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Russian Cossacks to go on peaceful Moscow-Paris cavalry march

August 06, 2012, 5:48 UTC+3

Their march will run through the places of the most memorable battles, in which the Cossacks regiments were fighting in 1812, namely Borodino, Leipzig and Paris

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MOSCOW, August 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Cossacks will go on a peaceful Moscow-Paris cavalry march, which will be the first one after 1812, from the Poklonnaya Hill here on August 12.

Contrary to the first mounted march, this cavalry march will be absolutely peaceful, a source in the organizing committee of the unique event, which is headed by chief of the Federal Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov, told Itar-Tass. The Don Cossacks, who are the descendants of legendary cavalrymen led by Ataman (chieftain) Earl Matvey Platov, dedicate their march to all warriors, who perished in the battles in 1812-1814. “The Moscow-Paris cavalry march is not a parade of winners, but a march for the glory of those, who fell in this war,” Belyaninov noted.

The marching route, which 23 modern Don Cossacks will ride on the Don-breed horses, exceeds 2,500 kilometres. Their march will run through the places of the most memorable battles, in which the Cossacks regiments were fighting in 1812, namely Borodino, Smolensk, Berezina, Leipzig and Paris. According to the plans of the organizers, in the middle of October Paris women should certainly recall about the origin of the French word “bistro”, if not welcoming the Cossacks throwing their bonnets in the air. According to the legend, this was Russian Cossacks, who gave the idea of the bistro restaurants to the French restaurant keepers, demanding to treat them “bystro, bystro!” (bistro – quickly).

Meanwhile, all sources noted an unexpected, particularly after the burning of Moscow in 1812, respect of the Russian troops to the occupied French capital. The symbol of respect kept between the two nations since then should become, according to the idea of the Russian organizers of the march, a big gala concert at Napoleon’s former residence Fontainebleau. The Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army, the Kuban Cossack Choir and the Kremlin Riding School will perform at the finish of the mounted march. Meanwhile, fancy riding shows, concerts and thematic exhibitions, historical reconstruction shows are scheduled along the whole march route.

The cavalry march is also seeking to show the best qualities of the Don horse breed, on which the Cossacks will be riding. “The Don Cossack Cavalry is the only Russian cavalry formation that endured easily this march to Paris and went back to the Don steppes without natural losses,” an organizer of the march, deputy chairman of the march organizing committee and horse breeder Pavel Moshchalkov said. “After the Great Patriotic War the Russian emperor decreed to use the Don-breed horses for 73-78% of Russian cavalrymen.” The Don horse is a unique creation of the nature and the man and it as nothing else have the right for existence and will please the man many more times in the future, the horse breeder added.

Meanwhile, on this day 200 years ago, on August 5, 1812, the Cossacks went on reconnaissance missions amid a breathing spell, which set in after the connection of the Russian armies in Smolensk. Their horse patrols and pickets reached the deployment bases of the French corpuses in Orsha, Rudna and other settlements, and engaged in clashes with French patrols.

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