Voices from Russia

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Called for a Clear Statement Concerning the Guilt of the Murderers of the Imperial Family

Aleksandr Kerensky (1881-1970), leftist leader of the Provisional Government. If his order to arrest the tsar was illegal, then, those who assisted him were also guilty. These same people later led the Evlogian schism in Paris.


The most important task in the matter of the murder of the family of Tsar Nikolai II must be the establishment of who’s at fault in this crime, those who planned it, those who carried it out, and those who followed the orders of the Urals Soviet, according to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, assistant head of the MP Department of External Church Relations. “To me, it seems that the most consequential issue isn’t the one concerning the recently-found remains, but we should focus on the main problem, the chief question. That is, ‘Who’s guilty of this act?’ This is a question that’s been unanswered up to this point”, Fr Vsevolod said to our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Thursday. “Of course, we can’t haul the perpetrators of the murder of the imperial family into court to face justice; God has already punished them with His judgement. However, it isn’t only possible, but it’s necessary, to name all of those guilty. This is the most consequential task facing us”, he said.

In his opinion, it’s less important to name those who carried out this crime than it is to answer a more pressing question, “Who gave the order to murder the imperial family?” It’s also of consequence to establish who approved this order, “those who by their consent became participants in the act. We have to establish whether the order for the arrest of the imperial family was legal, and if it was, then, we must ask who is responsible for this illegal act. Was it the Petrograd Soviet or was it the Provisional Government that decided to arrest the tsar and his family? Are the leadership of the Urals Soviet and the Ural Cheka solely innocent or guilty, inasmuch as they gave the order for the murder for the imperial family, or is their guilt shared by the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government?”, Fr Vsevolod noted. He called “for a thorough investigation using the large amount of historical evidence extant” to determine whether “the All-Russian Central Executive Committee approved this act, and whether Lenin, Sverdlov, and others, were personally responsible. The discussion shall be fruitless unless we can determine the guilt or innocence of these people and these institutions!”

17 July 2008



Editor’s Note:

This leads to an interesting corollary question. The White emigration wasn’t monolithic, not all émigrés were royalists. This was particularly true in Paris, where Westernised secularised intellectuals seized control, leading to the Evlogian schism, which was the precursor of the present Paris cabal (ADS came out of this questionable group). If we find that the Provisional Government (many of the Paris group were members of or supporters of the Provisional Government) was at least partially guilty of the arrest of the imperial family, this leads to the inescapable conclusion that many of the church problems that later bedevilled the Orthodox diaspora had their genesis in such depravity. It’s sobering food for thought.



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