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Remains found in Urals likely to belong to tsar's children

YEKATERINBURG, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - Preliminary results of genetic analysis carried out on the remains discovered in the Urals in July 2007 show they belong to the last Russian tsar's children, the region's chief forensic expert said Tuesday.

The remains of a boy and a young woman were exhumed near Yekaterinburg, where Tsar Nickolas II, his wife, their four daughters and son, and several servants, were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918. They are believed to belong to Nicholas II's son and heir Alexis, and daughter Maria.

"Tests conducted in Yekaterinburg and Moscow allowed DNA to be extracted from the bones, which proved positive," Nikolai Nevolin said. "Once the genetic analysis has been completed in Russia, its results will be compared with test results from foreign experts."

Nevolin said the final results would be published in April or May of 2008.

Initial studies revealed that the remains belong to a boy of about 12-14 years of age and a 16-18-year-old girl.

The tsar and his family members' remains were also discovered near Yekaterinburg in 1991. They were authenticated and buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998, although forensic examination results have been challenged since then.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which has canonized the murdered Romanov family, called the 1998 burial "a political show."

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