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Marching For The Tsar

Ninety-nine years after the execution of Nicholas II and his family, thousands in central Russia march in memory of Russia's last tsar.


The march began at 3 a.m. from the site in Yekaterinburg where Russia's royal family was executed by hard-line Bolshevik revolutionaries on July 17, 1918. 
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The march began at 3 a.m. from the site in Yekaterinburg where Russia's royal family was executed by hard-line Bolshevik revolutionaries on July 17, 1918. 

Dawn broke to thousands of people marching the 20-kilometer route to the forest where the mutilated bodies of the Romanov family were buried. 
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Dawn broke to thousands of people marching the 20-kilometer route to the forest where the mutilated bodies of the Romanov family were buried. 

Marchers carry crosses as the procession moves through central Yekaterinburg. 
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Marchers carry crosses as the procession moves through central Yekaterinburg. 

Photographers cluster around Russian lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya (right) as she walks while clutching a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. 
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Photographers cluster around Russian lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya (right) as she walks while clutching a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. 

Bullwhip in hand, a Cossack walks ahead of the procession. The marchers followed the route taken by the Bolsheviks as they drove the bodies to a forest north of Yekaterinburg for a hasty burial.   
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Bullwhip in hand, a Cossack walks ahead of the procession. The marchers followed the route taken by the Bolsheviks as they drove the bodies to a forest north of Yekaterinburg for a hasty burial.   

A boy walks beneath the yellow, black, and white flag of Imperial Russia. 
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A boy walks beneath the yellow, black, and white flag of Imperial Russia. 

Tsar Nicholas II is an increasingly popular figure in Russia, complicating the country's upcoming centenary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. 
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Tsar Nicholas II is an increasingly popular figure in Russia, complicating the country's upcoming centenary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. 

Images of the tsar and his family were vigorously repressed during the Soviet era.
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Images of the tsar and his family were vigorously repressed during the Soviet era.

A woman kisses a cross with a portrait of the tsar, tsarina, and their five children. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the Romanov family. 
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A woman kisses a cross with a portrait of the tsar, tsarina, and their five children. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the Romanov family. 

The annual event is becoming a kind of religious pilgrimage. Some people took the journey by bus, but many children and elderly walked the full distance. 
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The annual event is becoming a kind of religious pilgrimage. Some people took the journey by bus, but many children and elderly walked the full distance. 

Marchers with a carved cross at the site where investigators discovered the bodies of Russia's last royal family. 
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Marchers with a carved cross at the site where investigators discovered the bodies of Russia's last royal family. 

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