Moscow, 16 July 1998 (RFE/RL) - A plane carrying the remains of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family arrived in St. Petersburg today. The remains are to be re-buried in the Peter and Paul Fortress in the former imperial capital tomorrow, marking the 80th anniversary of the execution of the tsar and his family by the Bolsheviks.
In a surprise move, President Boris Yeltsin said today that he will attend the funeral. Earlier, Yeltsin had said he would not attend out of respect for the Russian Orthodox Church, which disputes the authenticity of the remains. The head of Russia's Orthodox Church -- Patriarch Aleksii -- will not attend the service because of the dispute.
Yeltsin was quoted today describing the funeral as "an act of human justice." He said it will show a desire by the current generation of Russians to overcome the sins of their ancestors.