Today is a historic day for Russia. Eighty years have passed
since the murder of the last Russian emperor and members of
For many years we were silent about this awful crime but we
must tell the truth. The reprisal in Yekaterinburg was one of the
most shameful episodes in our history.
By burying the remains of the innocent murdered we want to
expiate the sins of our ancestors.
Those who committed this crime are guilty as are those who
approved of it for decades. We are all guilty. It is impossible to
lie to ourselves by justifying senseless cruelty on political
The shooting of the Romanov family is a result of an
uncompromising split in Russian society into "us" and "them."
The results of this split can be seen even now.
Burying the victims of the Yekaterinburg tragedy is an act of
humane justice, a symbol of unification in Russia and
redemption of common guilt.
In the face of the historical memory of the nation we are
responsible for everything. And that is why I could not have
failed to appear here, as a human being and as a president. I
bow my head for the victims of the merciless killings.
Building a new Russia must be based on its historical
experience. Many glorious pages of Russian history were
connected with the name of Romanovs. But with this name is
connected one of the most bitter lessons: any attempt to change
life through violence is condemned to failure.
We must end the century which has been an age of blood and
violence in Russia with repentance and peace, regardless of
political views, ethnic or religious belonging.
This is our historical chance. At the turn of the next millennium
we must do this for the sake of those living now and the
generations to come.
Let us remember those who became innocent victims of envy
Let them rest in peace.