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Pilgrims commemorate 100th anniversary of killing of Russia’s last tsar

Nicholas II and his family were killed by Bolshevik soldiers 18 months after his abdication.

Thousands of Russian pilgrims have walked in a procession marking the 100th anniversary of the killings of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Russia’s last tsar, his wife and five children were put to death by Bolshevik soldiers in the city of Yekaterinburg 18 months after Nicholas abdicated in the February 1917 revolution.

They had been moved from detention in St Petersburg and then in Siberia as the Russian Civil War raged.

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Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, centre, leads a service at the site where the bodies of Tsar Nicholas II and his family were dumped (Aleksandr Abramenkov/AP)

The procession started out late on Monday from the Church on the Blood, which was built on the site of the deaths, and ended Tuesday at the site where the bodies were dumped 13 miles away.

The procession was led by Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has canonised the tsar and his family as martyrs.

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Kirill, centre, leads the procession which started from the Church on the Blood, which was built on the site of the death of Tsar Nicholas II (Aleksandr Abramenkov/AP)

Kirill then led a religious service where the bodies were dumped.

Nicholas ruled Russia from 1894 until his ousting in March 1917.

The remains of Nicholas and his family were reburied in St Petersburg in 1998.

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