Monument to the Russian Expeditionary Force in Paris

On 21 June 2011, French Prime Minister François Fillion and Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a statue on Place du Canada in Paris (France), in memory of soldiers and officers of the Russian Expeditionary Force who fought on French soil between 1916 and 1918.

The sculptors are Vladimir Surovtsev and Danila Surovtsev. Architects are Vladimir Syagin and Oleg Syagin.

Place du Canada overlooks the Seine in the 8th arrondissement, where Cours la Reine meets the Pont des Invalides.

The Russian Expeditionary Force [REF] was a World War I military force sent to France and Greece by the Russian Empire. In 1915, the French requested that Russian troops be sent to fight alongside their own army on the Western Front. Initially they asked for 300,000 men, an unrealistically high figure, probably based on assumptions about Russia’s ‘unlimited’ reserves. General Mikhail Alekseev, the Imperial Chief of Staff, was opposed to sending any Russian troops, although Nicholas II finally agreed to send a unit of brigade strength.

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