Final Rites For The Czar

After 80 years, the Romanovs are laid to rest with more Russian politics than national repentance

The funeral last week of the last Czar of Russia and his family, held in the austerely beautiful confines of St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Fortress, was originally intended to be an act of national repentance for 80 years of death and division. It turned out to be a symbol of the dominant feature of Russian politics today: the fine art of cutting a deal.

For the priests and the President in the cathedral last Friday, the small coffins in front of them were not those of Nicholas II, his wife, three of his children and four faithful retainers. (The remains...

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