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DNA Testing Verifies Bones of Russia's Last Tsar

Analysis was conducted by scientists from Moscow State University and the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics.

The remains of Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna have been authenticated by genetic analysis, the Investigative Committee's website reported Wednesday.

DNA samples taken from the bones of Nicholas II have matched with samples taken a blood-stained shirt of Russia’s last tsar.

Alexandra's DNA samples contained the mutations specific to those found in descendents of Britain's Queen Victoria. Alexandra was Victoria's granddaughter, and the genetic analysis confirmed the bone's attribution to the Russian empress.

Analysis was conducted by scientists from Moscow State University and the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics.

After being rounded up and killed in a basement by the Bolsheviks during fighting in the Civil War, the bodies of Russia's last tsar and his family were doused in acid and burned before being buried. Most of the remains were discovered in 1979, but the children Alexander and Maria were only unearthed in 2007.

The remains of the two children were due to be buried with the rest of the imperial family at St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Cathedral, but the ceremony was delayed because the Orthodox Church insisted on additional research into their identity.

Therefore, on Sept. 23, the Investigative Committee reopened a criminal case into the deaths of Maria and Alexander, aiming to verify their identities. As part of the probe, Nicholas II and his wife were exhumed in the presence of senior Orthodox officials in St. Petersburg.

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