From Russia with Love

Well, not so much love. More like murder and overthrowing the government.

First of all, I want to apologize for my lack of posts lately. I started a new full-time job and have been doing some more freelance writing.  Also, I realized that people actually read this blog, follow me on social media, and read my dumb fiction books, so I should post some more.

Anyway, back to what you came here for.

This month marks the 100-year anniversary of the murder of the Romanov family which forever ended the imperial rule of Russia.

Why are we still talking about this?

There’s Anastasia escaped theories followed by imposters and Rasputin, who at the time of the Romanov murders had been dead for almost two years.

There’s the horrific murder of an entire family and a decades-long mystery of their burial site along with misleading information from the Russian government aboutthe true fates of the last Russian Dynasty.

Rasputin and the Anastasia conspiracy are the highlights. The events leading up to the assassinations of the Romanov family are what led to the rise of Communism in Russia, World War II, and eventually the current state of the world.

The Romanov family. 

Most Americans, myself included, tend to forget how old the rest of the world is. In the timeline of world history, The United States is about a second grader. Compared to the rest of the world, 100 years isn’t a lot of time.

The overthrow of a government resulting in the murder of a ruler and their entire family is reminiscent of Ancient Rome and Game of Thrones plotlines, not something that happened a mere 100 years ago.

To put that number into perspective, my iPhone-toting grandmother and her twin sister are 92.

This is an often overlooked by both true crime enthusiasts and history buffs alike and one of my personal favorites; it’s sordid, politically charged, and ends with a diamond-stuffed massacre.

I’m going to get into the deep history of these events. Mainly because others have done it much better. Also, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Two years before his death, Tzar Nicholas II left his royal residence in Saint Petersburg to lead the struggling Russian Army during World War I.

Czar Nicholas was a notoriously ineffective leader. He became the Czar when he was only 24 and did not want the job. All he wanted to do was make babies with his wife German Princess and granddaughter to Queen Victoria, Alexandra.

They had 5 children (they were trying for a boy), Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei. Alexei suffered from hemophilia, a bleeding disorder passed down through years of royal inbreeding.

#SorryNotSorry

Alexi’s illness is where Rasputin comes in. Alexandra believed Rasputin could cure the hemophilia and secure the future of the Russian empire and their family line.

Spoiler alert: he didn’t.

Nicholas’ poor handling of military campaigns, rampant Anti-Semitism, and his wife, Alexandra’s reliance on the completely full of shit Rasputin made the Romanov family about as popular as the Trumps at a Whole Foods.

Now that I’ve dropped the T bomb, you’ll start to notice some similarities between what’s happening in the USA today.

Nicholas also pissed off everyone by pretty much ignoring the famine, economic disparities, the government firing at its own people during a protest *coughs and points to America*, and unstable government that was plaguing Russia.

In February 1917, Tsar Nicholas was forced to abdicate the throne due to pressure from the public and the Bolsheviks, the Leftist group that eventually became the Communist Party of Russia led by Lenin.

After the abdication, Nicholas and his family attempted to seek asylum all over Europe. When they were refused, the Romanov’s were captured by Lenin’s forces and sent to a house in Siberia where they would all eventually die.

In the house, all the windows were covered in newspaper and the family had to ask permission from an armed guard if they wanted to leave their rooms. There was only one small part of the window that was not covered. Anastasia was shot at by a guard when she tried to look out.

Nicholas believed that he and his family would eventually be rescued by those still loyal to Imperial Russia.

Little did the family know, their execution was being planned.

A secret meeting was held on June 29, 1917 where the Soviets planned the execution of the Romanov’s. In attendance was Lenin himself. Historians have argued for years if Lenin was the person who actually gave the orders for the execution.

Supposedly, Nicholas was the only member of the family who was supposed to be murdered. To ensure that Imperial Russia would be gone forever, the entire family went with him.

Around midnight on July 17, 1917, the Romanov family doctor who was captured along with them was ordered to wake the family. Under the impression they were finally being rescued, the family dressed and soon met their fate.

They were ushered into a 20 foot by 16 foot basement room where several members of the Soviet police force Alexandra and Alexei were sat down in chairs while the rest of the family stood. Nicholas was the first to die as several shooters focused in on him. Alexandra was killed with a single shot to the head.

Maria attempted to escape after she was shot in the thigh but was gunned down along with her siblings. Alexei, Tatiana, Anastasia, and Maria were the last to die as they had diamonds and other jewels sewn into their clothes for safekeeping in case there were ever freed.

The jewels acted as a shield and prolonged their deaths and suffering.

Not only were the Romanov’s shot with over 70 bullets, they were also stabbed with bayonets, disfigured with acid, and buried in unmarked graves.

Rumors persisted for years over the fates of the children as at the time of their deaths, many thought  they had been set free.

Their remains were not found until 1979. This discovery was not announced until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Nicholas, Alexandra, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria were all exhumed and reburied. Alexei and Anastasia were found in 2007.

Morals of the story:

  1. If you have to flee, bring more than just your jewels.
  2. Shit happens when you party with Imperial Russia.

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