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Russia hopes for success of Moscow-Paris cavalry march

August 08, 2012, 17:05 UTC+3

This is a non-profit project and will be funded from sponsor contributions, Andrei Belyaninov said

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MOSCOW, August 8 (Itar-Tass) — Russia hopes for the success of the Moscow-Paris Cavalry March through six countries, because friends are waiting for us in Europe, Director of the Federal Customs Service and chairman of the organizing committee of the Cavalry March Andrei Belyaninov told a press conference at the Itar-Tass news agency on Wednesday.

“Representatives from the municipalities of the countries, through which the Russian Cossacks will be riding on 23 Don stallions, as well as a numerous group of accompanying fellows are participating actively in the organizing of the Cavalry March,” he said. “This group includes veterinarians, ecologists, medical workers and many other representatives of various services, which ensure the success of this event,” Belyaninov noted.

“This is a non-profit project and will be funded from sponsor contributions, the state support is mainly provided by our embassies in six European countries,” he pointed out. He also noted that “the Cavalry March will be covered broadly by the news agencies, television channels and radio stations.”

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).

“For this march 23 horses were selected, and the Cossacks have trained them for about a year,” Belyaninov remarked. “On Friday we will leave the place for training in the Don steppes and will begin to train for the start on the Poklonnaya Hill,” he indicated. “The Don horses is the only horse breed in the Russian army, 120,000 of which came to Paris and came back to the Don steppes almost without any losses,” he said. He also noted that “the record of the Don horses is 305 kilometres of riding for a day and this unique warhorse is losing up to 40% of its weight for the daily march, but it is regaining it quickly.”

Belyaninov noted that “the Cossacks will cross the border with the European Union in Belarus and almost all agreements over passport, veterinary and customs controls were reached.” He also noted that “the crossings of the Cossacks will be marked in various countries by concerts with the Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army, which will give its first concert in Belarus on August 19.”

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.

Meanwhile, fancy riding shows, concerts and thematic exhibitions, historical reconstruction shows are scheduled along the whole march route. 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.

Meanwhile, on that 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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