France, Russia draw old swords at 1812 battle


Mounted French and Russian actors recreate the 200-year-old Battle of Borodino at the gates of Moscow that led to the fall of Napoleon.

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Thousands of mounted French and Russian actors have recreated a 200-year-old battle that saw the grand army of Napoleon finally face off against the army of the tsar, reports ABC News.

More than 250,000 men fought in the Battle of Borodino at the gates of Moscow, that led to the fall of Napoleon and the rise of Russian patriotic fervour.

To re-enact the battle, even at a fraction of 1812 numbers, there were 300 cavalry horses and more than 3,000 enthusiasts in replica uniforms from all over Europe. The action unfolded before nearly 100,000 history buffs.

The battle is remembered by Russians as one of their greatest moments, and president Vladimir Putin oversaw Sunday's grandiose festivities.

His government spent $1.1 million on the celebration of not only Russian history but also its military and resolve.

France was represented at the sleepy Borodino field by former president Giscard d'Estaing

"The entire people rose against the invaders," Mr Putin said in a keynote address.

Read more of this report from ABC News.

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