VIDEO: French President Raymond Poincare’s State Visit to Russia

I am delighted to share this vintage newsreel depicting French President Raymond Poincare’s State Visit to Russia. Pomcare visited Tsar Nicholas II in St. Petersburg on two occasions in 1912 and 1914.

Pomcare visited Tsar Nicholas II in August 1912, to bolster France’s military alliance with the Tsarist state.

In his book July 1914: Countdown to War (published in 2014) Russian historian Sean McMeekin claims that Poincaré won election as President of the Republic in 1913, his electoral victory aided by some two million francs in Russian bribes to the French press.

In 1913, it had been announced that Poincaré would visit St. Petersburg in July 1914 to meet Tsar Nicholas II. Accompanied by Premier René Viviani, Poincaré returned to Russia for the second time (but for the first time as president) to reinforce the Franco-Russian Alliance and giving France’s support for Russian military mobilization during the July Crisis of 1914.

In this newsreel we see Emperor Nicholas II with President Raymond Poincare of France at Krasnoye Selo, the summer military capital of the Russian Empire. We see Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and her daughters getting into some of the fine automobiles which the Emperor was so fond of.

This is followed by a parade of grand dukes and generals on horseback. Empress Alexandra Feodorovna is then seen riding in an open carriage with President Raymond Poincare, the Emperor on horseback riding along side.

Members of the Imperial Family join Poincare in a tent, positioned on a slight hill, where they can witness manoeuvres in honour of the French president’s state visit. Towards the end of the footage, the Empress is seen nodding as soldiers file past the tent and its guests.

Duration 4 mins., 19 sec. Very impressive!

© Paul Gilbert. 17 April 2020

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