The Romanov’s rehabiliated…or restored?

Russians call it “rehabilitation.”  It’s the idea of going back and calling something different than what it was before.  And finally, after the Supreme Court refused to hear the case last year, the Romanov family is once again, in 2008, in the good graces of the Russian government with the Supreme Court’s announcement that the Romanov’s were victims of political repression and the declaration of their rehabilitation.

This July thousands of Russians took part in events to mark the 90th anniversary of the family’s execution, and even today calls for the restoration of the monarchy can be heard despite the tightly controlled politics of the Kremlin.

Restoration of the dynasty has been whispered about in quiet Kremlin hallway conversations for some time.  But no one really takes these things too seriously.  However one well known Russian journalist/writer shared privately his hunch that Mr. Putin might be using the Romanov rehabilitation as a basis for eventual restoration of the Russian Empire.

By replacing the current Russian Federation Constitution with one that restores some form of the Romanov monarchy, the Kremlin could continue the bolstering of Russian pride and culture while at the same time issuing a call for former Russian nations such as Ukraine and Belarus at first, and then others, into a restored “super Russian nation.”

Given that that Russian was governed in tandem with the Tsar’s, and the Russian Orthodox Church providing political stability along the way, perhaps the first step was the accomplishment of the family of Tsar Nicholas II as minor saints back in 2000.

The second step to such a plan would be rehabilitation of the Romanov’s–and that has now been officially accomplished in 2008.  Naturally any political restoration would come with the understanding that a surviving Romanov be willing to accept some form of very limited (figurehead) power and the government would be run by the current set of Kremlin leaders.

If that sounds farfetched, stop and think about the idea of a restored sovereign holding court in the old Imperial capital of St Petersburg, bringing prestige again to Putin’s hometown and favourite Russian city.  Imagine the national pride to have a Russian monarch living in the Winter Palace or in the palaces of Tsarskoe Selo.

No matter what is planned inside the secretive hallways of the Kremlin, the most important event is the one which should come next, according to Edvard Radzinsky, a Russian historian and the author of “The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II.”

Mr. Radzinsky points out that “We have two graves that symbolize the revolution: the dirty hole into which the Romanov’s were thrown, and the mausoleum of the one who ordered this,” he said, referring to Lenin’s brick pyramid on Red Square.

“The closing of the first grave,” he said, “should lead to the closing of the second.”

The last wedding of a Russian Tsar. (Photo: public domain)