Execution of the Romanov family

Execution of the Romanov family

Russian Revolution

Execution of the Romanov family
Clockwise from top: the Romanov family, Ivan Kharitonov, Alexei Trupp, Anna Demidova, and Eugene Botkin ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1918 Jul 16

Execution of the Romanov family

Yekaterinburg, Russia

Following the February Revolution in 1917, the Romanov family and their servants had been imprisoned in the Alexander Palace before being moved to Tobolsk, Siberia in the aftermath of the October Revolution. They were next moved to a house in Yekaterinburg, near the Ural Mountains. On the night of 16–17 July 1918, the Russian Imperial Romanov family were shot and bayoneted to death by Bolshevik revolutionaries under Yakov Yurovsky on the orders of the Ural Regional Soviet in Yekaterinburg. Most historians attribute the execution order to the government in Moscow, specifically Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov, who wanted to prevent the rescue of the Imperial family by the approaching Czechoslovak Legion during the ongoing Russian Civil War. This is supported by a passage in Leon Trotsky's diary. A 2011 investigation concluded that, despite the opening of state archives in the post-Soviet years, no written document has been found which proves Lenin or Sverdlov ordered the executions; however, they endorsed the murders after they occurred. Other sources argue that Lenin and the central Soviet government had wanted to conduct a trial of the Romanovs, with Trotsky serving as prosecutor, but that the local Ural Soviet, under pressure from Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and anarchists, undertook the executions on their own initiative due to the approach of the Czechoslovaks.

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