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BURIAL DATE SET FOR LAST CZAR, FAMILY

After a long debate, the Russian government has finally set a date -- March 1 -- for the burial of the remains of the last czar, Nicholas II, and his family, a newspaper said Thursday.

But the place still has not been decided.

A government commission scheduled the burial for the Russian Orthodox holiday Forgiveness Sunday, when believers repent for their sins, the business daily Kommersant reported, citing unidentified government officials.

According to the report, the government insists on burial in the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul in St. Petersburg, where all Russian czars have been interred since Peter the Great.

But it has come under strong pressure from local officials in the Urals, who want the royal family to be buried in the city of Yekaterinburg, where they were slain by a Bolshevik firing squad in 1918.

This proposal is backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, the newspaper said.

Sites in Moscow also have been considered, including the Kremlin churches or the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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