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Russophone Greece: Part 2
The next tragic story concerning the presence of Russians in Greece is linked to the events of the First World War, the Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Civil War in Russia. In the summer of 1916, under pressure from its allies, Russia sent an expeditionary corps to the Balkans. Two special infantry brigades totaling nearly 20,000 men arrived in Greek Thessaloniki. They immediately entered fighting on the Macedonian front, which produced the first victims of the campaign. In the winter of 1916-1917, many Russian soldiers had already died as a result of various epidemics and renewed fighting.
The remains of 400 Russian soldiers were buried in the Zeitinlik cemetery in Thessaloniki. This is the largest military cemetery in Greece, which has as its center a Byzantine-style Orthodox church that was built in 1926-1936 by the Russian