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Russian Cossacks on a march to Paris makes first stop in France

October 02, 2012, 6:17 UTC+3

The march kicked off at Moscow’s Poklonnaya Hill on August 12

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BLANCHE-EGLISE, France, October 2 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Cossacks who are marching on Paris as part of a campaign to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Russia’s 1812 Patriotic War against Napoleon have made their first stop in France, in small place called Blanche-Eglise.

“This event will be called historical one day. It’s the first time in 200 years that have passed since the end of the 1812 Patriotic War that Russian Cossacks have entered France on horseback. They’ve started the final stage of their cavalry march which, I believe, will be as successful as all the previous stages,” said Sergey Shishkaryov, the deputy head of the march’s organizing committee. He has recently been elected chairman of the presidium of the Political Council of the newly created Rodina (Motherland) party.

The march kicked off at Moscow’s Poklonnaya Hill on August 12. The Cossacks have covered 2,500 kilometers of horseback. They need to cover another 400 kilometers to reach their final destination at Fontainebleau, Napoleon’s former residence. A grand concert of the Cossacks, the Alexandrov Army Choir, the Cuban Cossack Choir and the Kremlin Equestrian School will culminate the end of the cavalry march.

“The festivities will symbolize not only the success of the march as a kind of passage among cities and countries. It will symbolize the accomplishment of its main task – a mission of peace and respect for all who took part in those (Napoleonic) wars, giving lives for their countries,” Shishkaryov went on to say.

“In this sense, I would compare the equestrian march to a musical march in which a powerful patriotic melody tuned with the no less powerful call to pan-European cooperation beyond border and political differences. I hope that the final chord in Fontainebleau is going to be strong and convincing,” Shishkaryov emphasized.

It’s hard to say how the French met Russian Cossacks at the time of the Napoleonic wars but today they welcomed them with broad friendly smiles on their faces.


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