The Don Cossacks, those fearless riders who had protected Mother Russia and fought so many of her battles since the 1600s, are on the move again.
This time, however, their intentions are peaceful. They will participate in celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino (quick, everyone put on Tchaikovsky‘s 1812 Overture and crank up the volume to maximum!).
Twenty three mounted Cossacks left Moscow yesterday, riding generally westward, with Paris as their ultimate destination (h/t iDNES). They will retrace the path of the Russian army during its 1812-1814 campaigns against Napoleon Bonaparte. Their trek, which will last several months, will take them through all the major Russian French battlefields in Belarus, Latvia, Poland and Germany. In November, they will reach chateau Fontainebleau near Paris, where Napoleon abdicated in 1814 following his crushing defeat in Russia.
The leader of the expedition, Alexander Kolyakin, joked that, this time, his Cossacks’ intentions were peaceful, and that they had no plans to “use their bayonets on anyone.” But once in Paris, they did hope to be able to wash their feet in the Seine.