By Nikolaus von Twickel
Claims published Friday by archaeologists that they have found the remains of two of the children of the last tsar, Nicholas II, have brought the controversy surrounding the fate of the royal family's remains to the surface again.
Almost 90 years after they were shot by the Bolsheviks in the basement of the Yekaterinburg building where they were being held, the news that the remains of Tsarevich Alexei, Nicholas' son and former heir to the throne, and his sister Maria may have been discovered near the city has led prosecutors to reopen the investigation into the circumstances of the shootings.
Scientific officials from the Sverdlovsk region, where Yekaterinburg is located, and representatives of the Romanov family and the Russian Orthodox Church over the weekend voiced extreme caution at the findings.
"This set of facts, the location ... and the results of the anthropological analysis make it possible to conclude that the ... remains of members of the Romanov imperial family, Tsarevich Alexei and his sister, Grand Duchess Maria, hidden by revolutionaries in 1918, have been found," Sergei Pogorelov, an archaeologist from the Sverdlovsk regional administration, said in a statement posted on the Religare.ru web site.