Putin joins festivities marking Borodino battle anniversary, calls for unity in Russia

Monday, September 03, 2012
Putin speaking at a ceremony conferring the title of
City of Military Glory on Maloyaroslavets and Mozhaisk
[PHOTO: Presidential Press and Information Office] 
Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Borodino Field State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve to took part in celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the battle of Borodino.

The President laid a wreath at the main monument to Russia’s heroes of Borodino, and presented certificates conferring the City of Military Glory titles to representatives of Maloyaroslavets and Mozhaisk.

Recalling the 1812 battle, Putin called for “unity” in Russia.

“I want to stress the simple words that only when our peoples united and stood together did they obtain the greatest results in developing their homeland,” he said while addressing the nation.

The President further said, “All in all, unity – the unity of our people – is what patriotism is all about, and it is this patriotism that has always been the basis of all our great victories. As our anthem says, “it has always been this way and always will be!”

The Battle of Borodino, fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia and all Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties. The French Grande Armée under Emperor Napoleon I attacked the Imperial Russian Army of General Mikhail Kutuzov near the village of Borodino, west of the town of Mozhaysk, and eventually captured the main positions on the battlefield, but failed to destroy the Russian army despite heavy losses. About a third of Napoleon's soldiers were killed or wounded; Russian losses were also heavy, but her casualties could be replaced since large forces of militia were already with the Russian Army and replacement depots which were close by had already been gathering and training troops.

The battle itself ended with the Russian Army out of position.
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