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    NADEZHDA DUROVA MUSEUM OPENS IN YELABUGA

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    MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti)- The first female officer in Russia, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a writer, now has a museum dedicated to her in Yelabuga, Tatarstan.

    The house she lived in for 25 years on Moskovskaya Street was restored and opened Wednesday as the museum, the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Kultura's website (cultcorp.ru) reported.

    On Durova's 16th birthday, she cut her braids, put on men's clothes and fled the house. Using the name Aleksandrov, she joined the Konnopol Ulhan regiment as a private. She soon was awarded a St. George Cross for bravery from Emperor Alexander I. Later that year she was promoted to the rank of officer.

    Durova served for ten years in the army and took part in the war against France in 1807. From 1812 to 1814 she served as a cornet and then lieutenant, and was Field Marshal Kutuzov's orderly.

    In 1816 Durova resigned as a junior captain of the cavalry and in 1830 returned to Yelabuga. According to city residents, she wore men's clothing, referred to herself using the male gender and renamed herself Alexander Alexandrov. Her manners were also rather rough.

    In 1836, Durova gained fame as a talented writer.

    The museum has the first edition of her "Memoirs of Cavalrywoman" and other stories written inYelabuga, Durova's uniform, the Saint George Cross and the birth certificate of her son Ivan on display. Durova concealed his birth all of her life.

    Durova was buried in Yelabuga with military honors. In 1962, in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the War of 1812, an equestrian monument to the cavalrywoman was unveiled in the local city park.

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