Today's French TV news covered the reconstruction of the Napoleonic army retreat from Russia in 1812 (it was held in Vyazma, and there was an official burial of Russian and French soldiers from that time together there - with official military delegations from both countries).
The reporter mentioned the extreme cold and the soldiers' hunger, and showed a painting allegedly from that time (screenshot from the Journal de 20h, TF1, 2021-02-14)
While commenting on that picture, he said something that surprised me very much (emphasis mine, a replay is available, the sentence is at 33:20)
Encore aujourd'hui, en russe, le mot cheval signifie pourriture → Still today, in Russian, the word horse means rot
(rot being the noun from the verb to rot).
I wonder how true this is. It is not like horses were not domesticated for millennia and I doubt that this single event could have changed their name to something that negative.
Would you see any link between these two words, maybe in the specific context of that time?