Cossacks in Paris !?

Cossacks in Paris !?

To commemorate the retreat from Russia (1812), the German campaign (1813) and the invasion of France by Russian and coalition troops in 1814, twenty-three Russians paid for the occasion, reconstituting a handful of Cossacks, left on August 12 last from Mount Poklonnaïa, in Moscow to set off through Russia, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, to reach Fontainebleau at the end of October where Napoleon had abdicated.

A journey of more than 2,500 kilometers realized as much as possible on horseback (but in fact part of the journey is mechanized). Today in Nancy, he should reach their goal on October 19 (if some French Marie-Louise do not block their way ...). Pavel Mochtchalkov, who had the idea of ​​this ride, recalls that only the Cossacks did entirely this round trip from Moscow to Paris, it presents the demonstration as a march of peace in memory of all those fallen in combat during this war. In this sense, flowers should be placed regularly on the graves of combatants from different camps. In addition to this historical-memorial aspect, the march must also raise public awareness of the disappearance of the Don horses, promote horse sports, strengthen the links of the Russians with the European and French diaspora ...

But beyond all these good intentions displayed, we can still ask ourselves some questions about this reconstruction of a traumatic event in France, namely its invasion by foreign armed forces who came to oust Napoleon from power and restore cause the gains of the French Revolution. It is therefore strange to see the French Republic welcome these heralds of the monarchical Restoration with open arms, in the same way that it had done everything to celebrate Trafalgar, while nothing was done during the sequence of all bicentenary of the French victories of the First Empire. All of this can be explained by a vague desire for memorial flogging and diplomatic naivety. However, and unlike Trafalgar, no political reception seems planned for this band of Cossacks. It might have been was a bit fat to cheer in the name of peace between peoples these ghosts of the Don who were more known for raids, abuses and looting than for anything else.

There are two ways of looking at it, then, and we leave it to everyone to draw a nuanced synthesis. When will a Panzer II trip through Belgium and France in the name of peace and motorsport? ...


Video: Russias Cossack Revival - 2013. The New York Times