Russia started to lose its lofty principles when the Russian ambassador was permitted to stand at a playing of la Marseillaise. I am fairly certain that this was in the very late nineteenth century.
After that, it's a small step to supporting Serbian regicides.
But history plays tricks. So the French monarchy was bankrupted by its support for the American rebels, only to be toppled later by its own rebels, with the ungrateful Yankees cheering on the executioners of their former beneficiary.
Sort of like the Americans supporting the mujahadeen against the Russians in Afganistan, only to have them turn on us.
Yes. But according to Robert K. Massie in Nicholas and Alexandra it wasn't just the ambassador:
Despite the great differences in their political systems, the needs of diplomacy had made military allies of Europe's greatest republic and its most absolute autocracy...In 1891, the French fleet visited Kronstadt, and the Autocrat of all the Russias stood bareheaded while the bands played the Marseillaise. Until that moment it had been a criminal offense to play this revolutionary song anywhere in the Tsar's dominions. (p. 60)
An unfortunate exception to Alexander III's otherwise "reactionary" reign.
So the French monarchy was bankrupted by its support for the American rebels, only to be toppled later by its own rebels, with the ungrateful Yankees cheering on the executioners of their former beneficiary.
That's about the most concise and accurate summary of the events of the 18th century I've read. Today, of course, American neocon dimwits despise the French (for all the wrong reasons), forgetting that if it hadn't been for French aid there might not be a United States to dominate the world...