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Church Denies Duma Deputy's Claim Of Weeping Tsar Statue In Crimea

Russian State Duma Deputy Natalya Poklonskaya attends the opening of a chapel in honor of Tsar Nicholas II and his family at the Crimean prosecutor's office in Simferopol in October 2016.

Russian Orthodox Church officials in the Kremlin-annexed Crimea region have refuted a controversial claim by State Duma Deputy Natalya Poklonskaya that a bust of Tsar Nicholas II in Simferopol wept tears on the centennial of his abdication of power.

The Eparchy in Crimea said on March 7 that a special commission checked Poklonskaya's claims on March 6 and found no traces of tears either on the bust or on icons in a chapel next to the bust.

The Eparchy said that the cleric at the chapel "should be instructed to watch the bust and report if tears appear on the bust."

Poklonskaya made the claim on March 3 in a televised program, saying that she had been informed of the "miracle" by colleagues in Crimea, where she briefly served as the Moscow-imposed prosecutor after Russia seized and annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

Nicholas was executed along with his entire family in 1918 by the Bolsheviks, who by then had seized power.

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