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KACENAI, Lithuania, August 28 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Cossacks who are on a march from Moscow to Paris on Monday crossed the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. They stopped in a tiny place of Kacenai for the night.
“We’ve crossed the border with Lithuania normally. Everything’s going according to plan,” Pavel Moshchalkov, the chef and initiator of the Cossack cavalry march, told Itar-Tass.
It took the Cossacks four hours - two from each side – to cross the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. There were no big delays. The border and customs officials gave the right of way to the Cossacks ahead of a long queue of trucks. It took the customs officials a long time to fill in all the papers on the horses that were entering the EU veterinary space. The participants in the march said that the whole procedure passed in a friendly atmosphere in the presence of diplomats from the Russian embassies in Belarus and Lithuania.
On Tuesday, the Cossacks will move towards a place called Valkininkai.
Twenty-three Cossacks are taking part in the cavalry march that kicked off on Moscow’s Poklonnaya Hill on August 12. This unprecedented project is not meant to glorify the victory or highlight the defeat of any country during the Napoleonic wars. Its aim is to commemorate all soldiers who fell in those wars: Russian, French, German, Polish etc.
“The Moscow-Paris equestrian race is not a parade of victors but a march to glorify those who fell in that war,” says Andrei Belyaninov, the head of the Russian Federal Customs Service and a member of the organizing committee of the cavalry march.
The project is designed to foster patriotic feelings in young people, strengthen cultural ties between Russia and Europe, the equestrian communities of Russia and France as well as between Russians and compatriots who permanently reside abroad.
The Cossacks will demonstrate horseback stunts, organize concerts and thematic exhibitions as well as stage historical re-enactments on their way to Paris. Besides, the organizers want to demonstrate the best qualities of the Don breed of horses.
The final destination is Fontenblaue outside Paris where the Red Army Song and Dance Group named after Alexandrov, the Kuban Cossack Choir and riders of the Kremlin equestrian school will give a gala-concert.