The author of the article analyzes the experience of the French population which came for the first time in contact with soldiers of the Russian army in 1814. The French society regarded Russia as a semi-barbarian power, which was not an almost civilized. An appearance, way of speaking, “nice manners” etc. played an important role as a criteria of “civilization”. The strange appearance of foreigners, their clothes, cheekbony and bearded faces, loud shouts, unusual voices and songs – it all seemed to the French inhabitants as unpleasant and deeply imprinted in their memory. According the French system of civilization marks, the Cossacks were doomed at the first contact to get more “cons” than “pluses”.