Interesting notes from Russian Army of the Napoleonic Wars: http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Russian_army.htm#_introduction
During the XVIII and XIX century Russia's diplomats and army made it one of the most powerful states in the world. Catherine the Great worked hard at organizing the state, involved herself in the affairs of Europe, and initiated an aggressive foreign policy which over few decades was to add the whole of Finland, what are now Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, most of Poland and the Crimea. By 1799 Russian armies were operating in Switzerland and Italy." (Zamoyski - "Moscow 1812" p 17).
Russian Chancellor Rostopchin wrote, "Russia, as much by her position as by her inexhaustible resources, is and must be the first power in the world." Many in Europe were alarmed at this seemingly inexorable onward march of Russian power. There was fear that Russia might engulf the whole of Europe as the barbarians had done with ancient Rome.
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