French officials from French embassy in Moscow arrange remains of Russian and French soldiers who died during Napoleon’s 1812 retreat, in communal coffins during a ceremony in a small church in the monastery of John the Precursor in the town of Viazma on Feb. 8, 2021.
Dimitar Dilkoff/Getty Images
A ceremony at a small Russian church this week honored fallen soldiers from Napoleon’s 1812 retreat — among about 100 troops unearthed during a 2019 archeological dig and now scheduled for burial.
Images from the church at the monastery of St. John the Precursor in the Russian town of Vyazma on Monday show eight coffins laid out in preparation for a scheduled burial Saturday.
The French and Russian soldiers were found during an archaeological dig in May 2019, the Russian news agency TASS said in January.
The soldiers, found near Smolensk, were part of Napoleon’s massive retreat after his failed invasion of Russia in November 1812, TASS said.
A month after that discovery, archaeologists unearthed the body of French Gen. Charles Etienne Gudin, one of Napoloen’s favorite military leaders.
Gudin died at age 44 when he was struck by a cannon ball on Aug. 22, 1812.
The 2019 digs were overseen by the Trianon Dialogue French-Russian forum, created jointly by Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.
With Post wires