Topic: Russian History
Monument to the 1916 Russian Expeditionary Force at Paris
On February 5 representatives of Russia and France laid wreaths at the monument honoring Russian soldiers on the bank of the Seine in Paris. Sergey Naryshkin, speaker of the Russian State Duma, took part in the ceremony, RIA Novosti reports.
In 1916 the Russian Expeditionary Force was sent to Europe to assist allies during World War I. The Russian soldiers together with French troops defended the Champagne-Ardenne region. The Russian infantry performed a key role in stopping the German army and preventing the capture of Paris.
“Without Russia’s participation, many of the battles of the Allies would have ended differently, and for France in particular,” said General Elrick Irastorza, who heads the France’s interdepartmental commission on commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Following the February Revolution, the Russian Expeditionary Force was demobilized, but approximately 1000 Russian volunteers continued to serve among allied forces. This group was called the Russian Legion of Honor.
The monument to the Russian Expeditionary Force was unveiled in summer of 2011 during a visit to France by Vladimir Putin. It is situated in the historical center on the right bank of the Seine not far from the Grand Palais and Pont Alexandre III.
The Russian delegation met at L'Hôtel national des Invalides with representatives of France to discuss preparations for the 100th anniversary of World War I in Moscow and Paris.
© Russkiy Mir and RIA Novosti. 07 February, 2013