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Patriarch to skip royal family execution anniversary events in Yekaterinburg

Moscow, April 24, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has announced that he won't be able to attend the events meant to mark the 90th anniversary of the execution of the family of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II in Yekaterinburg in July.

"The feast of venerable Sergius of Radonezh will be marked just ahead of the events, hence I will be unable to attend them. However, we will be praying to the sacred martyrs asking them to support us on our earthly journey," the patriarch said at a meeting with the press at his residence in Moscow.

He said that the upcoming events were important for Russia as a whole, not just Yekaterinburg, because the execution of the royal family marked "the beginning of purges, the great terror to which the nation was subjected."

"How many people perished in the terror! And how many Calvaries there are in the Russian land in which thousands of people who suffered for their faith and truth are buried," the Patriarch said.

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