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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

70,000 to Take Sides in Historical Re-enactment

For MTHistory lovers re-enacting the Borodino battle as French and Russian forces.
About 70,000 people will march on each other this Sunday until many of them are dead, or at least pretending to be dead, as history fans re-enact the battle of Borodino on the site of the mighty clash between Russian and French forces outside Moscow.

The re-enactment takes place to commemorate the 197th anniversary of the battle between the two armies led by Napoleon and General Mikhail Kutuzov.

The real battle, which involved more than 250,000 troops, was one of the bloodiest of the 19th century, and despite an apparent French victory it was pivotal to eventual Russian victory.

Volunteers will dress up in exact copies of military uniforms and follow precisely choreographed instructions as they re-enact the battle.

“I’ve decided to become a hussar,” said Timofei Leonov, who will take part Sunday, “It’s kind of extreme tourism. … You can even see Napoleon and Kutuzov hugging each other and posing for a photo. Where else is it possible to watch things like that? I can’t wait for this event every year.” 

The Borodino re-enactment takes place Sept. 6 at State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve. Borodino, Mozhaisky district, Moscow region. Tel. +7 (496) 385-1522. A full timetable of events, a map and instructions on how to get to the village can be found at the museum’s web site —