Support The Moscow Times!

Russians' Knowledge of 1812 Fading, Study Shows

Two hundred years after Napoleon's army invaded Russia, almost one-third of Russians don't know who Russia fought in 1812 and more than half don't know who ruled Russia at the time, a new survey showed.

Pollsters from the Public Opinion Foundation found that 26 percent of respondents couldn't name France as Russia's foe in 1812, while 5 percent gave the wrong answer.

The two age groups who demonstrated the least historical knowledge were pensioners over 80 (48 percent of whom answered correctly) and those aged between 18 and 30 (60 percent).

But when asked to name the major battle associated with the 1812 war, only 13 percent could come up with an accurate response. Only 29 percent were aware that Alexander I was on the throne at the time of the historic campaign.

The findings come as authorities are planning a host of events to mark the 200th anniversary of the repulsion of Napoleon's invasion.

Among other events, academics are holding conferences dedicated to researching the Patriotic War of 1812 throughout the year, while thousands of history lovers and volunteers will take part in the annual recreation of the Battle of Borodino in the Moscow region in early September.

One thousand five hundred people from 43 federal subjects took part in the Public Opinion Foundation survey.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.