Soldiers killed in Napoleon's 1812 retreat buried

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image copyrightAFP

The bodies of French and Russian soldiers who died during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow have been laid to rest at a ceremony in western Russia.

Along with the 120 soldiers, three women and three teenage boys were also buried.

The remains were discovered two years ago by a team of French and Russian archaeologists.

Napoleon's disastrous retreat from Moscow, in 1812, marked the end of his invasion of Russia.

His vast army had made rapid advances, capturing Moscow, but never secured a decisive victory. He retreated and his forces were ravaged by cold, hunger, and guerrilla attacks from Russian forces.

The remains were buried in freezing conditions at a monastery in the town of Vyazma.

All are thought to have been killed during the Battle of Vyazma, which happened at the start of Napoleon's retreat.

The three women are thought to have provided food and first aid for the troops, while the boys served as drummers.

image copyrightAFP
image captionThe remains were found by a joint team of French and Russian archaeologists

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