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Celebrations of 1812 Patriotic War victory kicked off in St Petersburg

August 04, 2012, 11:21 UTC+3

The celebrations were also held in Pavlovsk, a tsarist residence which was owned by Empress Maria Fyodorovna

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ST.PETERSBURG, August 4 (Itar-Tass) — Celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Russian Empire’s victory in the 1812 Patriotic War kicked off in St. Petersburg earlier this week. A memorial service for the heroes who died in battles two hundred years ago was held in the Church of the Kazan Mother of God, the cathedral of Russian military glory, on August 1. The priest mentioned the names and military ranks of 25 officers who took part in a battle near the village of Klyastitsy near Polotsk. They were awarded with the Order of St. George. Four of them were buried in St. Petersburg, including General- Field Marshall Count Ivan Dibich-Zabalkansky. The participants in the celebrations laid flowers to his grave at the Lutheran cemetery. Guards of honor took part in the ceremony.

Ivan Shakhovskoi, a member of the public council responsible for the celebrations, said that the battle near the Battle of Klastisty was decisive for the further course of the war. The blood-spilling battle lasted for three days. The 30,000-strong units of the French army failed to defeat 17,000 Russian soldiers and officers and to move towards the capital of the Russian Empire. The road to St. Petersburg was closed for the French.

A picture titled “The Battle of Klyastitsy” by Peter von Hess was put on view at the St. George Hall of the State Hermitage Museum to the sound of 1812 Russian military marches. The banners of Russian regiments were demonstrated.

Major General Yakov Kulnev was a hero of the Battle of Klyastitsy. He had managed to collect important reconnaissance data on the eve of the battle. The data was used to develop a tactics that led the Russian army to victory. Kulnev was killed in action. His name and the name of Lieutenant General Pyotr Wittgenstein, the cavalry of the Order of St. George whom Emperor Alexander I called the savior of St. Petersburg, were mentioned at a memorial service held at the Sophia Cathedral of a hussar regiment of his Leib Guard in Tsarskoye Selo. The participants in the ceremony laid wreaths to the monument to hussars in the territory of the church.

The celebrations were also held in Pavlovsk, a tsarist residence which was owned by Empress Maria Fyodorovna, the mother of Emperor Alexander I, two hundred years ago. Emperor Alexander I, the commander-in-chief of the Russian army, was welcomed in the Pavilion of Roses in Pavlovsk after his successful military campaign against Napoleon.

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