© Sergei Grits/AP Photo
Re-enactors dressed as Napoleon's soldiers march by the unveiled monument to commemorate the victims of the Grand Army's retreat across the Berezina River in 1812, right, near the Belarus village of Studenka, 90 km east of Minsk.
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 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.