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Russian Cossacks to go on Moscow-Paris cavalry march on August 12

August 08, 2012, 14:03 UTC+3

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

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MOSCOW, August 8 (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. “This cavalry march is dedicated to the memory of all warriors, who perished in the battles in 1812-1814,” head of the Federal Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov told a press conference at the Itar-Tass news agency on Wednesday.

“The Moscow-Paris cavalry march is not a parade of winners, but a march for the glory of those, who fell in the Napoleon wars,” he 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 by throwing their bonnets in the air. According to the legend, it were 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 then noted an unexpected, particularly after the burning of Moscow in 1812, respect of the Russian troops for 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 Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army is to give the first concert in Smolensk on August 19. The flower-laying ceremonies to the graves of the warriors that perished in the wars in 1812-1814 will be held along the whole route of the march.

The cavalry march is also seeking to show the best qualities of the Don horse breed, which the Cossacks will be riding. “The idea of this event began with a great care about the Don horses, which are on the verge of extinction, and we want to revive this horse breed,” Belyaninov said.

“The Don Cossack Cavalry was the only Russian cavalry formation that endured easily this march to Paris and came 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 horses for 73-78% of Russian cavalrymen.” The Don horse is a unique creation of nature and the man and it, as nothing else, has the right for existence and will please the man more than once 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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