Российская Империя: Александр I, часть 2. [08/16] [Eng Sub]

Uploaded by TheComradeRussia on 26.04.2012

NTV company presents:
To the 300th anniversary of the Russian Empire
and the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg
'To Alexander l - from grateful Russia.' -
reads the inscription. The monument to Alexander l
as the liberator of Europe and the pacifier of the Universe.
Afterthe collapse of Napoleon's Evil Empire,
Russia became the leading power of the single - polar world,
and the Alexander Column was to be the tallest in the world.
Forthat they grew the pedestal and added 3 more steps.
And the tallest it was,
second only to A. Pushkin's poetic 'Monument'.
They said the emperor had the face of an angel, so on top
they put an angel with the face of emperor Alexander,
who was granted the title 'Blessed'.
The first of Russia's two patriotic wars lasted 6 months.
Napoleon invaded the country on June 12, 1812,
and in early 1813, the Russians repulsed the enemy
and launched its own foreign campaign.
The strongest army in the world crossed the Neman River,
famous by the Tilsit Peace and the Union with Napoleon,
and invaded Russia underthe command of the greatest ever
commander - the Emperor, and marshals Davout, Ney, Murat.
Napoleon wasn't planning on enslaving the Russians.
He wanted to crush them nearthe border and conclude a new Tilsit
Peace Treaty - one that would finally be observed.
Emperor Alexander l:
'l will sooner grow a beard and start eating potatoes
'with my farmers in Siberia,
'than put my signature under the shame of my country.
Russia's war minister, the First Army commander
general Barklai De Tolli managed to persuade the emperor
of the expediency of a retreat.
To the south of Barklai's troops the Second Army was retreating
underthe command of general Bagration.
Davout could have crushed Bagration near Minsk,
Napoleon could have finished off Barklai near Vitebsk.
But the Russians outmaneuver them, push them further
inside the country, and meet them near Smolensk.
After a 3 - day battle the Russians surrender Smolensk.
The French said it resembled the burning Vesuvius.
For 6 days Napoleon stays at Smolensk, he offers
negotiations, threatening to seize Moscow.
'A capital captured by the enemy, is like a girl who lost her
'virginity. Whateveryou do, you can't get it back!
Alexander keeps silence, the Russians keep retreating.
The 2 armies joined forces, but there are 2 commanders.
They need a Commander - in - Chief, one with a Russian surname.
After all it is a Patriotic war.
Reluctantly, despite his personal dislike, Alexander appoints
Mikhail Golenischev - Kutuzov, the oldest Russian general.
He is 67, and will live for another 8 months.
ln Krylov's fable a wolf is torn to pieces by a pack of dogs.
The dogs' elder says to the impostor:
'You're grey, but l am grey - haired, my friend.'
The hint was at Napoleon's grey field jacket,
and Kutuzov's snow - white head.
You're grey, but l am grey - haired, my friend.
Finally Kutuzov chooses the place of the decisive battle.
Village Borodino near Mozhaisk. The night before the fight
he cries and prays to the Smolensk icon of Our Lady.
Borodino wasn't the final battle for Moscow.
From here Moscow was 160 km away.
Even in the next Patriotic war, when the speeds grow
and distances shrink, - it still isn't the nearest approaches.
The sign on the monuments of 1812 and 1941 reads:
'Distant approaches to Moscow'.
The Borodino battle - the French call it 'the Moscow battle' -
will be the biggest battle of that century.
'People and horses - all mixed in one blood bath,
'salvos of a thousand canons fused into one drawn - out howl.
Main defense positions of the Russians.
ln the centre - Kurgannaya height, with Raevsky's battery.
On the left flank - Bagration's fleches.
'Fleche' is a French word, translated as 'arrow' -
earthen fortifications in the shape of an arrow.
The French launch 8 offensives,
the Russians lose the fleshes, then win them back again.
The impregnability of the fleches are due to the
commandre's talent, they go down in history as 'Bagration's'.
The soldiers pronounced the name of the Georgian prince
as 3 words - Bag Rati On - 'The King of War'.
During the 8th offensive the French seize the fleches.
Bagration leads his regiment into counteroffensive,
and is mortally wounded. The fleches are lost.
By that time the landscape had changed unrecognizably.
The ravine is filled with dead bodies, piled up in 6 - 7 layers.
Remains of the French general Ranef
on the bottom of the ravine will be discovered
by Soviet archaeologists only in 1984.
The general battle - was the generals' battle.
Except 2 Commanders - in - Chief, all commanders are with the troops.
The French lose 10 generals, 3 great marshals personally
take part in offensives. Davout is shell - shocked.
ln the morning the Russians lost their artillery commander,
general Kutaysov.
Boldly confronting death Barklai De Tolli
lead his troops wearing his full - dress uniform
and decorations. Five of his horses and 9 out of 12 adjutants
are killed, but Barklai comes out without a scratch.
The then up - to - date telescope is today's regularfield - glass.
Napoleon's observation post is only 1.6 km away from the fleches.
Close enough to see the picture with one's bare eyes.
But the smoke from cannon - fire creates a thick screen.
Leo Tolstoy, himself an artillery officer like Napoleon,
described this effect close to life:
'For an instant the smoke disperses, showing a glimpse of
'the battlefield, Napoleon puts down his telescope, not able to
'understand, what he had been looking at a moment ago.
Kutuzov didn't see the battle - not because he only
had one eye, but because it wasn't his intention.
Just once he visited his observation post.
Here, at his post in the Borodino field, Kutuzov lunched
on chicken. Millions of people form the image of the great
commander by the 'War and Peace'.
The outcome no longer depended on him, it depended
on the invisible spirit of his men,
that connected the army and him, Kutuzov,
the last of the flock of Catherine's glorious eagles.
Kutuzov - in his dispatch to Alexander l:
'ln the end the enemy didn't win a single inch of land.
Both the French and the Russians thought Borodino their victory.
And they still think so.
Kutuzov is promoted to the rank of field - marshal
and gets 100 thousand Rubles. The soldiers get 5 Rubles each.
The day becomes a memorable date in Russia,
and every year in Borodino they arrange a fancy - dress party.
When it gets dark and you no longer see the grenadiers' cars,
the resemblance with 1812 becomes more striking.
Borodino is the most famous draw in the history of world wars.
Neither of the armies won, the French didn't crush the
Russians, but the Russians are forced to surrender Moscow.
On the night before Kutuzov says
there will be another battle at sunrise,
but by midnight it becomes clear that reinforcements
are not coming. When the horrific losses are finally counted,
Kutuzov gives orders to retreat.
The Russians have lost a third of theirtroops.
Another battle - the battle for Moscow - would be detrimental.
Kutuzov before Borodino:
'The loss of Moscow will mean the loss of Russia.
Kutuzov after Borodino:
'Until we have a functional army,
'even the loss of Moscow will not yet mean the loss of Russia.
When they draw the final results, Borodino will be named the
Russian victory, and the surrender of Moscow - the only
correct decision. The decision belonged to Kutuzov alone.
At the famous war council in Fili it found no support among
the officers. The country, the army, Moscovites, the Czar -
no one could understand how the enemy was allowed into the very
heart of Russia. The outcome was soon to follow.
On his first night in the Kremlin Napoleon couldn't sleep.
Aterrible fire raged outside the walls.
'Heaps of red whirling flames tossed up to the burning sky,
and plunged back into the fiery ocean.
Kutuzov and governor of Moscow Rastopchin ordered to
remove all fire - extinguishing means out of the city, and set
shops and depots on fire. Some people burned down their houses.
There were gunpowder depots in the Kremlin,
and Napoleon with his entourage evacuates to the city outskirts.
The Petrovsky Palace, once the gate of Moscow,
stands on the modern Leningradsky prospect.
Here Napoleon contemplates the grandiose fire.
'Lost in thought, he observed the monstrous flame.
And his thoughts were farfrom optimistic.
The campaign, struggled as it was, becomes
hopeless, the situation gets out of control.
'Awild Scythian war, - Napoleon is in shock.
The Russians first surrendered then burned down their capital.
3 4 of Moscow was destroyed,
the victorious French army stood on burning ashes.
ln severe winter. But Napoleon insists:
'Moscow is not a military, but a political position.
From here he has to dictate the conditions of peace.
Alexander's mother, brother and Arakcheev pressure the emperor,
but he is being amazingly stubborn.
He says he is ready to retreat as far as Kamchatka,
and become the emperor of Kamchatka dwellers.
He leaves 3 Napoleon's peace initiatives unanswered.
Alexander is deaf to Moscow's call.
Afterfive weeks of uncertainty the French hold the only parade
of occupants in Kremlin history, and head for Kaluga.
At first this maneuver was not a retreat.
lt didn't make sense to stay in the burnt - down city.
Napoleon's plan was to relocate his army
down south, to the wealthy provinces,
and carry on with the triumphant campaign.
The retreat started when at Maloyaroslavets the Russians
blocked the way of Napoleon's troops and forced them to head
westward, along the Old Smolensk Road,
where they said, 'one couldn't encounter even a cat'.
Kutuzov with the new reserve, heads along the parallel
New Smolensk Road, today's Mozhaiskoye highway.
lt was an exceptionally early winter. 18 below on October 24.
As they said, the French were driven by 'General Frost'.
ln the beginning of the campaign Napoleon thought of declaring
the abolition of serfdom in Russia, as he did in Poland.
But he was afraid of awakening Pugachev's spirit.
Now he was facing the great 'bludgeon of the people's war'.
Armed with axes and pitchforks, the people rose by villages,
partisans were roaming the forests.
Hunger provoked cases of cannibalism among the French.
Kutuzov - in a letterto his wife and daughter:
'Yesterday we found two Frenchmen in the woods,
'they were frying and eating theirthird friend.
The pioneer of the national partisan movement,
hussar lieutenant - colonel Denis Davydov,
a poetic soul, sensing the upsurge of patriotic sentiments,
issued a ban to officers on speaking French,
grew a beard and dressed in a sheepskin coat. Quite a
difference from his image on the post - war portrait by Kiprensky.
Hardly one third of Napoleon's army
reached River Berezina in the west of Russia.
ln 1812 the landscape looked more or less like now.
Except for one detail: the river was not yet covered with ice.
The Russians tore down all the bridges.
Napoleon was planning to cross the river counting on the ice
and ordered to leave behind the pontoons and travel light.
A lucky circumstance: the French reconnaissance discovers a ford
nearthe village Studenki, it isn't marked on Russian maps.
The pontooners disobeyed the emperor's orders,
end kept part of their equipment.
Napoleon spends the night in Studenki, in a peasant's hut,
and his pontooners, standing chest - deep in freezing water
amid ice - floes arrange two crossings.
The first to cross are the units
that are to hold a bridgehead on the other side of the river.
The next to cross are Napoleon and his Guard.
The Russian scheme was to crush the enemy completely.
ln St. Petersburg they design a detailed plan of the concluding
stage of the campaign. But it fails.
Napoleon gathers a new army around the elite units on
the other bank of Berezina. The war will last for another
1.5 years, and France will see this crossing as a miraculous
salvation. Even though the French suffertremendous losses,
and in Russia it is considered France's crushing defeat.
A French obelisk in the place of the crossing.
The modern bridge across the River Berezina.
The main part of marshal Victor's troops cross the river,
throwing their dead and wounded and broken carts off the bridge.
The piers were breaking, and there were still people left on
the left bank: wounded, frost - bitten, women and children.
So exhausted, that they couldn't cross to the other side,
even when at night the bridges were empty.
When morning comes the Russian artillery shells the
crossing, the people make a run at the bridges crushing each
other, but to save the emperor the French burn the bridges.
And just in time: Cossacks are on the approaches to the river.
Admiral Chachigov:
'The river was full of drowned soldiers, above the
'water one could see cavalry - men standing like statues,
'frozen in the positions that death caught them in.
Out of all the commanders in the Berezina battle
they put the blame on admiral Chichagov.
'A naval officer shouldn't fight on dry land.
'The day - dreamer let Napoleon slip through his fingers.
Krylov will write another of his fables about the war of 1812.
lt starts: 'There'll be trouble if
'a shoemaker starts baking pies, and a baker starts making boots.
Afable about a pike - naval admiral Chichagov -
and a cat - Kutuzov - who try to catch mice.
The pike sits in ambush, the cat catches a bundle of
mice, goes to see how the pike is doing, and finds,
that the mice had bitten the pike's grey tail off.
'Oh, my brand - new little maple porch!
To finish the enemy in its den - is a cleartask.
And not only that, Alexander returns the monarchs, overthrown
by the French revolution and by Napoleon, back to the throne
and ensures European hegemony for Russia.
The war of 1813 starts as a muck - up.
Kutuzov, who was against the whole idea,
is seriously ill, and dies in a Schlesien town Bunzlau.
Four days afterthe demise of their commanderthe Allies
sufferthe first defeat near Luzern, and then
two more, also in Germany.
The Allies retreat.
As if from thin air Napoleon creates a new army,
and the Russians show poor warfare on the enemy's turf.
After Dresden Napoleon is ill for 6 weeks.
Without him the army makes tactical mistakes, the Allied
coalition expands, and by fall it numbers a million soldiers.
Napoleon gathers his main forces near Leipzig, capital of Saxony.
Napoleon's banners unite the French, the ltalians,
the Dutch, the Belgians, the the Poles. Against
Russians, Austrians, Prussians, Swedes and Bavarians.
The Russian empire is represented even by Bashkir and Kalmyk
home guard. The Kalmyks are armed with bows and arrows. The French
call them 'Cupids'. Three days of fighting.
This battle is thought to be the beginning of contemporary Europe.
A 100 years after Leipzig starts WWl.
To mark the centenary of the main battle of the all - European war
they erect a giant - size monument.
The country is at war again, it is split into two camps,
only this time - along a different dividing line.
Howeverforthis huge monument they pooled the money.
An amazing episode: in the heat of the battle the 'hosts',
the Saxons, betray Napoleon and side with coalition troops.
They turn their cannons and open fire at the French.
Byron: 'The sly Saxon Jackal ran away from the Lion,
'and joined the Fox, the Wolf and the Bear.
The 'Fox' is Austria, the 'Wolf' - Prussia, the 'Bear' - Russia.
'We'll go to the North! We'll go to the North!'
This is the place of Napoleon's command post.
The day was as gloomy as today.
lt was getting dark, just like now.
The biographers of the French emperorthink he
could have won the Leipzig battle on the first day.
But there wasn't enough time.
At 5 p.m., feeling that the enemy is growing weaker,
Napoleon takes a glove off his hand to signal:
'Guards - fire!' -
when he hears news of the Austrian attack on the right
flank, and he has to send the Guards overthere.
The Austrians are repulsed, the corps commander captured.
The moment called for a decisive blow, but - too late.
lt's getting dark, and Napoleon misses the chance.
ln those days they fought 'from dusk till dawn'.
Laterthey invented searchlights, tracer bullets
and other attributes of night fighting.
But in the beginning of the XlX century they had to wait until
sunrise. Just like in chess - an adjourned game. Only
in this case the opponent can not only analyze the position
overnight, but change it.
On the third day the coalition gets reinforcement.
Napoleon understands that his army won't last another day.
The army suffered huge losses when retreating from Leipzig, -
and Napoleon decides to go back to France.
His empire to the east of France ceased to exist.
The year 1814 was extremely successful for Napoleon.
Not one single defeat. But the forces are uneven.
You can't beat numbers with skill.
ln the battle for Paris the Allies surround the city
and block the way of Napoleon.
He can't break through to help his besieged capital.
The crucial moment: the Russians have seized Montmartre.
Their cannons are on the top of the hill - now tourist
observation points. They shell the city from the top point.
The resistance is strong.
These barricades in Place Clichi are a monument to
the defenders. Gun - points in the wall of Pere - Lachaise cemetery.
The French put cannons on top of the graves and fire through
the gun - points. They repulse 3 Russian attacks.
The cafes are open,
visitors are debating the sides' chances.
When the resistance is finally suppressed,
the truce is signed in the cafe 'Little Garden' on La Chapelle.
On the day of capitulation all Paris cafes were open,
and there was one memorable event that should be mentioned.
Cafe 'Mother Catherine', there's a memorial plaque.
Here, underthe shed,
not easy to see.
On March 30 1814 the Cossacks
have cried out the famous 'Bistro!' or 'Faster!'.
This was the noble ancestor of our modern bistros.
The Cossacks hurried the inn - keepers: 'Bistro! Faster!
'We want food and drink!' They were celebrating the
capitulation of Paris. Since then - the tradition of fast - food.
The Cossacks have impressed Paris. Their warfare became a legend.
They looked like true children of their wild country.
Unlike the Guard,
who spoke fluent French,
and could be taken for Frenchmen.
The French - Russian phraseological dictionary:
'faire l'amour a la cosaque' - 'to make love Cossack - style -
with charge and force.
The Cossacks are the first to ride into Paris
on the morning after the capitulation.
ln their wake are the cavalry, hussars and emperor Alexander.
The victors march into Paris through the Saint - Denis Gate.
Alexander rides oh his Eclipse - the horse presented to him
by Napoleon 6 years ago, when they met in Erfurt.
lt is the summit of his glory. Alexander - the liberator
of Europe. He brings peace to the people. The great emperor,
it is the heyday of his empire. Pushkin will write:
'We were in Paris, the Russian Czar was the greatest.
Poet Konstantin Batyushkov in his letter:
'We savored oysters in the best, Paris restaurant 'Verie',
'and toasted our sovereign with champagne.
ln the middle of the XlX century
'Verie' merged with the neighboring 'Le Grand Vicour',
located in Palais - Royal,
and is still the center of Parisian gastronomy.
Except French and Russian aristocrats,
no one in the world has developed a taste for oysters.
The shells are opened with a special knife.
The 'mucus' is then sprinkled with lemon,
and stylishly washed down with champagne.
Lensky's second in Pushkin's 'Yevgeny Onegin', Zaretsky
'usually drained 3 bottles at 'Verie' every morning.
Let's combine the orders of Batyushkov and
Zaretsky in that restaurant.
3 bottles of champagne, presumably 3 dozen oysters.
ln today's prices: 50 dollars for a dozen.
A bottle of vintage champagne costs 150 dollars.
That rounds up to 600. And that is only an aperitive.
Many officers order on credit.
The victorious feasts will last until 1818,
when the Russian troops pull out of France.
Leaving the biggest credit account in history.
Alexander l, the first gentleman on the throne,
insisted that Napoleon be granted a little estate.
The choice was the Mediterranean island Elba.
Soon, breaking his promise not to engage in another war,
Napoleon lands his troops in France and heads for Paris.
The famous '100 days of Napoleon',
his crushing defeat at Waterloo, and a new exile,
this time to the British island of St. Helen.
The allies divide France into occupation zones.
Just like there will be Russian troops in East Germany,
150 years before there was a Russian corps in France.
To protect the Bourbons, 'restored' on the throne.
On Russian - controlled territories in the north of France
there were Russian laws and Russian rules. There even was
a Russian police. The Russians weren't happy with the French Lie.
and measured all the distances anew.
ln Russian 'versty' (1.05 km). They put up 'versty' poles.
This one remained until now.
Most of the poles were wooden, this one's made of stone.
Then this crossroads was a bit more to the south.
On 'versty' poles in Russia they marked the distance to
St. Petersburg.
Here it said: 85 'versty' to Maubeuge.
Maubeuge is a small town on the border with Belgium,
the then capital of 'Russian' France,
here was the headquarters of Russian occupation troops,
underthe command of general Vorontsov.
ln Maubeuge, with all roads marked with 'versty' poles,
on the bank of river Moselle they built Russian baths.
They would take a steam bath, and plunge into cold water.
ln houses they built tile stoves and put up double frames.
A Foreign Ministry official Filipp Vigel:
'Maubeuge is packed, and you won't hear a single word
'in French. Only Russian soldiers.
'l was served 'shchi', 'kasha' 'blinis' and 'kvas'.
Russian troops will be pulled out in November 1818.
French caricatures: 'Reluctant return of a Cossack to Russia.'
'Russian officer parting with a French woman.'
Affiliate of the French Bank in Maubeuge.
Leaving Maubege, general Vorontsov pays all debts
made by Russian officers.
They ate and drank with no limit. They had a ball.
The sum was astronomical: 1.5 million Rubles.
That sum equaled 8 large manors - on the
nearest approaches to Moscow or St. Petersburg,
with villages up to 500 people, and a stone manor,
and about 3000 hectares of land, with meadows and forests,
cattle and stables, barns, mills and smithies.
The price of 8 Russian manors. But not to pay would
mean disgrace. General Vorontsov is on the verge of bankruptcy.
But he will save his financial situation by marrying
the daughter of a Polish magnate, Elizaveta Bronitskaya.
The post - war Vienna congress hosts the heads of 216 states.
No comparison with the Helsinki meeting.
The most representative world conference in history.
Most member - countries are observers, and the four
victors - Austria, England, Prussia and Russia -
are once again dividing Europe.
The Russian emperor - is the leader of the free world.
Alexander draws up an Act on establishing the Holy Union
of Monarchs. The first congress is convened in German Aahene.
Karl the Great: the 'author' of Medieval united Europe.
Evidence of the influence of Russia's emperor:
at the first congress of the Holy Union France is
represented by the head of state, Duke Richelieu.
We all know him by the
monument at the Potemkin Staircase in Odessa.
Alexander delivered Richelieu from the duties of city mayor
and the governor - general of the South of Russia,
and insisted that Richelieu be made the head of state.
Alexander - the author of 'horizontal' personnel reshuffle.
Russia's southern deputy was equaled to the French premier,
who sat in this room.
Paris versus Odessa.
The Holy Union was a counterrevolutionary block.
The purpose - to protect the restored European dynasties.
Congresses are convened mainly to suppress resistance -
mostly in ltaly and Spain.
The Union has the legal right to intervene in any country,
even if the overthrown sovereign is against foreign intervention.
From the Act of the Holy Union:
'Monarchs take a vow to under all circumstances
'render each other help and support.
The Holy Union is NATO, OSCE and the Emergency Situations Ministry.
Britain has a parliamentary rule, it supports the Union,
but instead of the monarch it delegates a member
of the House of Lords. Matters are decided by 3 major
continental allies. The church where the 3 monarchs prayed.
Here, on the outskirts of Aahene, the troops are lined out
in the square. The 3 monarchs stirtheir horses in the centre,
dismount, take off their hats and pray together.
Russian emperor Alexander - a Christian Orthodox.
Prussian king, Lutheran Friedrich - Wilhelm.
Austrian emperor catholic Franz.
Then the monarchs embrace warmly,
canons salute from the neighboring hills.
The 'fraternization' of the three 'comrades'.
The place will be named 'The Monarchs Square'.
The monarchs' names will be given to streets, and a monument
will be erected: Alexander's bas - relief is on the left.
The congresses will be Alexander's major achievement,
there he reaps his European laurels.
Relenlessly he travels from country to country.
The Czar holds a summit in exotic Lublyany, -
the third congress.
ln the last years of his life he hardly ever visits Russia.
They said he ruled the country from a wheelchair.
Pushkin dubbed Alexander 'the nomadic despot'.
Chief 'home' innovations were military settlements.
The best army in the world consumed more than half the
country's incomes. The idea was to make it fully self - supportive.
Provinces are turned into military settlements.
Peasants toil on the land and serve in the army.
Agro - camps combined 2 main Russian slaveries:
the peasant's and the soldier's. They will be forever linked
with the name of their designer, the factual ruler of Russia
in the years of Alexander's decline, count Arakcheev.
Russian folklore:
'Arakcheev, son of a bitch, you rascal,
'you ruined Russia...'.
He was extremely ugly - 'An ape in uniform' - ,
'and pathologically cruel: he grabbed soldiers
'by the moustache, and in one instance even bit an ear off.
But he was no doubt an outstanding administrator, and
possessed a quality rarely found in government officials:
he didn't steal and nevertook bribes,
declined awards and the title of field - marshal.
Arakcheev set up the first military settlement
in his own estate in village Gruzino -
a model to follow.
Arakcheev's manor stood on a hill overlooking river Volkhovka.
Alexander l visited here 11 times.
Now in the place of the manor there's the village council.
All that's left of the huge house are mossy granite slabs.
Like splinters of a lost civilization.
All around one can see evidence of desolation.
Years ago the village was an ideal model of Arakcheev's order.
To rememberthe popular army joke : 'lf you, civil people, are
'so smart, why don't you march in formations?
ln military settlements a woman had to get up at a certain time,
heat the stove at a certain time, cook dinner,
and graze the cattle - all by the clock.
Regulations were very strict. Every thing had its place
in the house. The men went out to work in the field at a
fixed hour, and returned home at a fixed hour. There were
Regulations of 36 paragraphs on 'how to raise children'.
lf there were too many single young people,
thy drew the young men and women together,
put notes in two corporal's hats -
- another strict rule -
and drew lots, making matches.
ln the true spirit of Alexander's imperial policy
the monopoly now enjoyed less rights,
granting more rights to the its colony.
Afterthe war Russia got the Prussian part of Catherine's
division of Poland. That and Lithuania now formed the Polish
Kingdom. The Poles become the biggest national minority.
The capital of the main territorial trophy - Warsaw -
the 3rd biggest city after Moscow and St. Petersburg.
An lnternet address decorates the royal palace.
ln 1818 that was the address of Alexander l.
When he traveled to Warsaw, he stayed at the royal palace.
Now he is also the Polish Czar.
He changes his official title to:
'Emperor and Sovereign of All Russia...
- that part he inherited from Catherine, what they called
'Great, White and Small Russia'. To that he added further:
'Czar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland,
and so on, and so forth.
His full title contains 55 denominations.
ln this list of titles he includes even small territories:
'Czar of Georgia, lmmeretia, Mengrelia'.
That followed by 'Czar of Siberia'.
Relations with Poland are registered as a Union.
The Russian emperor is the Czar of Poland.
Normally the throne stands under this canopy. Now it is
at another exhibition. ln the main hall
Alexander opens the first sitting of the Polish Seim
and gives the country the most liberal European Constitution.
Parliament, division of power, independent court,
equality before the law, freedom of speech.
Russia's colony - Poland - has all that Russia hasn't.
Alexander l:
'With God's help l plan to spread
'these beneficial institutions to all countries
'that were entrusted to me by Providence.
lt is thought that by saying so Alexander
promised a Constitution to Russia back in 1818.
St. Petersburg is indignant over the restoration of Poland
and granting liberties to the conquered people.
Karamzin hands Alexander a special notice.
Howeverthe Poles think that they were robbed of their
Motherland, and that Russian authorities violate their
Constitution. The Russians think the Poles are being ungrateful.
Poland is the most rebellious territory in the empire.
But now adds the Caucasus.
Catherine signed the George treaty.
Russia took Georgia under its patronage.
For a while 2 Russian battalions were stationed in Tiflis,
but the bellicose Muslim neighbors continued to encroach
on Orthodox Georgia, and Georgia kept begging for help.
From the will of the last Georgian emperor George Xll:
'l wish that instead of being underthe
'patronage of the Russian throne, my kingdom
'be given under its full control.
Alexander hesitated for 6 months.
Catherine's followers pressured him into saving his
co - religionists, young reformists warned of the
danger of humanitarian actions in explosive hotbeds.
The 1801 Manifesto: Georgia joins Russia.
The first of Georgian princedoms to join Russia is
Kartli - Kahetia with the capital Tiflis (today's Tbilisi).
Since then Tiflis is the main administrative
and military centre in the Caucasus.
At the time of Georgia joining Russia, the Georgians
are on the verge of extinction. They are only 75 thousand.
ln 50 years they will number a million.
The empire has absorbed an enclave.
Russia and Georgia don't have a common border.
There's only one passage overthe ridge.
The Military - Georgian road. 200 km long.
lt connects Russia with its new possession.
ln the West are peaceful Ossetians and Kabardinians,
but farther down West are belligerent Circassians.
To the East lie Dagestan and Chechnya.
lt's unsafe to travel without an armed convoy -
just like nowadays in Chechnya.
The empire didn't really need the Caucasus.
But since it embraced Transcaucasia, it had to take
the Caucasus. By force.
There was a reason forthe Military - Georgian road being
the only passage. The law in the mountains was military
democracy. No state, no aristocrats, no one to
negotiate with. Only field commanders.
ln this land to plunder, steal and highjack people was
considered a virtue and a way to survive in the rugged terrain.
During the war with Napoleon the Caucasus was not an issue.
But in 1816 general Alexei Ermolov is appointed
governor - general with almost unlimited powers.
'Bow your snowy head, Caucasus! And welcome Ermolov!
Ermolov submitted his plan to the emperor:
to suppress the Caucasus in 2 years.
lnstead starts the most protracted Caucasian war
in the history of the empire: 40 years non - stop.
Ermolov's white stone palace stands
nearthe building of Georgia's government.
Before a more modest one stood in its place.
Russia's Caucasian tactics changed with
each new governor, ranging from punitive expeditions
to blockades. Punitive measures were taken against those
thought to be the organizers of armed raids.
After each new raid - another sweep.
Ermolov changes the tactics. He surrounds the hotbeds,
drives the insurgents into the mountains, and waits
until hunger and cold forces them to lay down the arms.
Ermolov shifts the defense line furtherto the south
and puts up new fortifications. Small fortresses, only 4
bastions, guarded by garrisons small in number.
This fortress has been redone into a hotel.
Four rooms only. Narrow gun - slots have
remained since then.
There were biggerfortresses with 6 bastions,
and garrisons of several thousand soldiers.
One of the main outposts was fortress Groznaya in Chechnya.
lt gave the name to the city Grozny.
Ermolov in his letter:
'First we have to discuss loathsome matters,
'therefore let's talk about Chechens.
Ermolov calls Chechnya 'the nest of all outlaws'.
ln Chechnya he launches an anti - terrorist operation.
They force the Chechens living in the Sundj valley to
fight against their own people. Soldiers armed with axes
clearthe impenetrable forests.
They do it underthe threat of death.
ln the meantime they were trying to raise a huge sum of
250 thousand Rubles to free major Shvetsov who was taken
hostage during a night raid in Dagestan.
He was captured on the Kizlyar road.
Many more people will be captured there afterwards.
When general Ermolov takes office he orders to
imprison all Kumyts Khans in the Kizlyarfortress,
because a Russian officer was captured on their land.
They threaten the Dagestan nobility
that if they don't free the prisoner within 10 days,
they will be hanged on the rampart.
Ermolov is being informed that the size of ransom
was lessened to 10 thousand, but he refuses to pay.
He orders the Dagestans to raise the necessary amount.
Major Shvetsov who spent 1 year and 4 months in a pit
in the Chechen village Bolshie Otogi was freed.
Now the Russians themselves take hostages.
Ermolov is quick at adopting foreign customs.
He has 3 wives from Dagestan.
Their sons are granted the titles of noblemen.
ln 5 years the blockade tactics yields results.
But suddenly the uncoordinated resistance movement
acquires a leader.
Ermolov - in his report to Alexander l:
'Now the Chechens have a strong leader, notorious brigand
lieutenant Beibulat'.
Beibulat got his promotion before Ermolov's time.
To win the hearts and minds Caucasian people,
he brings in mullah Magomed from Dagestan to Chechnya.
Magomed professes radical lslam,
demands loyalty to Sharia law, and calls for
Jihad - a holy war against non - Muslims.
ln the spring of 1825 Ermolov carries out 3 sweeps
in the village Urus - Martan,
but radical lslamists are all over Chechnya.
This is what's left of the house of Magomed -
amid the ruins of his home village Yarak.
ln these streets little boys ran around with sticks,
waving them in the direction of Russia: 'Jihad!'
ln the wing nearthe mosque was the holy school of
'Magomed of lraq', who called himself a prophet.
Beibulat claimed to have seen a fiery angel above his head.
Underthe banner of Murid the war became their way of life
and its meaning. Beibulat's army passed to an offensive.
Both leading Russian generals, Grekov and Lisanevich,
were stabbed to death by a fanatic.
At first Ermolov planned a civil administration in Chechnya,
now he asks for military reinforcements.
ln the end it was clear: Ermolov's plan failed.
The Empire - style was born in France.
Having defeated Napoleon's empire Russia beats its imperial
style. The highest achievement is 'Russian Empire'.
Neapolitan Carlo Rossi who was granted the title of nobleman,
completes the construction of classic St. Petersburg:
the city centre, the main square and the main army headquarters.
The unconquered city - legend, that new the joy of victory.
Before Rossi the Palace Square didn't exist. ln front
of the Winter Palace there was a pasture for grazing cows.
The square was completed with Rossi's bow - shaped building of
the main Army Headquarters with the famous arch.
Russian Empire was Alexander's favorite style.
The emperor wants the buildings to look stately.
From the Decree of His Majesty emperor Alexander l:
'... all buildings should be painted in the following colors:
'white, pale yellow, light grey and yellow - grey.
The newly - painted Mikhailovsky palace and the Russian museum
today represent Rossi's favorite colors.
Yellow and white on the bluish St. Petersburg sky.
For Mikhailovsky palace Rossi gets the Vladimir Cross.
Karamzin gets one for 'The History of the Russian State'.
ln 20 years Carlo Rossi builds 12 streets and 13 squares.
Rossi's model ensemble is perhaps this small street,
with just one house on each side.
lts modern name is 'Street of Architect Rossi'. A model
of harmony. The height of the houses equals the width of
the street. The length is 10 times the width.
ln Moscow, Empire is represented by the Bolshoi Theatre
and the Manege Square - grandiose even by today's standards.
The Moscow 'Rossi' is another ltalian, Osip Bove.
Small - form Empire is used in dwelling houses of the nobility.
lt instantly turned the big village into a big city.
Quite a change from the burned - down houses with green
gardens. The new face of Moscow instantly finds admirers.
Griboedov. 'Woe From Wit': 'ln my opinion
'the fire only served to make the city more beautiful.
On the territory from the embankment to Arbat
out of 500 houses only 8 survived. But the construction
was huge. Model Empire houses on Prechistenka.
One to two storeys, with columns and a portico,
yellow and white, as a rule.
Typical decorations: knights' armour, wreaths, lion's heads.
They buy them ready - made at a construction market.
The houses look like small palaces, but are inexpensive.
Made of squared beam, covered with stone - shaped plaster.
'Empire sandwiches'.
We know their interiors by the film 'Woe from Wit'.
The old furniture is
still in demand.
Pavel's furniture is in museums,
Catherine's furniture hardly even remained.
Alexander's Empire is still widely sold and bought,
and instantly catches your eye in antique furniture shops.
Atypical example of 'post - fire' Moscow furniture.
Simple and refined.
A set of a couch, 4 chairs and a table costs 25 th dollars.
And the Russian prices are lower than world prices on Russian
furniture, since we can't export it.
The warm golden tint of the typical wood used in
'Alexandrian Empire': poplar and Karelia birch.
The last 5 years are crisis years for Alexander.
ln 1819 his dear sister, Grand Dutches Ekaterina Pavlovna dies.
Alexandertells his brothers Konstantin and Nikolai of his
possible abdication and retreat to a monastery.
ln 1824 dies Alexander's illegitimate daughter
from long - time lover Maria Naryshkina. Two other
daughters, born in marriage, died in infancy
in 1800 and 1808.
Alexander lost all his children. He stays indifferent
to reports about a secret opposition officers' group.
Alexander l - about future Decembrists:
'l too shared and encouraged these illusions and delusions.
The last year of emperor Alexander.
10 years ago when he was overseeing the victory parade,
a voice from the crowd shouted: 'We awaited you long ago!'
Alexander: 'The courage of your soldiers delayed me'.
Then he was enthusiastic.
10 years ago here, in conquered Paris
he proclaimed himself the pacifier of the Universe.
The burden was too heavy. Despite the Holy Union,
revolutions envelope Europe.
A conspiracy was unmasked in Russia.
But Alexander is tired and indifferent. He prefers solitude.
Daily reading of the Bible becomes a habit.
Every morning and every night he prays fervently.
He spends hours kneeling in front of the icons,
and develops callosities on his knees.
Alexander retires from state and public affairs.
All is vanity.
Alexander's younger brother
Konstantin is divorced,
and without children.
lt was decided to pass the throne on to third brother Nikolai.
The decision is kept a secret.
Even the new heir - to - be is not informed.
Words that emperor Alexander underlined
in his personal Bible:
l saw all that's done under the Sun. lt's all vanity.
Aterrible flood happens in St. Petersburg in 1824.
Pushkin will write about it in his 'The Copper Horseman'.
Then too the wind blew from that direction, only much
stronger, forcing the waves from the bay and on the city.
Water in the Neva and smaller rivers, like Moika, rises.
This was the water level.
By noon the city with a flat landscape is underwater.
The emperor watches from a balcony of the Winter Palace.
His residence is an island, overlooking the flood.
For a mystic on the throne - a devilish premonition.
The previous big flood happened in the yearthe emperor was born.
1777. That means, this one will mark the day of his death.
They say this epitaph belonged to Pushkin:
'He spent most of his life traveling, and died in Taganrog'.
Taganrog - a provincial centre in Russia's south,
on the Sea of Azov. Alexander came here because of his wife's
illness, but he in turn fell ill. And never recovered.
Born princess of Baden, Elizaveta Alexeevna,
the Russian empress suffered a fit of
consumption. Doctors recommend going to ltaly,
but she insists on staying in Russia.
They pick a small town on the Sea of Azov,
His Majesty heads to Taganrog first
to prepare everything for his wife's arrival.
Taganrog governor offers the royal couple his house,
the best in town.
One and a half storeys high, but they will call it
'The emperor's palace'. Today it houses
a children's clinic for treating tuberculosis.
Two rooms on this side were the emperor's suite.
ln the middle there was a spacious hall.
lt used to be the emperor's dining room,
now it is 'Ward No. Two'.
On the other side of the house were the rooms of the empress.
Alexander has come in advance to oversee the interior works.
Single - handedly he drives in nails for paintings.
He'd ignored his wife for months, had anotherfamily,
but now, out of the feeling of Christian repentance,
he suddenly cares about her.
They spend much time together, go out in public,
go on promenades.
The court people called
it their 'second honeymoon'.
Emperor Alexander - to Prince Volkonsky:
'l will move to the Crimea soon, and live as a private person.
'l served my country 25 years, retirement age for a soldier.
On the way back from the Crimea, where the Czar was on an
inspection trip, Alexanderfelt a slight fever.
Then his condition worsened, he had to stay in bed.
Most probably it was galloping typhoid,
and in 5 days the emperor passed away.
He died in a God - forgotten little town, still ratheryoung.
He was only 47, and all his life boasted excellent health.
A strange death. The allegation that he was poisoned was
unpopular, but there still lives a legend that the man who
died here was not Alexander, and that instead
they buried someone who looked like the emperor.
Either an officer, or a state messenger.
And that when he was ill Alexander confessed to a local
priest that he was an accomplice in his father's murder.
And to atone for his sin, he retired from the world
and went to live in Siberia as pilgrim Fedor Kuzmich.
The pilgrim is a real figure, who settled in a forest hut
in Tobolsk province in late 1820s.
They say he lived another40 years, working hard and praying.
His resemblance with the emperor was striking, he knew the
life of the court, spoke foreign languages.
Another version:
The elder Fedor Kuzmich who mysteriously disappeared from
St. Petersburg, is a hussar colonel Uvarov.
The chapel in Tomsk on the grave of Fedor Kuzmich
was erected by his admirers, the local merchants.
Even in the Romanov family some believed
that here lies the great emperor, tortured with guilt and
tired of his mission, 'Alexander the Blessed.'