Interview with vice governor of Saint-Petersburg Yakovlev V.P.

- Vladimir Petrovich, did you personally have any doubts about the authenticity of the remains?
- Since 1993 I have participated in all sessions of the Commission, first as an observer and later as a regular member. Being a historian I can`t but be interested in whether the investigation took into account all historical sources which are contradictory enough to raise doubts. Honestly speaking, I couldn`t believe that the Bolsheviks were so careless concealing their crime.
- As far as the medico-biological examination is concerned, I could fully rely on the professionalism of the experts involved. I had quite a thorough talk with an expert on the stomatological examination which, as most of the medical experts think, is the most reliable and can be the solution to the problem. The Russian Orthodox Church believes, however, that this problem hasn`t been solved yet. The participants of the above-mentioned examination are unanimous in stating that five of the nine found skeletons belong to the same family. After that comes genetic examination which confirms that the remains belong to the English Royal Family. So there is a natural question: how could it happen that some relations of the English Royal Family were buried by the Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road? The answer is obvious - there could have been only the Romanovs. Though the events took place long ago, the experts` conclusions are quite competent and well-founded. Everybody was given an opportunity to express their doubts. All questions, even the most professional, were answered. Therefore I`m completely positive that the genetic examination makes it possible to say that these are the remains of the Romanovs.
Every participant of the Commission happened to have a particular seat during the meetings and mine was just in the center so I was practically in the middle of the dispute because Rossel who sat behind me and Radzinski with Ilia Glazunov who were just opposite, turned out to be the most violent arguers in all kinds of deliberations. The most incredible matters appeared to be normal. Thus, according to an article in the magazine "Molodaya Gvardiya", there were two vessels in the safe of Lenin`s office filled with red spirit in which heads of the Emperor and the Empress were found. In response to such publications Edward Radzinski recommended to be very attentive while reading magazines because usually there is a note on the first page warning that the certain information is nothing more than rumours. I mentioned all this because there is a great deal of versions concerning the chopped-off heads. This particular version was also discussed.
- - Is it possible to state that as the result of the Commission there aren`t any obscure moments in the history of the imperial family`s execution left?
- Of course not. There are many dark features to be made clear, for example the remains of Cesarevitch Aleksei and Grand Duchess Maria have not been found yet. Also, there is a slight possibility of errors in the research equipment, but to my mind all this is not significant enough to raise even the faintest doubts. Therefore, I am absolutely sure, as well as the majority of people, that at this point the history of Tsarist Russia should draw to a close. So the only problem to deal with is the procedure of the ceremony. The resolution of the Russian government concerning the burial of the remains of the tsar`s has already been passed and it`s no use opposing it. The viewpoint of the Church, with all our respect to the believers and the dead, can`t actually change anything. It`s difficult to evaluate our President`s attitude towards the event, anyway he declared that he is not going to participate in the burial ceremony.
- - Vladimir Petrovich, what are the formalities for the participants of the ceremony ?
- All the formalities are usual. It`s just like an ordinary funeral invitation for any person whether he is a ruler or not, just a formal notice of the occasion. The ministry of Foreign Affairs was charged by the government of Russia to send out official information about the ceremony which will take place on July,17 at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul. The task of the representatives of foreign countries is to inform their governments about this ceremony and I`m positive they have done it already. Also they are to determine the level of coming delegations. Certain work is being done by the Saint-Petersburg Commission and a group headed by N. Dementieva, minister of Culture, which is controlled by Deputy Prime Minister B.Nemtsov. We shouldn`t forget that this event is a concern of all Russians.
There is the city commission of Saint-Petersburg working, as well as the group headed by Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Dementieva N. and controlled by Deputy Prime Minister Nemtsov B. We shouldn`t forget that this is a concern of the whole Russia.
Dmitri Ivanov