Russian Orthodox believers take part in a nightime procession marking 100 years since the Bolsheviks shot dead tsar Nicholas II and his family after he abdicated outside Yekaterinburg early on July 17, 2018.(AFP / Vlad LONSHAKOV)
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The procession began in the early hours of Tuesday from the murder site in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg to a monastery commemorating the slain tsar, his German-born wife and five children, regional authorities said.Another 20,000 people joined the commemorations when the procession arrived at the monastery in Ganina Yama after covering the distance of 21 kilometers (13 miles), regional authorities said.The regional authorities said the popularity of the annual event has grown steadily over the past years, adding that just 2,000 people took part in a similar procession in 2002 .The Russian Orthodox Church is still divided over the authenticity of the remains of the family, whose members were all made saints in 2000 . Tikhon Shevkunov, the senior cleric put in charge of the Church investigation and who is reportedly close to Putin, said Monday the results of the DNA tests would be taken into account.
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