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APTOPIX Belarus France Napoleon
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APTOPIX Belarus France Napoleon
Men dressed as 1812-era Russian and French soldiers re-enact a staged battle as a dummy soldier is blown up, near the Belarus village of Bryli, about 115 kilometers (70 miles) east of the capital, Minsk, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Berezina battle during Napoleon's army retreat from Russia. The retreat across the Berezina of the remnants of Napoleon's Grand Army, which invaded Russia June 24, 1812, took place from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29, 1812. About 50,000 people, soldiers from both sides and civilians, were killed during the crossing, which was effected under heavy Russian attack and saved Napoleon and his forces from capture. In total of nearly half a million soldiers, from France as well as all of the vassal states of Europe, who invaded Russia in June, barely 10,000 survived by the end of the campaign, December 1812. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)