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MOSCOW, September 2 (Itar-Tass) — Russian television will devote several programs to the 200th anniversary of Russian victory in the 1812 Patriotic War early in September.
The Rossiya television channel will present a trilogy called “The War and Peace of Alexander I” in which leading historians from various countries take part as well as descendants of the main figures and personalities of the 1812 events, including Charles Napoleon, the great grandson of the French Emperor’s brother as well as Prince Joachim Murat, a descendant of Napoleonic marshal.
“The film’s concept is the standoff of two worlds, two outlooks. We studied the materials for two years. We filmed in Russia, France and Germany. Emperor Alexander I turned out to have played a much more significant role in the 1812 events than it was presented in history until recently,” Elena Chavchavadze, the film’s author, told Itar-Tass.
“Alexander and Napoleon had a period of mutual liking. But then the Russian tsar understood that Napoleon was a dictator. That was the first attempt to create a united Europe only by means of conquering independent countries,” Chavchavadze went on to say.
The film says that Russia knew about the planned attack and started preparing for the war in advance.
“General Arakcheyev who used to be belied in his time turned out to be an interesting figure. In fact, he was the one who created the Russian artillery. Russian intelligence service started working brilliantly at that time, including Napoleon’s closest entourage. In short, by the time the French troops crossed the border of the Russian Empire on the Neman River, Alexander and his entourage knew that there would be a war and even knew the exact date,” Chavchavadze went on to say. France officially declared war on Russia on June 22, 1812 New Style.
Napoleon when he was still an artillery lieutenant wanted to serve in the Russian army. But he wanted to transfer to the Russian army in a higher rank. That’s why he was rejected.
“Russia was attractive at that time, and many, including the French, joined the Russian army,” the film’s author said.
Alexander I wanted to send Napoleon to a remote Russian region where he could live under supervision after the war was over in 1814. But Alexander’s entourage begged him not to do that. As a result, Napoleon was sent to the Island of Elba from where he escaped.