskirts of Yekaterinburg, which were buried in the Peter and Paul Fortress as the presumed remains of the tsar's family. He participates as an expert in the forensic and anthropological studies conducted in connection with the re-opened criminal case involving the killing of the family of Nicholas II.
The expert said the traces of blows were sought in 1991 on the presumed skull of Russia's last emperor, but they were sought by mistake on the other side of the skull, on the left side, because it was believed that the Japanese police officer who attempted to kill Tsesarevich Nicholas in 1891, striking him with a sword, hit him on the left side of the head.
Two modern X-rays have now been done, the expert said. Multispiral computer tomography showed two lateral dents on the skull: it is an old healed fracture because the elevated parts developed bone tissue sclerosis, which healed after the injury.
"However, we did not stop at that procedure and we performed an X-ray with direct image enlargement, we studied the tone tissue structure, which is different on the edges. It can be said with confidence that the fracture was sustained when the person was alive, that it was an old fracture and it was most likely caused by a strike delivered with a long cutting object, for example, a sword," Popov said.
He also confirmed that the grave found near Yekaterinburg in 1991 contained five relatives and that was proven by dental tests.
The Investigative Committee earlier allowed the publication of forensic evaluations in the case involving the killing of members of the tsar's family. Thus, the publication of the interview with Popov marks the beginning of the publication of the first results.
A study on the issue of determining the identity of the 'Yekaterinburg remains" was held in Moscow in mid June. The meeting was chaired by Patriarch Kirill and was attended by Investigative Committee officials, including Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, and also embers of the special church commission for the 'Yekaterinburg remains.'
In July 1991, the remains of nine people were found in a mass grave discovered on the Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Yekaterinburg. The investigators believe they belonged to members of the tsar's family: Nicholas II, his wife, their daughters, as well as their doctor and servants. Members of the imperial family were buried at a sepulcher of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998 after forensic tests.
The remains of another two people were found during archeological excavations conducted south of the first grave on July 29, 2007. Numerous expert evaluations indicate that the remains belong to the children of Nicholas II, Alexey and Maria.