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Cossacks
Cossacks
(Ukrainian: козаки́, kozaky, Russian: казаки́, kazaki, Belarusian: казакi, Polish: kozacy, Czecho-Slovak: kozáci, Hungarian: kozákok) were a group of predominantly East Slavic-speaking people who became known as members of democratic, self-governing, semi-military communities, predominantly located in Southern Russia
Southern Russia
and in South-Eastern Ukraine.[1] They inhabited sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper,[2] Don, Terek and Ural river basins and played an important role in the historical and cultural development of both Ukraine
Ukraine
and Russia.[3][4] The origins of the first Cossacks
Cossacks
are disputed, though the 1710 Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk
Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk
claimed Khazar
Khazar
origin.[nb 1] The emergence of Cossacks
Cossacks
is dated to the 14th or 15th centuries, when two connected groups emerged, the Zaporozhian Sich
Zaporozhian Sich
of the Dnieper
Dnieper
and the Don Cossack Host.[nb 2] The Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich
were a vassal people of Poland–Lithuania during feudal times. Under increasing pressure from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in the mid-17th century the Sich declared an independent Cossack Hetmanate, initiated by a rebellion under Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Afterwards, the Treaty of Pereyaslav (1654) brought most of the Ukrainian Cossack state under Russian rule.[5] The Sich with its lands became an autonomous region under the Russian-Polish protectorate.[6] The Don Cossack
Don Cossack
Host, which had been established by the 16th century,[7] allied with the Tsardom
Tsardom
of Russia. Together they began a systematic conquest and colonisation of lands in order to secure the borders on the Volga, the whole of Siberia
Siberia
(see Yermak
Yermak
Timofeyevich) and the Yaik (Ural) and the Terek Rivers. Cossack communities had developed along the latter two rivers well before the arrival of the Don Cossacks.[8] By the 18th century Cossack hosts in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
occupied effective buffer zones on its borders. The expansionist ambitions of the Empire relied on ensuring the loyalty of Cossacks, which caused tension given their traditional exercise of freedom, democracy, self-rule, and independence. Cossacks
Cossacks
such as Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin, Ivan Mazepa
Ivan Mazepa
and Yemelyan Pugachev
Yemelyan Pugachev
led major anti-imperial wars and revolutions in the Empire in order to abolish slavery and odious bureaucracy and to maintain independence. The empire responded with ruthless executions and tortures, the destruction of the western part of the Don Cossack Host
Don Cossack Host
during the Bulavin Rebellion
Bulavin Rebellion
in 1707–08, the destruction of Baturyn
Baturyn
after Mazepa's rebellion in 1708,[nb 3] and the formal dissolution of the Lower Dnieper Zaporozhian Host in 1775, after Pugachev's Rebellion.[nb 4] By the end of the 18th century Cossack nations had been transformed into a special military estate (Sosloviye), "a military class".[nb 5] Similar to the knights of medieval Europe in feudal times or the tribal Roman auxiliaries, the Cossacks
Cossacks
came to military service having to obtain charger horses, arms and supplies at their own expense. The government provided only firearms and supplies for them.[nb 6] Cossack service was considered the most rigorous one. Because of their military tradition, Cossack forces played an important role in Russia's wars of the 18th–20th centuries, such as the Great Northern War, the Seven Years' War, the Crimean War, Napoleonic Wars, the Caucasus
Caucasus
War, numerous Russo-Persian Wars, numerous Russo-Turkish Wars
Russo-Turkish Wars
and the First World War. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Tsarist regime used Cossacks
Cossacks
extensively to perform police service.[nb 7] They also served as border guards on national and internal ethnic borders (as was the case in the Caucasus War). During the Russian Civil War, Don and Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks
were the first nations to declare open war against the Bolsheviks. By 1918 Cossacks declared the complete independence of their nations and formed the independent states, the Ukrainian State, the Don Republic
Don Republic
and the Kuban
Kuban
People's Republic. Cossack troops formed the effective core of the anti- Bolshevik
Bolshevik
White Army, and Cossack republics became centers for the anti- Bolshevik
Bolshevik
White movement. With the victory of the Red Army, the Cossack lands were subjected to Decossackization
Decossackization
and Holodomor. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cossacks made a systematic return to Russia. Many took an active part in post-Soviet conflicts. In Russia's 2010 Population Census, Cossacks have been recognized as an ethnicity.[9] There are Cossack organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus
Belarus
and the United States.[10][11][12]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Early history

2.1 Zaporozhian Cossacks 2.2 Registered Cossacks 2.3 Black Sea, Azov and Danubian Sich
Danubian Sich
Cossacks

3 Russian Cossacks

3.1 Don Cossacks 3.2 Kuban
Kuban
Cossacks 3.3 Terek Cossacks 3.4 Yaik Cossacks 3.5 Razin and Pugachev Rebellions 3.6 In the Russian Empire

3.6.1 Cossacks
Cossacks
in World War I
World War I
and February Revolution

3.7 Civil War, Decossackization
Decossackization
and Holodomor
Holodomor
of 1932–33 3.8 Second World War 3.9 Modern times

4 Genetic evidence 5 Culture and organization

5.1 Settlements 5.2 Family life 5.3 Popular image 5.4 Ranks 5.5 Uniforms

6 Modern-day Russian Cossack identity 7 Registered Cossacks
Registered Cossacks
of the Russian Federation 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Sources 12 Further reading 13 External links

Etymology[edit] Max Vasmer's etymological dictionary traces the name to the Old East Slavic word козакъ, kozak, a loanword from Cuman, in which cosac meant "free man".[13] The ethnonym Kazakh is from the same Turkic root.[14][15][16] In written sources the name is first attested in Codex Cumanicus
Codex Cumanicus
from the 13th century.[17][18] In English, "Cossack" is first attested in 1590.[14] Early history[edit] Main article: History of the Cossacks

Cossack Mamay--the ideal image of Cossack in Ukrainian folklore.

It is not clear when new Slavic people apart from Brodnici and Berladniki started settling in the lower reaches of major rivers such as the Don and the Dnieper
Dnieper
after the demise of the Khazar
Khazar
state. It is unlikely it could have happened before the 13th century, when the Mongols
Mongols
broke the power of the Cumans, who had assimilated the previous population on that territory. It is known that new settlers inherited a lifestyle that persisted there long before, such as those of the Turkic Cumans
Cumans
and the Circassian Kassaks.[19] However, Slavic settlements in southern Ukraine
Ukraine
started to appear relatively early during the Cuman rule, with the earliest ones, like Oleshky, dating back to the 11th century. Early "Proto-Cossack" groups are generally reported to have come into existence within the present-day Ukraine
Ukraine
in the mid-13th century as the influence of Cumans
Cumans
grew weaker, though some have ascribed their origins to as early as the tenth century.[20] Some historians suggest that the Cossack people were of mixed ethnic origins, descending from Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Turks, Tatars, and others who settled or passed through the vast Steppe.[21] However some Turkologists argue that Cossacks
Cossacks
are descendants of native Cumans
Cumans
of Ukraine, who lived there long ago before the Mongol invasion.[22] In the midst of the growing Moscow and Lithuanian powers, new political entities had appeared in the region, such as Moldavia
Moldavia
and the Crimean Khanate. In 1261 some Slavic people living in the area between the Dniester
Dniester
and the Volga
Volga
were mentioned in Ruthenian chronicles. Historical records of the Cossacks
Cossacks
before the 16th century are scant, as is the history of the Ukrainian lands in that period for various reasons. As early as the 15th century a few individuals ventured into the "Wild Fields", the southern frontier regions of Ukraine
Ukraine
separating Poland-Lithuania from the Crimean Khanate, which was a naturally rich and fertile region teeming with cattle, wild animals and fish. These ventures went on short-term expeditions to acquire the region's natural wealth and this mode of existing—farming, hunting, then returning home in the winter or perhaps remaining permanently—came to be known as the Cossack way of life.[23]

Ottoman Turks in battle against the Cossacks, 1592.

In the 15th century Cossack society was described as a loose federation of independent communities, often forming local armies, entirely independent from the neighboring states (of, for example, Poland, the Grand Duchy of Moscow or the Khanate of Crimea).[24] According to Hrushevsky the first mention of Cossacks
Cossacks
could be found already in the 14th century; however, they were either of Turkic or undefined origin.[25] Hrushevsky states that Cossacks
Cossacks
could have descended from the long forgotten Antes, or groups from the Berlad territory in present-day Romania, then a part of the Grand Duchy of Halych, Brodniki. There, Cossacks
Cossacks
may have served as self-defense formations, organized to defend against raids conducted by neighbors. By 1492 the Crimean Khan complained that Kanev and Cherkasy
Cherkasy
Cossacks attacked his ship near Tighina
Tighina
(Bender), and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander I promised to find the guilty among the Cossacks. Sometime in the 16th century there appeared the old Ukrainian Ballad of Cossack Holota about a Cossack near Kiliya.[26][27] By the 16th century these Cossack societies merged into two independent territorial organisations as well as other smaller, still detached groups:

The Cossacks
Cossacks
of Zaporizhia, centered on the lower bends of Dnieper, inside the territory of modern Ukraine, with the fortified capital of Zaporozhian Sich. They were formally recognised as an independent state, the Zaporozhian Host, by a treaty with Poland in 1649. The Don Cossack
Don Cossack
State, on the River Don. The capital of the Don Cossack State was initially Razdory, then it was moved to Cherkassk, and later to Novocherkassk.

In addition to these two, one finds mention of the less well-known Tatar
Tatar
Cossacks
Cossacks
such as Nağaybäklär
Nağaybäklär
and Meschera (mishari) Cossacks, of whom Sary Azman was the first Don ataman and which not only were assimilated by Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
but had their own irregular Bashkir and Meschera Host up to the end of the 19th century.[28] Kalmyk and Buryat Cossacks
Cossacks
should be mentioned as well.[29] The Gypsy Cossacks
Cossacks
are the least known ones now.[citation needed] Zaporozhian Cossacks[edit] Main article: Zaporozhian Cossacks

A Zaporozhian Cossack, 17th–/18th-century traditional clothing.

The Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
lived on the Pontic-Caspian steppe
Pontic-Caspian steppe
below the Dnieper
Dnieper
Rapids (Ukrainian: za porohamy), also known as the Wild Fields. They became a well-known group whose numbers increased greatly between the 15th and 17th centuries. Cossacks
Cossacks
were usually organized by Ruthenian boyars or princes of the nobility, especially various Lithuanian starostas. Merchants, peasants and runaways from the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth, Moscow state and modern Moldova and Romania
Romania
also joined the Cossacks. The first recorded Zaporizhian Host prototype was formed when a cousin of Ivan the Terrible, Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, built a fortress on the island of Little Khortytsia
Khortytsia
on the banks of the Lower Dnieper
Dnieper
in 1552. The Zaporozhian Host adopted a lifestyle that combined the ancient Cossack order and habits with those of the Knights Hospitaller. The Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
played an important role in European geopolitics, participating in a series of conflicts and alliances with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire. As a result of the Khmelnytsky Uprising
Khmelnytsky Uprising
in the middle of the 17th century, the Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
briefly established an independent state, which later became the autonomous Cossack Hetmanate (1649–1764). It was a suzerainty under protection of the Russian Tsar
Tsar
from 1667 but ruled by the local Hetmans for a century. The Zaporozhian Sich
Zaporozhian Sich
had its own authorities, its own "Nizovy" Zaporozhsky Host, and its own land. In the latter half of the 18th century, Russian authorities destroyed this Zaporozhian Host and gave its lands to landlords. Some Cossacks
Cossacks
moved to the Danube
Danube
delta region, where they formed the Danubian Sich
Danubian Sich
under Ottoman rule. To prevent further defection of Cossacks, the Russian government restored the special Cossack status of the majority of Zaporozhian Cossacks. This allowed them to unite in the Host of Loyal Zaporozhians and later to reorganize into other hosts, of which the Black Sea
Black Sea
host was most important. They eventually moved to the Kuban
Kuban
region, due to the distribution of Zaporozhian Sich
Zaporozhian Sich
lands among landlords and the resulting scarcity of land.

Victorious Zaporozhian Cossack with the head of a Tatar, 1786 print

The majority of Danubian Sich
Danubian Sich
Cossacks
Cossacks
had moved first to the Azov region in 1828, and later joined other former Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
in the Kuban
Kuban
region. Groups were generally identified by faith rather than language in that period,[citation needed] and most descendants of Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
in the Kuban
Kuban
region are bilingual, speaking both Russian and the local Kuban
Kuban
dialect of central Ukrainian. Their folklore is largely Ukrainian.[nb 8] The predominant view of ethnologists and historians is considered to be found in the common culture dating back to the Black Sea
Black Sea
Cossacks.[30][31][32] The Zaporozhians gained a reputation for their raids against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and its vassals, although they sometimes plundered other neighbors as well. Their actions increased tension along the southern border of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Low-level warfare took place in those territories for most of the period of the Commonwealth (1569–1795). In 1539, the Ottoman Sultan
Sultan
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
asked Grand Duke Vasili III of Russia
Vasili III of Russia
to restrain the Cossacks; the Duke replied: "The Cossacks
Cossacks
do not swear allegiance to me, and they live as they themselves please."[citation needed] In 1549 Tsar
Tsar
Ivan the Terrible replied to Suleiman's request that he stop the attacks by the Don Cossacks, saying, "The Cossacks
Cossacks
of the Don are not my subjects, and they go to war or live in peace without my knowledge."[citation needed] The major powers tried to exploit Cossack warmongering for their own purposes. In the 16th century, with the power of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth extending south, the Zaporozhian Cossacks
Cossacks
were mostly, if tentatively, regarded by the Commonwealth as their subjects.[33] Registered Cossacks
Registered Cossacks
formed a part of the Commonwealth army until 1699.

Bohdan Khmelnytsky's entry to Kiev by Mykola Ivasiuk,[34][35] end of the 19th century

Around the end of the 16th century, relations between the Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
were strained by increasing Cossack aggression. From the second part of the 16th century, Cossacks
Cossacks
started raiding Ottoman territories. The Polish government could not control the Cossacks, but was held responsible as the men were nominally their subjects. In retaliation, Tatars
Tatars
living under Ottoman rule launched raids into the Commonwealth, mostly in the southeast territories. In retaliation, Cossack pirates started raiding wealthy trading port-cities in the heart of the Ottoman Empire, as these were just two days away by boat from the mouth of the Dnieper
Dnieper
River. By 1615 and 1625, Cossacks
Cossacks
had razed suburbs of Constantinople, forcing the Ottoman Sultan
Sultan
to flee his palace.[36] Consecutive treaties between the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth called for the governments to keep the Cossacks
Cossacks
and Tatars
Tatars
in check, but neither enforced the treaties strongly. The Polish forced the Cossacks
Cossacks
to burn their boats and stop raiding by sea, but they did not give it up entirely. During this time, the Habsburg Empire
Habsburg Empire
sometimes covertly hired Cossack raiders to go against the Ottomans to ease pressure on their own borders. Many Cossacks
Cossacks
and Tatars
Tatars
developed longstanding enmity due to the losses of their raids. The ensuing chaos and cycles of retaliation often turned the entire southeastern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth border into a low-intensity war zone. It catalyzed escalation of Commonwealth-Ottoman warfare, from the Moldavian Magnate Wars (1593–1617) to the Battle of Cecora (1620) and campaigns in the Polish-Ottoman War of 1633–1634.

An officer of the Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
in 1720

Cossack numbers expanded when the warriors were joined by peasants escaping serfdom in Russia and dependence in the Commonwealth. Attempts by the szlachta to turn the Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
into peasants eroded the Cossacks' formerly strong loyalty towards the Commonwealth. The government constantly rebuffed Cossack ambitions for recognition as equal to the szlachta, and plans for transforming the Polish-Lithuanian two-nation Commonwealth into a Polish-Lithuanian-Rus' Commonwealth made little progress due to the idea's unpopularity among the Rus' szlahta of the Rus' Cossacks
Cossacks
being equal to Rus' szlachta. The Cossacks' strong historic allegiance to the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
also put them at odds with officials of the Roman Catholic-dominated Commonwealth. Tensions increased when Commonwealth policies turned from relative tolerance to suppression of the Eastern Orthodox church after the Union of Brest. The Cossacks became strongly anti-Roman Catholic, in this case an attitude that became synonymous with anti-Polish. Registered Cossacks[edit] Main article: Registered Cossacks The waning loyalty of the Cossacks
Cossacks
and the szlachta's arrogance towards them resulted in several Cossack uprisings against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the early 17th century. Finally, the King's adamant refusal to cede to the Cossacks' demand to expand the Cossack Registry was the last straw that prompted the largest and most successful of these: the Khmelnytsky uprising
Khmelnytsky uprising
that started in 1648. Some Cossacks, including Polish schlahta, converted to Eastern Orthodox, divided the lands of Ruthenian szlachta in Ukraine, and became the Cossack szlachta. The uprising became one of a series of catastrophic events for the Commonwealth known as The Deluge, which greatly weakened the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and set the stage for its disintegration 100 years later.

Kozacy (Cossacks), drawing by Stanisław Masłowski, c. 1900 (National Museum in Warsaw)

The influential relatives of Russian and Lithuanian szlachta in Moscow helped to create the Russian-Polish alliance against Khmelnitsky's Cossacks
Cossacks
as rebels against any order and the private property of Ruthenian Orthodox schlahta, Don Cossack
Don Cossack
raids on Crimea leaving Khmelnitsky without the aid of his usual Tatar
Tatar
allies. But in Russian opinion, the rebellion ended with the 1654 Treaty of Pereyaslav in which Khmelnitsky's Cossacks
Cossacks
so that to destroy the Russian-Polish alliance against them pledged their loyalty to the Russian Tsar
Russian Tsar
with the latter guaranteeing Cossacks
Cossacks
his protection, recognition of Cossack starshyna (nobility) and their property and autonomy under his rule, freeing the Cossacks
Cossacks
from the Polish sphere of influence and land claims of Ruthenian schlahta.[37] Only some part of the Ruthenian schlahta of the Chernigov
Chernigov
region, being of the Moscow state origin, saved their lands from division among Cossacks
Cossacks
and became the part of the Cossack schlahta. After this, Ruthenian schlahta refrained from its plans to have a Moscow tsar the king of the Commonwealth, its own Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki
Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki
became the king later. The last, ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to rebuild the Polish-Cossack alliance and create a Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth was the 1658 Treaty of Hadiach, which was approved by the Polish King and Sejm as well as by some of the Cossack starshyna, including Hetman
Hetman
Ivan Vyhovsky.[38] The starshyna were, however, divided on the issue and the treaty had even less support among rank-and-file Cossacks; thus it failed. Under Russian rule, the Cossack nation of the Zaporozhian Host was divided into two autonomous republics of the Moscow Tsardom: the Cossack Hetmanate, and the more independent Zaporizhia. These organisations gradually lost their autonomy, and were abolished by Catherine II by the late 18th century. The Hetmanate became the governorship of Little Russia, and Zaporizhia
Zaporizhia
was absorbed into New Russia. In 1775 the Lower Dnieper
Dnieper
Zaporozhian Host was destroyed. Later, its high-ranking Cossack leaders were exiled to Siberia,[39] the last chief becoming the prisoner of the Solovetsky Islands, for the establishment of a new Sich in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
by the part of Cossacks
Cossacks
without any involvement of the punished Cossack leaders.[40] Black Sea, Azov and Danubian Sich
Danubian Sich
Cossacks[edit] See also: Black Sea
Black Sea
Cossack Host, Azov Cossack Host, and Danube Cossack Host

Cossack wedding. Painting by Józef Brandt.

With the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich, many Zaporozhian Cossacks, especially the vast majority of Old Believers
Old Believers
and other people from the Greater Russia, defected to Turkey and settled in the area of the Danube
Danube
river, founding a new Sich there. Part of these Cossacks
Cossacks
settled on Tisa river in the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
and formed a new Sich there as well. Some Ukrainian-speaking Eastern Orthodox Cossacks ran away across the Danube
Danube
(territory under the control of the Ottoman Empire), together with Cossacks
Cossacks
of the Greater Russia origin, to form a new host before rejoining the others in the Kuban. Many Ukrainian peasants and adventurers joined the Danubian Sich
Danubian Sich
afterwards. Ukrainian folklore
Ukrainian folklore
remembers the Danubian Sich, while new siches of Loyal Zaporozhians on the Bug and Dniester
Dniester
are not famous ones. The majority of Tisa Sich and Danubian Sich
Danubian Sich
Cossacks
Cossacks
returned to Russia in 1828 and settled in the area north of the Azov Sea and became known as the Azov Cossacks. But the majority of Zaporozhian Cossacks, especially Ukrainian-speaking Eastern Orthodox, remained loyal to Russia in spite of the Sich destruction and became known as the Black Sea Cossacks. Both Azov and Black Sea Cossacks
Black Sea Cossacks
were resettled to colonise the Kuban
Kuban
steppe, which was a crucial foothold for Russian expansion in the Caucasus. During the Cossack stay in Turkey, a new host was founded that numbered around 12,000 Cossacks
Cossacks
by the end of 1778. Their settlement at the border with Russia was approved by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
after the Cossacks
Cossacks
officially vowed to serve the Sultan. Yet the conflict inside the new host, and the political manoeuvres used by the Russian Empire, led to splits among the Cossacks. After a portion of the runaway Cossacks
Cossacks
returned to Russia they were used by the Russian army to form new military bodies that also incorporated Greek Albanians, Crimean Tatars
Tatars
and Gypsies. However, after the Russo-Turkish war of 1787–1792, most of them were incorporated into the Black Sea
Black Sea
Cossack Host together with Loyal Zaporozhians. The Black Sea
Black Sea
Host moved to the Kuban
Kuban
steppes. Most of the remaining Cossacks
Cossacks
that stayed in the Danube
Danube
delta returned to Russia in 1828 and created the Azov Cossack Host between Berdyansk
Berdyansk
and Mariupol. In 1860, more Cossacks
Cossacks
were resettled to the North Caucasus
Caucasus
and merged into the Kuban
Kuban
Cossack Host. Russian Cossacks[edit]

Imperial Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
(left) in Paris in 1814

The native land of the Cossacks
Cossacks
is defined by a line of Russian/Ruthenian town-fortresses located on the border with the steppe and stretching from the middle Volga
Volga
to Ryazan and Tula, then breaking abruptly to the south and extending to the Dnieper
Dnieper
via Pereyaslavl. This area was settled by a population of free people practicing various trades and crafts. These people, constantly facing the Tatar
Tatar
warriors on the steppe frontier, received the Turkic name Cossacks
Cossacks
(Kazaks), which was then extended to other free people in Russia. Many Cumans, who had assimilated Khazars, retreated to the Ryazan Grand principality (Grand Duchy) after the Mongol invasion. The oldest reference in the annals mentions Cossacks
Cossacks
of the Russian principality of Ryazan serving the principality in the battle against the Tatars
Tatars
in 1444. In the 16th century, the Cossacks
Cossacks
(primarily those of Ryazan) were grouped in military and trading communities on the open steppe and started to migrate into the area of the Don.[41]

Ural Cossacks, c. 1799

Cossacks
Cossacks
served as border guards and protectors of towns, forts, settlements and trading posts, performed policing functions on the frontiers and also came to represent an integral part of the Russian army. In the 16th century, to protect the borderland area from Tatar invasions, Cossacks
Cossacks
carried out sentry and patrol duties, guarding from Crimean Tatars
Tatars
and nomads of the Nogai Horde
Nogai Horde
in the steppe region. The most popular weapons used by Cossack cavalrymen were usually sabres, or shashka, and long spears. Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
played a key role in the expansion of the Russian Empire into Siberia
Siberia
(particularly by Yermak
Yermak
Timofeyevich), the Caucasus
Caucasus
and Central Asia in the period from the 16th to 19th centuries. Cossacks
Cossacks
also served as guides to most Russian expeditions formed by civil and military geographers and surveyors, traders and explorers. In 1648 the Russian Cossack Semyon Dezhnyov
Semyon Dezhnyov
discovered a passage between North America and Asia. Cossack units played a role in many wars in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries (such as the Russo-Turkish Wars, the Russo-Persian Wars, and the annexation of Central Asia).

Semirechye
Semirechye
Cossack, Semirechye
Semirechye
(present-day Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
and Kazakhstan), 1911

Western Europeans had a lot of contacts with Cossacks
Cossacks
during the Seven Years' War and had seen Cossack patrols in Berlin.[42] During Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, Cossacks
Cossacks
were the Russian soldiers most feared by the French troops. Napoleon himself stated " Cossacks
Cossacks
are the best light troops among all that exist. If I had them in my army, I would go through all the world with them."[43] Cossacks
Cossacks
also took part in the partisan war deep inside French-occupied Russian territory, attacking communications and supply lines. These attacks, carried out by Cossacks
Cossacks
along with Russian light cavalry and other units, were one of the first developments of guerrilla warfare tactics and, to some extent, special operations as we know them today. Frenchmen had had few contacts with Cossacks
Cossacks
before the Allies occupied Paris in 1814. As the most exotic of the Russian troops seen in France, Cossacks
Cossacks
drew a great deal of attention and notoriety for their alleged purity[clarification needed] during Napoleon's wars. Bistrots appeared after the Cossack occupation of Paris.[clarification needed][citation needed] Stendhal
Stendhal
had, that " Cossacks
Cossacks
were pure as children and great as Gods". Don Cossacks[edit] Main article: Don Cossacks

A Cossack from the Don area, 1821, illustration from Fyodor Solntsev, 1869

The Don Cossack Host
Don Cossack Host
(Russian: Всевеликое Войско Донское, Vsevelikoye Voysko Donskoye) was either an independent or an autonomous democratic republic in the present day Southern Russia from the end of the 16th century until the early 20th century. In the year of 948 Byzantine Emperor Constantine mentioned of trade of goods, between the Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
in their home capital. Don Cossacks had a rich military tradition, playing an important part in the historical development of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
and successfully participating in all of its major wars. The exact origins of Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
are unknown. In modern view, Don Cossacks
Cossacks
are descendants of both Slavic people and Khazars, which assimilated Slavs, Goths, Alans,[nb 9] and possibly of Rugii, Roxolans, Alans
Alans
and even Goths- Alans
Alans
of the Black Sea
Black Sea
Rus[44] See the works of Evgueni Goloubinski and Vasily Vasilievsky
Vasily Vasilievsky
about Relations of Gothoalans (Goths-Tetraxits) and Russian colonists in region of North-East part of Black Sea
Black Sea
and Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov
as well. The Goths-Alans came from the Western part of North Caucasus
Caucasus
and from Northern Europe, Goths intermixed with Slavs
Slavs
during their trip from Northern Europe. When Alans
Alans
had moved to Europe, these Goths occupied the part of the former Alania in Crimea and were called Gothoalans, Russian occupying another part were called Roxolans. Later people from the western part of North Caucasus
Caucasus
joined Gotho- Alans
Alans
in their Feodoro
Feodoro
principality. It is believed that Crimean Greeks have the Gotho-Alan ancestry, among others. Mikhail Lomonosov
Mikhail Lomonosov
was the first to identify Roxolans as Russians
Russians
similar to Gotho-Alan identification as Goths. New Slavic people have come from Dnepr
Dnepr
and Taman, and from Novgorod Republic
Novgorod Republic
and Principality of Ryazan, both before and after their violent occupation and subjugation by the Muscovite Tsardom.[nb 10] The majority of Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
are either Eastern Orthodox or Christian Old Believers
Old Believers
(старообрядцы);[45][46] and prior to the Civil War in Russia, there were numerous religious minorities, including Muslims, Subbotniks, Jews, and others.[nb 11][47] Kuban
Kuban
Cossacks[edit] Main article: Kuban
Kuban
Cossacks

Kuban
Kuban
Cossacks, late 19th century

Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks
are Cossacks
Cossacks
who live in the Kuban
Kuban
region of Russia. Although numerous Cossack groups came to inhabit the Western Northern Caucasus
Caucasus
most of the Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks
are descendants of the Black Sea Cossack Host, (originally the Zaporozhian Cossacks) and the Caucasus Line Cossack Host. A distinguishing feature from other Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
is the Chupryna or Oseledets hairstyle, a roach haircut popular among some Kubanians. This is due to their traditional roots, going back to the Zaporizhian Sich. Terek Cossacks[edit] Main article: Terek Cossacks The Terek Cossack Host was a Cossack host
Cossack host
created in 1577 from free Cossacks
Cossacks
who resettled from the Volga
Volga
to the Terek River. Aboriginal Terek Cossacks
Terek Cossacks
joined this host later. In 1792 the Host was included in the Caucasus Line Cossack Host
Caucasus Line Cossack Host
and separated from it again in 1860, with the capital of Vladikavkaz. In 1916 the population of the Host was 255,000 within an area of 1.9 million desyatinas.[citation needed] Yaik Cossacks[edit] Main article: Ural Cossacks

Ural Cossacks
Ural Cossacks
skirmish with Kyrgyz

A group of Yaik (Orenburg) Cossacks
Cossacks
from Sakmara settlement (1912). Standing on the left side is Alexander Mertemianovich Pogadaev

The Ural Cossack Host was formed from the Ural Cossacks, who had settled along the Ural River. Their alternative name, Yaik Cossacks, comes from the former name of the river, which was changed by the government after the Pugachev's rebellion. The Ural Cossacks
Ural Cossacks
spoke Russian and identified as having primarily Russian ancestry, but they also incorporated many Tatars
Tatars
into their ranks.[48] Twenty years after Moscow had conquered the Volga
Volga
from Kazan
Kazan
to Astrakhan, in 1577,[49] the government sent troops to disperse pirates and raiders along the Volga
Volga
(one of their number was Ermak). Some escaped to flee southeast to the Ural River, where they joined Yaik Cossacks. In 1580, they captured Saraichik. By 1591 they were fighting on behalf of the government in Moscow. During the next century, they were officially recognized by the imperial government. Razin and Pugachev Rebellions[edit] The Cossacks, as a largely independent nation, had to defend their liberties and democratic traditions against the ever-expanding Muscovy, succeeded by Russian Empire. The Cossacks
Cossacks
tended acted independently of the Tsardom
Tsardom
of Muscovy, increasing friction between them two. The Tsardom's power began to grow in 1613 with the ascension of Mikhail Romanov
Mikhail Romanov
to the throne after the Time of Troubles. The government began attempting to integrate the Cossacks
Cossacks
into the Muscovite Tsardom
Tsardom
by granting elite status and enforcing military service, thus creating divisions within the Cossacks
Cossacks
themselves as they fought to keep their own traditions alive. The government's efforts to alter the traditional nomadic lifestyle of the Cossacks caused them to be involved in nearly all the major disturbances in Russia over a 200-year period, including the rebellions led by Stepan Razin and Emilian Pugachev.[50]

Stenka Razin
Stenka Razin
Sailing in the Caspian Sea, by Vasily Surikov, 1906

As Muscovy
Muscovy
regained stability, discontent steadily grew within the serf and peasant populations. The Code of 1649, under Alexis Romanov, Mikhail's son, divided the Russian population into distinct and fixed hereditary categories.[51] The Code of 1649
Code of 1649
increased tax revenue for the central government and stopped wandering to stabilize the social order by fixing people in the same land with the same occupation of their families. Peasants were tied to the land and townsmen were forced to take on their fathers' occupations. The increased taxes fell mainly on the peasants as a burden and continued to widen the gap between the wealthy and the poor. As the government developed more military expeditions, human and material resources became limited, putting an even harsher strain on the peasants. War with Poland and Sweden in 1662 led to a fiscal crisis and riots across the country.[52] Taxes, harsh conditions, and the gap between social classes drove peasants and serfs to flee, many of them going to the Cossacks, knowing that the Cossacks
Cossacks
would accept refugees and free them. The Cossacks
Cossacks
experienced difficulties under Tsar
Tsar
Alexis as the influx of refugees grew daily. The Cossacks
Cossacks
received a subsidy of food, money, and military supplies from the tsar in return for acting as border defense.[53] These subsidies fluctuated often and provided a source of conflict between the Cossacks
Cossacks
and the government. The war with Poland diverted necessary food and military shipments to the Cossacks
Cossacks
as the population of the Host, the unit of Cossacks identified by the region in which they resided, grew with the fugitive peasants. The influx of these refugees troubled the Cossacks
Cossacks
not only because of the increased demand for food but also because the large number of these fugitives meant the Cossacks
Cossacks
could not absorb them into their culture through the traditional apprenticeship way.[54] Instead of taking these steps of proper assimilation into Cossack society, the runaway peasants spontaneously declared themselves Cossacks
Cossacks
and lived beside true Cossacks, laboring or working as barge-haulers to earn food.

Stenka Razin, by Ivan Bilibin

As conditions worsened and Mikhail's son Alexis took the throne, divisions among the Cossacks
Cossacks
began to emerge. Older Cossacks
Cossacks
began to settle and become prosperous, enjoying the privileges they earned through obeying and assisting the Muscovite system.[55] The old Cossacks
Cossacks
started giving up their traditions and liberties that had been worth dying for to obtain the pleasures of an elite life. The lawless and restless runaway peasants that called themselves Cossacks looked for adventure and revenge against the nobility that had caused them suffering. These Cossacks
Cossacks
did not receive the government subsidies that the old Cossacks
Cossacks
enjoyed and thus had to work harder and longer for food and money. These divisions between the elite and lawless would lead to the formation of a Cossack army beginning in 1667 under Stenka Razin
Stenka Razin
as well as to the ultimate failure of that rebellion. Stenka Razin
Stenka Razin
was born into an elite Cossack family and had made many diplomatic visits to Moscow before organizing his rebellion.[56] The Cossacks
Cossacks
were Razin's main supporters and followed him during his first Persian campaign in 1667, plundering and pillaging Persian cities on the Caspian Sea. They returned ill and hungry, tired from fighting but rich with plundered goods in 1669.[57] Muscovy
Muscovy
tried to gain support from the old Cossacks, asking the ataman, or Cossack chieftain, to prevent Razin from following through with his plans. However the ataman, being Razin's godfather and swayed by Razin's promise of a share of the wealth from Razin's expeditions, replied that the elite Cossacks
Cossacks
were powerless against the band of rebels. The elite did not see much threat from Razin and his followers either, although they realized he could cause them problems with the Muscovite system if his following developed into a rebellion against the central government.[58] Razin and his followers began to capture cities at the start of the rebellion in 1669. They seized the towns of Tsaritsyn, Astrakhan, Saratov, and Samara, implementing democratic rule and releasing peasants from slavery as they went.[59] Razin envisioned a united Cossack republic throughout the southern steppe in which the towns and villages of the area would operate under the democratic, Cossack style of government. These sieges often took place in the runaway peasant Cossacks' old towns, leading them to wreak havoc on their old masters and get the revenge for which they were hoping. The rebels' advancement began to be seen as a problem to the elder Cossacks, who, in 1671, decided to comply with the government in order to receive more subsidies.[60] On April 14, ataman Yakovlev led elders to destroy the rebel camp and captured Razin, taking him soon afterward to Moscow to be executed. Razin's rebellion marked the beginning of the end to traditional Cossack practices. In August 1671, Muscovite envoys administered the oath of allegiance and the Cossacks
Cossacks
swore loyalty to the tsar.[61] While they still had internal autonomy, the Cossacks
Cossacks
became Muscovite subjects, a transition that would prove to be a dividing point yet again in Pugachev's Rebellion.

Emelian Pugachev in prison

For the Cossack elite, a noble status within the empire came at the price of their old liberties in the 18th century. Advancement of agricultural settlement began forcing the Cossacks
Cossacks
to give up their traditional nomadic ways and to adopt new forms of government. The government steadily changed the entire culture of the Cossacks. Peter the Great increased service obligations for the Cossacks
Cossacks
and mobilized their forces to fight in far-off wars. Peter began establishing non-Cossack troops in fortresses along the Iaik River, and in 1734 a government fortress was constructed at Orenburg, giving Cossacks
Cossacks
a subordinate role in border defense.[62] When the Iaik Cossacks
Cossacks
sent a delegation to Peter to explain their grievances, Peter stripped the Cossacks
Cossacks
of their autonomous status and subordinated them to the War College rather than the College of Foreign Affairs, solidifying the change in the Cossacks
Cossacks
from border patrol to military servicemen. Over the next fifty years, the central government responded to Cossack grievances with arrests, floggings, and exiles.[63] Under Catherine the Great, beginning in 1762, the Russian peasants and Cossacks
Cossacks
once again faced increased taxation, heavy military conscription, and grain shortages, as had characterized the land before Razin's rebellion. Although Peter III had extended freedom to former church serfs, freeing them from obligations and payments to church authorities, as well as freeing other peasants from serfdom, Catherine did not follow through on these reforms.[64] In 1767, the empress refused to accept grievances directly from the peasantry.[65] Peasants fled once again to the lands of the Cossacks; in particular, the fugitive peasants set their destination for the Iaik Host, whose people were committed to the old Cossack traditions. The changing government burdened the Cossacks
Cossacks
as well, extending its reach to reform the Cossack traditions. Among ordinary Cossacks, hatred of the elite and central government boiled, and by 1772 an open state of rebellion ensued for six months between the Iaik Cossacks
Cossacks
and the central government.[63]

Don Cossack
Don Cossack
in the early 1800s

Emelian Pugachev, a low-status Don Cossack, arrived in the Iaik Host in late 1772[66] and claimed to be Peter III, stemming from the expectations of the Cossacks
Cossacks
that Peter would have been an effective ruler had he not been assassinated in a plot by his wife Catherine II.[67] Many Iaik Cossacks
Cossacks
believed Pugachev's claim, though those closest to him knew the truth. Others that may have known the truth but did not support Catherine II, due to her disposal of Peter III, still spread Pugachev's claim to be the late emperor. The first of the three phases of Pugachev's Rebellion
Pugachev's Rebellion
began in September 1773.[68] Cossacks
Cossacks
who supported the elite constituted the majority of the first prisoners taken by the rebels. After a five-month siege of Orenburg, a military college became Pugachev's headquarters.[69] Pugachev began envisioning a Cossack tsardom, similar to Razin's vision of a united Cossack republic. The peasantry across Russia stirred with rumors and listened to manifestos issued by Pugachev. However, Pugachev's Rebellion
Pugachev's Rebellion
soon came to be seen as an inevitable failure. The Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
refused to help the rebellion in the last phase of the revolt because they knew military troops followed Pugachev closely after lifting the siege of Orenburg
Orenburg
and following Pugachev's flight from defeated Kazan.[70] In September 1774, Pugachev's own Cossack lieutenants turned him over to the government troops.[71] The Cossacks' opposition to centralization of political authority led them to participate in Pugachev's Rebellion.[72] Their defeat led the Cossack elite to accept government reforms in the hope of obtaining status in the nobility. The ordinary Cossacks
Cossacks
had to follow and give up their traditions and liberties. In the Russian Empire[edit]

Conquest of Siberia
Siberia
by Yermak, painting by Vasily Surikov.

From the start, relations of Cossacks
Cossacks
with the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
were varied; at times they supported Russian military operations, and at others conducted rebellions against the central power. After one of those uprisings at the end of the 18th century, Russian forces destroyed the Zaporozhian Host. Many of the Cossacks
Cossacks
who chose to stay loyal to the Russian Monarch and continue their service later moved to the Kuban. Others choosing to continue a mercenary role escaped control by taking advantage of the large Danube
Danube
delta. By the 19th century, the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
had annexed the territory of the hosts and controlled them by providing privileges for their service. At this time the Cossacks
Cossacks
served as military forces in many wars conducted by the Russian Empire. Cossacks
Cossacks
were considered excellent for scouting and reconnaissance duties, as well as undertaking ambushes. Their tactics in open battles were generally inferior to those of regular soldiers such as the Dragoons. In 1840 the hosts included the Don, Black Sea, Astrakhan, Little Russia, Azov, Danube, Ural, Stavropol, Mesherya, Orenburg, Siberia, Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yeniseisk, Irkutsk, Sabaikal, Yakutsk and Tartar voiskos. By the 1890s the Ussuri, Semirechensk and Amur Cossacks
Amur Cossacks
were added; the last had a regiment of elite mounted rifles.[73]

Cossack patrol near Baku
Baku
oil fields, 1905

By the end of the 19th century, the Cossack communities enjoyed a privileged tax-free status in the Russian Empire, although they had a 20-year military service commitment (this was reduced to 18 years from 1909). They were on active duty for five years, but could fulfill their remaining obligation with the reserves. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
counted 4.5 million. They were organized as independent regional hosts, each comprising a number of regiments. Treated as a separate and elite community by the Tsar, the Cossacks rewarded his government with strong loyalty. His administration frequently used Cossack units to suppress domestic disorder, especially during the Russian Revolution of 1905. The Imperial Government depended heavily on the perceived reliability of the Cossacks. By the early 20th century, their decentralized communities and semi-feudal military service were coming to be seen as obsolete. The Russian Army Command, which had worked to professionalize its forces, considered the Cossacks
Cossacks
as less well disciplined, trained and mounted than the hussars, dragoons, and lancers of the regular cavalry.[74] The Cossack qualities of initiative and rough-riding skills were not always fully appreciated. As a result, Cossack units were frequently broken up into small detachments for use as scouts, messengers or picturesque escorts. Cossacks
Cossacks
in World War I
World War I
and February Revolution[edit]

Wiosna roku 1905 (Spring of 1905) – Cossacks
Cossacks
patrol at Ujazdowskie Avenue in Warsaw, picture of 1906 by Stanisław Masłowski
Stanisław Masłowski
(National Museum in Warsaw)

At the outbreak of World War I
World War I
the mounted Cossacks
Cossacks
made up 38 regiments, plus some infantry battalions and 52 horse artillery batteries. By 1916 their wartime strength had expanded to 160 regiments plus 176 independent sotnias (squadrons), the latter employed as detached units.[75] While about a third of the regular Russian cavalry was dismounted in 1916 to serve as infantry, the Cossack arm remained essentially unaffected by modernization. During the initial stages of the February Revolution
February Revolution
of 1917, the three Cossack regiments stationed in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
proved in the words of a senior officer to be "extremely slack and indecisive" when deployed in support of the overstretched police. While less than three thousand Cossack reservists and new recruits from the poorer regions of the Don and Kuban
Kuban
regions were involved, their inaction (and that of the primarily ceremonial Konvoi) came as a psychological blow to the Tsarist authorities in the city and encouraged defections from other units.[76] Civil War, Decossackization
Decossackization
and Holodomor
Holodomor
of 1932–33[edit] In the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
that followed the October Revolution, various Cossacks
Cossacks
supported each side of the conflict. Cossacks
Cossacks
formed the core of the White Army, but many also fought with the Red Army. Some Cossack units in the Ukrainian service participated in pogroms against Jews in Ukraine.[77] Following the defeat of the White Army, the new Communist regime instituted a policy of harsh repressions, the so-called Decossackization, which took place on the surviving Cossacks and their homelands. In 2003, historian Shane O'Rourke announced finding documentary evidence that the Soviets had issued orders for exterminating the Cossacks, and that "ten thousand Cossacks
Cossacks
were slaughtered systematically in a few weeks in January 1919".[78] He says this "was one of the main factors which led to the disappearance of the Cossacks
Cossacks
as a nation".[78] During Decossackization, the new regime also divided traditional lands of Cossack Hosts among new Soviet republics and various autonomous republics of non-Cossack peoples. Cossacks
Cossacks
were banned from serving in the Red Army. Histories of the 21st century document that hundreds of thousands of Cossacks
Cossacks
were killed by the Soviet Government during Decossackization. According to Michael Kort, "During 1919 and 1920, out of a population of approximately 3 million, the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Cossacks",[79] including 45,000 Terek Cossacks.[80] The Denikin regime alleged that in 1918–19, 5,598 were executed in the provinces of the Don; 3,442 in the Kuban; and 2,142 in Stavropol. Historian Leonid Futorianskiy disputes these recent claims. He argues that during the preceding White Terror of the Krasnov regime, between 25 and 40 thousand Cossacks
Cossacks
were killed.[81] The Cossack homelands were often very fertile. During the Soviets' 1930s collectivisation campaign, many Cossacks
Cossacks
were killed or died of starvation, as did the kulaks. The Soviet famine of 1932–33, called Holodomor
Holodomor
by Cossacks,[82] impacted the people very hard. Ukraine, lower Volga, Don, Kuban, and Terek territories (the Northern Caucasus) had high fatalities from starvation.[82] The famine caused a population decline of about 20–30% in these territories (the population decline in the rural areas, populated largely by ethnic Cossacks, was even higher, since urban areas were less affected by the famine); Robert Conquest estimates the number of famine-related deaths in the Northern Caucasus to be about 1 million.[83] Government officials expropriated grain and other produce from rural Cossack families, leaving them to starve and die.[84] Many families were forced from their homes in the severe winter and froze to death[84] — Mikhail Sholokhov's letters to Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
document the conditions and widespread deaths,[85] as do eyewitness accounts.[82][84] In 1936, under pressure and appeals from Cossack communities, the Soviet government lifted the ban on Cossacks
Cossacks
serving in the Red Army.[86] Second World War[edit]

Konstantin I. Nedorubov, a Don Cossack, Hero of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the full Knight
Knight
of St. George Order. When WWII began, he did not qualify for the regular draft due to his advanced age (52), but he volunteered to serve in the 41st Don Cossack
Don Cossack
Cavalry
Cavalry
division. He was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
for his heroic fight against Nazi invaders. In particular, he was credited with killing approximately 70 Nazi combatants during the defence of Maratuki village in 1942.

During the Second World War, ethnic Cossacks
Cossacks
fought on both sides of the conflict. Cossacks
Cossacks
who had emigrated to the UK and the USA served with their military forces. Many Cossacks
Cossacks
joined the Resistance. Though some Cossacks
Cossacks
joined German armed forces, they did so usually to defect either to the western allies or to the Resistance, to liberate their compatriots and family members from Nazi work and Nazi concentration camps.[87] The vast majority of the ethnic Cossacks
Cossacks
fought against the Nazis in the ranks of the Red Army
Red Army
and of the Red Navy on all war theatres.[citation needed] Their service was crucial on the Southern theatre of the Eastern Front. They were used for frontal patrols and logistics on the open prairies (steppes), which they knew well. The first Cossacks
Cossacks
units were formed as early as 1936; by 1942 there were 17 Cossack corps units in the Red Army
Red Army
(as opposed to two in the German forces). Later these corps units were increased in size and reduced to eight. Their distinction in battle eventually led all to be merited as Guards. Oka Gorodovikov
Oka Gorodovikov
formed 49 Cossack cavalry divisions during the war. Many ethnic Cossacks
Cossacks
served in other divisions of the Red Army
Red Army
and in the Navy, including Boris Shaposhnikov, Markian Popov, Aksel Berg, Arseniy Golovko, Oka Gorodovikov, Lev Dovator, Pavel Belov, General
General
Dmitry Karbyshev, Dmitry Lavrinenko, pilot Grigory Bakhchivandzhi and engineer Fedor Tokarev. A Cossack detachment of the 4th Guards Corps marched in Red Square
Red Square
during the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945. A substantial number of Cossacks
Cossacks
served with the Germans, in response to the harsh repressions and genocide that their families had suffered under the policies pursued by Joseph Stalin. Like other people of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
who suffered persecution under Stalin, some Cossacks greeted the advancing German army as liberators from Stalinism.[21][88] While some Cossacks
Cossacks
in German service were former White Army
White Army
refugees or related to them,[nb 12][original research?] many Soviet citizens, including rank-and-file Cossacks, defected from the Red Army
Red Army
to join the "Cossack units" of German armed forces. Native Cossacks
Cossacks
usually served as officers. As early as 1941, the German leadership formed the first Cossack detachments from prisoners of war, defectors and volunteers. The Dubrovski Battalion formed of Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
in December 1941 was reorganised on July 30, 1942 into the Pavlov Regiment, numbering up to 350 men. The Germans used Cossacks
Cossacks
for anti-partisan activity in the rear of the German army.[21][page needed] The Cossack National Movement of Liberation hoped to gain an independent Cossack state, to be called Cossackia, after the war.[89] In 1943, after the 1st Cossack Division
1st Cossack Division
was formed under the command of General
General
Helmuth von Pannwitz, Cossack émigrés such as Andrei Shkuro and Pyotr Krasnov
Pyotr Krasnov
took leading positions in the movement. The 2nd Cossack Division, under the command of Colonel
Colonel
Hans-Joachim von Schultz, formed in 1944, existed for a year. Both Cossack divisions were made part of the XV Cossack Cavalry
Cavalry
Corps, totalling some 25,000 men. They wore regular Wehrmacht uniforms and not Waffen-SS ones, as has occasionally been incorrectly alleged. Although in 1944 General von Pannwitz accepted loose affiliation with the Waffen-SS in order to gain access to their supply of superior arms and equipment, together with control over Cossack units in France, no pagan SS features had ever been implemented to respect the Christianity
Christianity
of Cossacks
Cossacks
and the Corps command, structure, uniforms, ranks, etc. remained firmly Wehrmacht.[21][90][91][92]

Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks
during the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945

The Corps contained regiments of different Cossack groups, who were Don, Kuban, Terek and Siberian Cossacks
Siberian Cossacks
who had been fighting Tito's guerrillas in the former Yugoslavia. At the end of the war in 1945, they conducted a fighting retreat north-eastwards over the Karavanken Mountains into Carinthia, where they surrendered to the British Army in Allied-administered Austria. They hoped to join the British to fight Communism. At the time the Cossacks
Cossacks
were seen as Nazi collaborators and they were reported to have committed atrocities against resistance fighters in Eastern Europe. As part of Operation Keelhaul, the British returned Cossack prisoners of war to Russia.[nb 13] On 28 May 1945, told they would be resettled in Canada or Australia, the Cossacks
Cossacks
were transferred to SMERSH custody at the Soviet demarcation line at Judenburg. Also included in the transfer were civilian members of the Kazachi Stan, consisting of old folk, women, and children, as well as about 850 German officers and non-commissioned officers of the Corps. At the end of the war, the British repatriated between 40 and 50 thousand Cossacks, including families of military, to the Soviet Union. Many of those were reported as never having been Soviet citizens. An unknown number were subsequently executed or imprisoned. This episode is widely known as the Betrayal of the Cossacks. Modern times[edit] Following the war, Cossack units, along with cavalry in general, were rendered obsolete and released from the Soviet Army. In the post-war years many Cossack descendants were thought of as simple peasants, and those who lived inside an autonomous republic usually gave way to the particular minority and migrated elsewhere (particularly, to the Baltic region).[citation needed] During the Perestroika
Perestroika
era of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
of the late 1980s, many descendants of the Cossacks
Cossacks
became enthusiastic about reviving their national traditions. In 1988 the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
passed a law which allowed formation of former hosts and the creation of new ones. The ataman of the largest, the All-Mighty Don Host, was granted Marshal rank and the right to form a new host. Simultaneously, many attempts were made to increase the Cossack impact on Russian society and throughout the 1990s many regional authorities agreed to hand over some local administration and policing duties to the Cossacks. According to 2002 Russia's population census, there are 140,028 people who currently self-identify as ethnic Cossacks,[93] while at the same time, between 3.5 and 5 million people associate themselves with the Cossack identity in Europe and around the world.[94][95] Cossacks
Cossacks
have taken an active part in many of the conflicts that have taken place since the disintegration of the Soviet Union: the War of Transnistria,[96] the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict, the Georgian–Ossetian conflict, the First Chechen War
First Chechen War
and the Second Chechen War, as well as the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
Ukraine
and subsequent War in Donbass.[97][98] Genetic evidence[edit] A 2010 genetic study showed that 210 Cossacks
Cossacks
from the Caucasus
Caucasus
are distributed among the following Y-DNA haplogroups:

Haplogroup Proportion

R1a 42%

I2a 15%

G 11%

N 7%

R1b 7%

I1 5%

J2 5%

E 3%

J1 2%

L 2%

Other haplogroups are present at lower frequency.[99] A 2008 study showed that 90 Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks
are distributed among the following Y-DNA haplogroups:

Haplogroup Proportion[100]

R1a (Z282 branch) 47.8%

I2 20.0%

R1b 8.9%

N1c 6.7%

I1 4.4%

J2 4.4%

E1b1b1 3.3%

G2a 1.1%

T 1.1%

N1b 1.1%

Q 1.1%

Culture and organization[edit] In early times an ataman (later called hetman) commanded a Cossack band. He was elected by the tribe members at a Cossack rada, as were the other important band officials: the judge, the scribe, the lesser officials, and the clergy. The ataman's symbol of power was a ceremonial mace, a bulava. Today, Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
are led by Atamans, and Ukrainian Cossacks
Cossacks
by Hetmans.

Cossack on duty (portrayal of 16th-17th century), painting by Józef Brandt

After the split of Ukraine
Ukraine
along the Dnieper
Dnieper
River by the Polish-Russian Treaty of Andrusovo
Treaty of Andrusovo
in 1667, Ukrainian Cossacks
Cossacks
were known as Left-bank and Right-bank Cossacks. The ataman had executive powers, and at time of war, he was the supreme commander in the field. Legislative power was given to the Band Assembly (Rada). The senior officers were called starshyna. In the absence of written laws, the Cossacks
Cossacks
were governed by the "Cossack Traditions" - the common, unwritten law. Cossack society and government were heavily militarized. The nation was called a host (vois’ko, or viys’ko, translated as 'army'). The people and territories were subdivided into regimental and company districts, and village posts (polky, sotni, and stanytsi). A unit of a Cossack troop could be called a kuren.[101] Each Cossack settlement, alone or in conjunction with neighbouring settlements, formed military units and regiments of light cavalry (or mounted infantry in the case of Siberian Cossacks). They could respond to a threat on very short notice. A high regard for education was a tradition among the Cossacks
Cossacks
of Ukraine. In 1654, when the Patriarch of Antioch, Makarios, traveled to Moscow through Ukraine, his son, Deacon Paul Allepscius, wrote the following report:

All over the land of Rus', i.e., among the Cossacks, we have noticed a remarkable feature which made us marvel; all of them, with the exception of only a few among them, even the majority of their wives and daughters, can read and know the order of the church-services as well as the church melodies. Besides that, their priests take care and educate the orphans, not allowing them to wander in the streets ignorant and unattended.[102]

Settlements[edit] Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
founded numerous settlements (called stanitsas) and fortresses along troublesome borders. These included forts Verny (Almaty, Kazakhstan) in south Central Asia; Grozny
Grozny
in North Caucasus; Fort Alexandrovsk (Fort Shevchenko, Kazakhstan); Krasnovodsk (Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan); Novonikolayevskaya stanitsa (Bautino, Kazakhstan); Blagoveshchensk; and towns and settlements along the Ural, Ishim, Irtysh, Ob, Yenisei, Lena, Amur, Anadyr (Chukotka), and Ussuri Rivers. A group of Albazin Cossacks
Albazin Cossacks
settled in China
China
as early as 1685. Cossacks
Cossacks
interacted with nearby peoples, and exchanged cultural influences (for example, the Terek Cossacks
Terek Cossacks
were heavily influenced by the culture of North Caucasian tribes). They also frequently married local residents (non-Cossack settlers and natives), regardless of race or origin, sometimes setting aside religious restrictions.[103] War brides brought from distant lands were also common in Cossack families. General
General
Bogaevsky, a commander in the Russian Volunteer Army, mentions in his 1918 memoir that one of his Cossacks, Sotnik Khoperski, was a native Chinese who had been brought back as a child from Manchuria during the Russian-Japanese War
Russian-Japanese War
1904–1905; a Cossack family adopted and raised him.[104] Family life[edit]

Siberian Cossack
Siberian Cossack
family in Novosibirsk

Cossack family values as expressed in 21st century Russia are simple, rigid, and seem very traditional compared to those of contemporary Western culture. In theory men build the home and provide an income; the women take care of the family and provide for the children and household. Traditional Russian values, culture and Orthodox Christianity
Christianity
form the bedrock of their beliefs.[105] Cossacks, particularly those in rural areas, tend to have more children than most other people in Russia. Rural Cossacks
Cossacks
often have traditional kinship systems; they live in large clans of extended family. These are led by an elder patriarch, usually a grandfather, who often has the title of Ataman. Historically, when male Cossacks
Cossacks
waged permanent wars at a great distance from their homes, the women took over the role as family leaders. They were also called on to physically defend their villages and towns from enemy attacks. In some cases, they raided and disarmed neighbouring villages composed of other ethnic groups. The writer Leo Tolstoy described such Cossack female chauvinism in his Cossacks novel. Sergei Korolev's mother was the daughter of a leader of the civil estate of the Zaporozhian Sich. When Malorossian Cossack regiments had been disbanded, those Cossacks
Cossacks
who were not promoted to nobility or did not join other estates were united into a civil Cossack estate, like Korolev's mother's family.[106] Popular image[edit] Cossacks
Cossacks
have long appealed to romantics as idealising freedom and resistance to external authority, and their military exploits against their enemies have contributed to this favorable image. For others, Cossacks
Cossacks
have become a symbol of repression because of the role of various horsemen crying "Cossacks" to frighten people,[citation needed] suppressing popular uprisings in the Russian Empire, their actions during the Khmelnytsky Uprising
Khmelnytsky Uprising
of 1648–1657 and for their role in pogroms In Ukraine
Ukraine
in 1919 headed by Petlura's Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic
army and Ataman Semosenko.[107][page needed]

A Ukrainian Cossack (Ostap Kindrachuk) playing the bandura and wearing traditional clothing

Literary reflections of Cossack culture abound in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish literature, particularly in the works of Nikolai Gogol (Taras Bulba), Taras Shevchenko, Mikhail Sholokhov, Henryk Sienkiewicz (With Fire and Sword). One of Leo Tolstoy's first novellas, The Cossacks, depicts their autonomy and estrangement from Moscow and from centralized rule. Most[citation needed] Polish Romantic literature deals with themes about the Cossacks. (Roman Catholics, especially Poles, could be Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
up to 1635. A lot of landless Polish Schlahta converted to Eastern Orthodoxy to divide the lands of Ruthenian Schlahta together with Cossacks
Cossacks
during the Khmelnitsky uprising. After this Cossacks
Cossacks
used to convert Poles, especially Polish children, to Eastern Orthodoxy to turn them into Cossacks.[citation needed] Many Polish and Polish Jewish children were adopted into Cossack families. All Poles
Poles
captured with arms by Russian forces in the 1812–1814 campaign were enlisted in Cossack Hosts for 25 years, though without the obligation to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy. However, those who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy might escape from the Cossack service and from any other exile. Thus "Polish Cossack" became synonymous with a Polish Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
patriot from 1814.[108] In the literature of Western Europe, Cossacks
Cossacks
appear in Lord Byron's "Mazepa", Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade", and Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game". In many[quantify] of the stories by adventure writer Harold Lamb, the main character is a Cossack. Historiography can interpret Cossackdom in imperial and colonial terms.[109][110] In Ukraine, where Cossackdom represents historical and cultural heritage, some people have started attempting to recreate the images of Ukrainian Cossacks. Traditional Ukrainian culture is often tied in with the Cossacks, and the Ukrainian government actively supports[when?] these attempts.[citation needed] The traditional Cossack bulawa serves as a symbol of the Ukrainian presidency, and the island of the Khortytsia, the origin and center of the Zaporozhian Sich, has been restored. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991, many[quantify] have begun seeing Russian Cossacks
Cossacks
as defenders of Russian sovereignty.[citation needed] Cossacks
Cossacks
have not only reestablished all of their hosts, they have also taken over police and even administrative duties in their homelands. The Russian military also took advantage of the patriotic feelings among the Cossacks
Cossacks
and as the hosts become larger and more organised; it has in the past[when?] turned over some of its surplus technology to them. On par with that, the Cossacks
Cossacks
also play a large cultural role in the South of Russia. Since the rural ethnic Russian inhabitants of the Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Stavropol territories, as well as of the Autonomous republics of the Northern Caucasus, regard themselves as consisting almost exclusively of at least spiritual Cossack descendants, the region has had a reputation, even in the Soviet times, for its high discipline, low crime and conservative views. Such areas have high rates of religious attendance and of literacy.[citation needed] Ranks[edit]

Modern Kuban
Kuban
Cossack armed forces patch of the Russian military

The Russian Empire
Russian Empire
organised its Cossacks
Cossacks
into several voiskos (hosts), which lived along the Russian border, or internal borders between Russian and non-Russian peoples. Each host originally had its own leadership and regalia as well as its own uniforms and ranks. However, by the late 19th century the latter were standardized following the example of the Imperial Russian Army. Following the 1988 law, which allowed the hosts to reform and the 2005 one that legally recognised the hosts as a combat service, the ranks and insignia were kept, but on all military tickets that are standard for the Russian Army they are given below.

Modern Cossack rank Equivalent modern Russian Army Equivalent foreign rank

Kazak Ryadovoy Private

Prikazny Yefreitor Lance Corporal

Mladshy Uryadnik Mladshy Serzhant Corporal

Uryadnik Serzhant Sergeant

Starshy Uryadnik Starshy Serzhant Senior Sergeant

Mladshy Vakhmistr

Junior Warrant Officer

Vakhmistr Praporshchik Warrant Officer

Starshy Vakhmistr Starshy Praporshchik Senior Warrant Officer

Podkhorunzhy

Junior Lieutenant

Khorunzhy Lieutenant Lieutenant

Sotnik Starshy Lieutenant Senior Lieutenant

Podyesaul Kapitan Captain

Yesaul Mayor Major

Voiskovy Starshyna Podpolkovnik Lieutenant-Colonel

Kazachy Polkovnik Polkovnik Colonel

Kazachy General* General General

Ataman

Commander

*Rank presently absent in the Russian Army *The application of ranks polkovnik and general is only stable for small hosts. Large hosts are divided into divisions and consequently the Russian Army sub-ranks general-mayor, general-leitenatant and general-polkovnik are used to distinguish the atamans' hierarchy of command, with the supreme ataman having the highest rank available. In such a case, the shoulder insignia has a dedicated one-, two- and three-star alignment, as normal in the Russian Army; otherwise it will be blank. The same can be said about the colonel ranks as they are given to atamans of regional and district status. The lowest group, stanitsa, is commanded by Yesaul. If the region or district lacks any other stanitsas, then the rank polkovnik is applied automatically but with no stars on the shoulder. As the hosts continue to grow, starless shoulder patches are becoming increasingly rare. In addition, the supreme ataman of the largest Don Cossack Host
Don Cossack Host
is officially titled as marshal, and so wears insignia derived from the Russian/Soviet marshal ranks, including the diamond Marshal Star. This is because the Don Cossack
Don Cossack
Supreme Ataman
Ataman
is recognized as the official head of all Cossack armies (including those outside the present Russian borders). He also has the authority to recognize and dissolve new hosts. Uniforms[edit]

A Cossack officer from Orenburg, with a shashka at his side, early 1900s

Cossacks
Cossacks
were expected to provide their own uniforms. While these were sometimes manufactured in bulk by factories owned by the individual host, families often handed down garments or made them within the household. Individual items might accordingly vary from those laid down by regulation or be of obsolete pattern. Each Host had distinctive uniform colourings. For most hosts, the basic uniform consisted of the standard loose-fitting tunics and wide trousers typical of Russian regular troops during the period 1881–1908.[111] The Caucasian Hosts (Kuban and Terek) wore the very long, open fronted, cherkesska coats with ornamental cartridge loops and coloured beshmets (waistcoats). These have come to epitomize the popular image of the Cossacks. Most hosts wore fleece hats with coloured cloth tops in full dress, and round caps, with or without peaks, for ordinary duties. These caps were worn sharply slanted to one side by the rank-and-file of cossack regiments, over hair trimmed longer than that of ordinary Russian soldiers. The two Caucasian Hosts wore high fleece caps on most occasions, together with black felt cloaks (burke) in bad weather.

Siberian Cossack
Siberian Cossack
c1890s

Until 1909, Cossack regiments in summer wore white gymnasterkas (blouses)[112] and cap covers of standard Russian army pattern. The shoulder straps and cap bands were in the host colour, as detailed below. From 1910 to 1918, they wore a khaki-grey jacket for field wear. The dress uniform had blue or green breeches with broad coloured stripes in the Host colour and these were often worn with the service jacket. While most Cossacks
Cossacks
served as cavalry, several of the larger hosts had infantry and artillery units. Four regiments of Cossacks
Cossacks
formed part of the Imperial Guard, as well as the Konvoi—the tsar's mounted escort. The Imperial Guard regiments wore tailored government-issue uniforms, which were colourful and elaborate. As an example, the Konvoi wore scarlet cherkesskas, white beshmets, and red crowns on their fleece hats. The Guard Cossacks
Cossacks
of His Majesty and the Ataman's Guard Cossacks, both drawn from the Don Host, wore red and light blue coats respectively. The Combined Cossack Guard Regiment
Regiment
(made up of representative detachments from each of the remaining Hosts) wore red, light blue, crimson or orange coats according to squadron.

Host Year est. Cherkesska
Cherkesska
or Tunic Beshmet Trousers Fleece Hat Shoulder Straps

Don Cossacks 1570 blue tunic none blue with red stripes red crown blue

Ural Cossacks 1571 blue tunic none blue with crimson stripes crimson crown crimson

Terek Cossacks 1577 grey-brown cherkesska light blue grey light blue crown light blue

Kuban
Kuban
Cossacks 1864 black cherkesska red grey red crown red

Orenburg
Orenburg
Cossacks 1744 green tunic none green with light blue stripes light blue crown light blue

Astrakhan
Astrakhan
Cossacks 1750 blue tunic none blue with yellow stripes yellow crown yellow

Siberian Cossacks 1750s green tunic none green with red stripes red crown red

Transbaikal Cossacks 1851 green tunic none green with yellow stripes yellow crown yellow

Amur Cossacks 1858 green tunic none green with yellow stripes yellow crown green

Semiryechensk Cossacks 1867 green tunic none green with crimson stripes crimson crown crimson

Ussuri Cossacks 1889 green tunic none green with yellow stripes yellow crown yellow

*All details are based on the 1909–14 dress uniforms as portrayed in "Tablitsi Form' Obmundirovaniya Russkoi Armi", Colonel
Colonel
V.K. Shenk, published by the Imperial Russian War Ministry 1910–11. Modern-day Russian Cossack identity[edit] Ethnic or "born" (prirodnye) Cossacks
Cossacks
are those who can trace, or claim to trace, their ancestry to people and families identified as Cossacks
Cossacks
in the Tsarist era. They tend to be Christian, practising as Orthodox Christians
Orthodox Christians
or Old Believers. This group includes the edinovertsy, who identify as Slavic. Others can be initiated as Cossacks, particularly men in military service. Such initiates may be neither ethnic Slavic nor Christian in religion. Not everyone agrees that such initiates should be considered Cossack. There is no consensus on an initiation rite or rules. In other cases, individuals may put on a Cossack uniform and pretend to be one, perhaps because there is a large ethnic Cossack population in the area and the person wants to fit in. Others adopt Cossack clothing to try to take on some of their mythic status. Ethnic Cossacks
Cossacks
refer to the re-enactors as ryazhenye (ряженые, or "dressed up phonies").[113][114] Because of the lack of consensus on how to define Cossacks, accurate numbers of the people are not available. According to Russia's Population Census 2010, there are 67,573 people who identify as being ethnic Cossacks
Cossacks
in Russia,[9] while between 3.5 and 5 million people associate themselves with the Cossack identity in Europe and across the world.[94][95] Registered Cossacks
Registered Cossacks
of the Russian Federation[edit] Main article: Registered Cossacks
Registered Cossacks
of the Russian Federation The Registered Cossacks
Registered Cossacks
of the Russian Federation
Federation
are the Cossack paramilitary formation (public) carrier state and other service on the basis of the Federal Law
Law
of the Russian Federation
Federation
dated December 5, 2005 № 154-FZ "On State Service of the Russian Cossacks".[115] See also[edit]

History of the Cossacks Combat Hopak Cossack explorers Betrayal of the Cossacks Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks Cossack motorcycle Persian Cossack Brigade Registered Cossacks Registered Cossacks
Registered Cossacks
of the Russian Federation Jewish Cossacks Tatar
Tatar
Cossaks Tatar
Tatar
invasions Crimean Khanate Wild Fields Kosiński Uprising Kossak (as a Polish family name) Cossacks
Cossacks
II: Napoleonic Wars Cossack election

Notes[edit]

^ In the 19th century Peter V. Golubovsky of Kiev University
Kiev University
explained that the Severians
Severians
made up a significant part of early medieval Russians
Russians
and Khazars. He described the Khazar
Khazar
state as the "Slavic stronghold in the East". Many Khazars, like Cossacks, as described in The Cossacks
Cossacks
by Leo Tolstoy, could be Slavic-Turkic bilinguals. *(in Russian) Golubovsky Peter V. (1884) Pechenegs, Torks and Cumans
Cumans
before the invasion of the Tatars. History of the South Russian steppes in the 9th-13th Centuries (Печенеги, Торки и Половцы до нашествия татар. История южно-русских степей IX—XIII вв.); available at Runivers.ru
Runivers.ru
in DjVu format. Later Mikhail Artamonov
Mikhail Artamonov
and his school confirmed many of Golubovsky's conclusions. ^ The Don Host and the Sich region had close ties, and both participated in numerous joint war expeditions. The best known is Azov Sitting, when Don and Zaporozhian Cossacks
Zaporozhian Cossacks
took over the Azov fortress and defended it with the aid of volunteers for five years against Turkish armed forces. A permanent exchange of Cossacks
Cossacks
took place between the Zaporozhie region and the Don region; Dinskoy (Don) Kuren (division) was one of the Kurens that made up the Sich. The historical relation between the groups is reflected in similar names among major towns in the Don and Dnieper
Dnieper
regions, for example, Novocherkassk
Novocherkassk
city and Starocherkasskaya
Starocherkasskaya
stanitsa in the Don region, and Cherkasy
Cherkasy
city in Ukraine. Moscovite chronicles use the exonym Cherkasy
Cherkasy
to refer both to enemy Cossacks
Cossacks
(from Polish, Turk, and Tatar
Tatar
armies) and to Dnieper Cossacks, even when the latter were allied with Moscow. The Lower Dnieper
Dnieper
(Zaporozhian) Cossacks
Cossacks
often referred to Higher Dnieper (Malorussian) Cossacks
Cossacks
as Cherkasy
Cherkasy
as well. ^ See, for example, Executions of Cossacks
Cossacks
in Lebedin. ^ After the Pugachev rebellion, the Empire renamed the Yaik Host, its capital, Yaik Cossaks, and Zimoveyskaya Cossack town in the Don region, to try to encourage the Cossacks
Cossacks
to forget the men and their rebellions. At the same time the Empire formally dissolved the Lower Dnieper
Dnieper
Zaporozhian Cossack Host and destroyed their fortress (the Sich per se) on the Dnieper, perhaps in part due to the participation of some Zaporozhian and other Ukrainian exiles in Pugachev's rebellion. During his campaign Pugachev issued manifestos to restore all borders and freedoms of both the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Lower Dnieper
Dnieper
(Nyzovyi in Ukrainian) Cossack Host under the joint protectorate of Russia and the Commonwealth. ^ The Malorussian Cossacks
Cossacks
(the former "Registered Cossacks" ["Town Zaporozhian Host" in Russia]) were excluded from this transformation but were promoted to members of various civil estates or classes (often Russian nobility), including the newly created civil estate of Cossacks. ^ Lacking horses, the poor served in Cossack infantry and in Cossack artillery. The Russian navy had no Cossack ships and units. This is why Cossacks
Cossacks
served with other people in the navy only. ^ Their use in preventing pogroms is reflected in a story by prominent Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem, titled "A Wedding Without Musicians", which describes how a Jewish shtetl in Ukraine
Ukraine
is attacked by a local mob and the Cossack unit stops the pogrom. See Шолом Алейхем, "Быть бы свадьбе, да музыки не нашлось", Гослитиздат, Moscow, 1961.[1]. ^ This is also true of the Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
of the Lower Don, where the local dialect is related to Ukrainian. Many Ukrainian peasants joined Terek Cossacks
Terek Cossacks
in the 1820s–30s, influencing local dialects. But the Grebensky (Row) Cossacks
Cossacks
(the part of Terek Cossacks) with deep Adyghe roots because of intermarriages, still speak an old northern Russian Viatka dialect. (It likely has connections to the old dialects of the White Sea
White Sea
shores). Middle Don dialects are related to northern Russian dialects, the Belorussian language and Volyn dialects of Ukrainian, the latter dialects are close to Belorussian dialects. Only Upper Don dialects are southern Russian ones. ^ Notable supporters of this point of view were Gustav von Ewers, Nicholas I, Peter V. Golubovsky, Mikhail Artamonov
Mikhail Artamonov
and his school, including Lev Gumilyov
Lev Gumilyov
etc. ^ See penultimate footnote.[clarification needed] ^ After the Caucasus
Caucasus
war both the Russian Imperial policy and internal problems made some Muslims, Subbotniks, Molokane, Jews and various Christian minorities, whether Cossack or non-Cossack, move outside the Don area, usually to the newly conquered frontier areas or abroad. For example, many Moslem Cossacks
Cossacks
moved to Turkey because of the lack of Moslem brides in their villages. The Don Host resisted this policy and minorities were kept, as was the case of some Moslem Cossacks
Cossacks
and of Rostov-on-Don
Rostov-on-Don
non-Cossack Jews ^ The majority of White Army
White Army
refugees held the anti-Nazi views and either refrained from the support of Germans or joined the Resistance. ^ General
General
Denikin, who had been an anti-Nazi activist and champion of Western aid to the Red Army, in vain tried to explain to Western allies that many Cossacks
Cossacks
in Nazi service, such as Old-Believers, had never been Nazis, had understood nothing of Nazi ideology or anti-Communism. They believed they were fighting their traditional war against Eastern Orthodox missionaries, Roman Catholics, etc. Cossacks saved many Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and others from the Ustashi. They made false marriages to save many Russian prisoners held in work camps.

References[edit]

^ Lester W. Grau (1993). "The Cossack Brotherhood Reborn: A Political/military Force in a Realm of Chaos". Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS. Archived from the original on 26 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ R.P. Magocsi, A History of Ukraine, pp. 179–181 ^ O'Rourke, Shane (2000). "Warriors and peasants: The Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
in late imperial Russia". ISBN 978-0-312-22774-6.  ^ A noted author, Count Leo Tolstoy, wrote "... that all of the Russian history has been made by Cossacks. No wonder Europeans call all of us that  ...
...
Our people as a whole wish to be Cossacks." (L. Tosltoy, A Complete Collection of Works, v. 48, page 123, Moscow, 1952; Полн. собр. соч. в 90 т. М., 1952 г., т.48, стр. 123)" ^ From Tak to Yes: Understanding the East Europeans, Yale Richmond, Intercultural Press, 1995, p. 294 ^ "Андрусовское перемирие. 30 января 1667". Historydoc.edu.ru. Archived from the original on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ "Don River – History and economy", Encyclopædia Britannica ^ Andrew Gordeyev. The History of Cossacks, Moscow, 1992 ^ a b Вот какие мы - россияне: Росстат об итогах Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года [Here's what we are - the Russians: Russtat on the outcome of the National Population Census 2010] (in Russian). Rg.ru. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2015.  ^ "Конгресс Казаков в Америке Рассеяны но не расторгнуты". Kazaksusa.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.  ^ "Этническое казачье объединение Казарла". Kazarla.ru. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2012-08-13.  ^ "Вольная Станица". Fstanitsa.ru. Retrieved 2012-08-13.  ^ For a detailed analysis, see Omeljan Pritsak. "The Turkic Etymology of the Word Qazaq 'Cossack'." Harvard Ukrainian Studies 28.1-4 (2006/2007): 237-XII. ^ a b "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ Editors, The (2015-05-28). "Cossack Russian and Ukrainian people". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ Iaroslav Lebedynsky, Histoire des Cosaques. Lyon: Terre Noire, 1995. p. 38. ^ "Cossacks". Encyclopediaofukraine.com. Retrieved 13 August 2012.  ^ Max Vasmer. Этимологический словарь Фасмера: казаґк [Etymological dictionary: kazagk]. narod.ru (in Russian). p. 242. Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ Shambarov, Valery (2007). Kazachestvo Istoriya Volnoy Rusi. Algoritm Expo, Moscow. ISBN 978-5-699-20121-1.  ^ Vasili Glazkov (Wasili Glaskow), History of the Cossacks, p. 3, Robert Speller & Sons, New York, ISBN 0-8315-0035-2

Vasili Glazkov claims that the data of Byzantine, Iranian and Arab historians support that. According to this view, by 1261, Cossacks lived in the area between the rivers Dniester
Dniester
and Volga
Volga
as described for the first time in Russian chronicles.

^ a b c d Newland 1991 ^ Neumann, Karl Friedrich (1855). Die völker des südlichen Russlands in ihrer geschichtlichen entwickelung [The Peoples of Southern Russia in its Historical Evolution]. Leipzig: B.G. Teubner. p. 132. The Cumans, who are living in the land of the Kipchak since time immemorial, … are known to us as Turks. It is these Turks, no new immigrants from the areas beyond the Yaik, but true descendants of the ancient Scythians, who now again occur in world history under the name Cumans, …  ^ Magocsi, Paul Robert (2007). Ukraine: An Illustrated History. University of Washington Press, Seattle. p. 84.  ^ The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. (Out of print). "Cossacks". Columbia University Press, 2001–04.  ^ Hrushevsky, M. Illustrated History of Ukraine. "BAO". Donetsk, 2003. ISBN 966-548-571-7 ^ Дума про козака Голоту - Народні думи [Ballad about Cossack Holota - National ballads]. ukrlib.com.ua (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ Николай ПУНДИК (Одесса). "Кто ты, Фесько Ганжа Андыбер?". Telegrafua.com. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ "Донское казачество". Razdory-museum.ru. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ "Republic of Kalmykia Cossacks". Kalm.ru. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ Есть ли на Кубани мова? [Is there "(Ukrainian) language" in Kuban?] (in Russian). Ngkub.ru. 22 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2015.  ^ Bogdan Zolotarevsky (2009). Кубань — Украина: вопросы истории и политики [ Kuban
Kuban
- Ukraine: historical and political questions] (in Russian). Institute of Social Studies. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011.  ^ Tatiana Stepanovna Malykhina (11 January 2013). Кубанская балачка [ Kuban
Kuban
balachka (language)]. pedsovet.org (in Russian).  ^ John Ure. "The Cossacks: An Illustrated History". London: Gerald Duckworth  ^ Serhii Plokhy (2001). The Cossacks
Cossacks
and Religion in Early Modern Ukraine. OUP Oxford. p. 4. ISBN 0-19-924739-0. Retrieved 1 August 2015.  ^ Wilson, Andrew (2002). The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation. Yale University Press. pp. 62, 143. ISBN 978-0-300-09309-4. Retrieved 1 August 2015.  ^ "Cossack Navy 16th-17th Centuries". Geocities. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2015.  ^ "In 1651, in the face of a growing threat from Poland and forsaken by his Tatar
Tatar
allies, Khmelnytsky asked the tsar to incorporate Ukraine as an autonomous duchy under Russian protection ...
...
the details of the union were negotiated in Moscow. The Cossacks
Cossacks
were granted a large degree of autonomy, and they, as well as other social groups in Ukraine, retained all the rights and privileges they had enjoyed under Polish rule." "Pereyaslav agreement". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006.  ^ Dvornik, Francis (1962). The Slavs
Slavs
in European History and Civilization. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-0799-6.  ^ Kubicek, Paul (2008). The History of Ukraine. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313349201.  ^ "Георгий Георгиевич Фруменков. Узники соловецкого монастыря". Lib.ru. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ Vasily Klyuchevsky, The course of Russian History, volume 2 ^ Angus Konstam. Russian army of the Seven Years' War. Osprey Publishing (October 15, 1996) ISBN 185532587X ISBN 978-1855325876 ^ "Napoleon Series Reviews: Cossack Hurrah!". Napoleon-series.org. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ Радомский, Ярослав Леонидович (2015-09-27). "Диссертация на тему "Этнический состав Причерноморской Руси" автореферат по специальности ВАК 07.00.02 - Отечественная история disserCat — электронная библиотека диссертаций и авторефератов, современная наука РФ". Dissercat.com. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ O'Rourke, Shane (2000). "Warriors and peasants: The Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
in late imperial Russia". ISBN 978-0-312-22774-6.  ^ "Old Believer – Raskolniks". face-music.ch. Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ "Евреи Среди Казаков". Lechaim.ru. Retrieved 2015-10-02.  ^ Wixman. The Peoples of the USSR, p. 51 ^ Donnelly, Alton S. (1968). The Russian Conquest of Bashkiria 1552–1740. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-00430-3.  ^ Avrich 1976, p. 59 ^ Avrich 1976, p. 52 ^ Avrich 1976, p. 58 ^ Avrich 1976, p. 60 ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 91 ^ O'Rourke 2008, pp. 90–91; Avrich 1976, p. 62 ^ Avrich 1976, pp. 66–67 ^ O'Rourke 2008, pp. 95–97 ^ O'Rourke 2008, pp. 95–96 ^ O'Rourke 2008, pp. 100–105 ^ Avrich 1976, p. 112 ^ Avrich 1976, p. 113 ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 115 ^ a b O'Rourke 2008, pp. 116–117 ^ Jack P. Greene and Robert Forster, "Pugachev's Rebellion", in Preconditions of Revolution in Early Modern Europe, ed. Marc Raeff, (The Johns Hopkins Press, 1975), p. 170. ^ Raeff, Pugachev's Rebellion, p. 172. ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 117 ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 120 ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 124 ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 126 ^ O'Rourke 2008, pp. 127–28 ^ O'Rourke 2008, p. 128 ^ O'Rourke 2008, pp. 129–30 ^ Knotel, Knotel & Sieg 1980, p. 394 ^ Seaton, Albert (1972). The Cossacks. Random House. ISBN 978-0-85045-116-0.  ^ Littauer, Vladimir (2007). Russian Hussar. The Long Riders' Guild Press. pp. 296–297. ISBN 1-59048--256-5.  ^ Figes, Orlando (1997). A People's Tragedy. Random House. pp. 310–311. ISBN 0-7126--7327-X.  ^ Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History, p. 303, John Doyle Klier (Editor), Shlomo Lambroza (Editor) ^ a b "Soviet order to exterminate Cossacks
Cossacks
is unearthed" University of York Communications Office, 21 January 2003 ^ Kort, Michael (2001). The Soviet Colosus: History and Aftermath, p. 133. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-0396-9. ^ Pavel Polian, "Forced migrations in USSR", Retrieved on 5 February 2007 ^ Futoriansky, Leonid Iosifovich (2003). Казачество России в огне гражданской войны (1918-1920 гг.) [The Cossacks
Cossacks
of Russia in the Flames of Civil War (1918-1920)] (in Russian). Orenburg: orenport.ru. Retrieved 21 April 2016.  ^ a b c "голодомор Вольная Станица". Fstanitsa.ru. Retrieved 13 August 2012.  ^ Robert Conquest
Robert Conquest
(1986), The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505180-7, p. 306. ^ a b c "Голод 1932 - 1933 годов, рассказы очевидцев. Голод в Казахстане, Поволжье, Северном Кавказе и Украине. Голодомор". Bibliotekar.ru. Retrieved 13 August 2012.  ^ "ФЭБ: Шолохов — Сталину И. В., 4 апреля 1933. — 2003 (текст)". Feb-web.ru. Retrieved 13 August 2012.  ^ Постановление ЦИК СССР от 20.04.1936 о снятии с казачества ограничений по службе в РККА — Викитека (in Russian). Ru.wikisource.org. Retrieved 13 August 2012.  ^ "Казакия" в составе Третьего Рейха (1941 год - 1945 год). ["Cossacks" as part of the Third Reich (1941 - 1945)] (in Russian). Cossacks
Cossacks
Congress in America. 14 July 2010. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012.  ^ "Stalin's Enemies", Combat Magazine, Volume 03 Number 01 Winter. ISSN 1542-1546 ^ File:Ivan Hrechinjuk.JPG#file ^ Die Kosaken im Ersten und Zweiten Weltkrieg, Harald Stadler (Hrsg), Innsbruck: Studienverlag, 2008, pp. 151, 166, ISBN 978-3-7065-4623-2 ^ Hans Werner Neulen, An deutscher Seite, pp. 320, 459, Munich 1985 ^ Matthias Hoy (Ph.D.thesis), Der Weg in den Tod, pp. 152–55, 473–76 (Vienna 1991) ^ Казаки: общие сведения [Cossacks: general information]. rusnations.ru (in Russian). 2006. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10.  ^ a b Cole, Jeffrey E., ed. (2011). Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-59884-302-6.  ^ a b Toje, Hege (Nov 2006). "Cossack Identity in the New Russia: Kuban
Kuban
Cossack Revival and Local Politics". Europe-Asia Studies. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 58 (7): 1057–1077. doi:10.1080/09668130600926306. ISSN 0966-8136. JSTOR 20451288.  ^ Hughes, James and Sasse, Gwendolyn: Ethnicity and territory in the former Soviet Union: regions in conflict. Taylor & Francis, 2002, page 107. ISBN 0-7146-8210-1 ^ Sabra Ayres (26 November 2014). "Opportunists take advantage of eastern Ukraine
Ukraine
leadership confusion". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 7 August 2015.  ^ Andrew E. Kramer (4 August 2015). " Cossacks
Cossacks
Face Grim Reprisals From Onetime Allies in Eastern Ukraine". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2015.  ^ Балановский О.П., Пшеничнов А.С., Сычев Р.С., Евсеева И.В., Балановская Е.В. Y-base: частоты гаплогрупп Y хромосомы у народов мира, 2010; www.genofond.ru ^ Balanovsky, Oleg (2008). "Two Sources of the Russian Patrilineal Heritage in Their Eurasian Context". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 82: 236–250. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.09.019. PMC 2253976 . PMID 18179905.  ^ Grinevetsky, Sergei R.; Zonn, Igor S.; Zhiltsov, Sergei S.; Kosarev, Aleksey N.; Kostianoy, Andrey G. (2015). The Black Sea
Black Sea
Encyclopedia. Berlin: Springer. p. 126. ISBN 9783642552274. Retrieved 2014-12-11. Kuren—unit of a Cossack troop.  ^ Лощиц, Юрий. Сковорода. Vol. 13. Мол. гвардия, 1972. p.17. ^ "Сопредельные с ними (поселенцами – Ред.) по "Горькой линии" казаки ... поголовно обучались Киргизскому наречию и переняли некоторые, впрочем, безвредные привычки кочевого народа". Генерал-губернатор Казнаков в докладе Александру III, 1875. "Among – Edit. neighbouring (settlers -Edit.) in Gor'kaya Liniya, Cossacks
Cossacks
...
...
everyone learnt Kyrgys language and adopted some, harmless though, habits of nomadic folks." quote from Report of Governor- General
General
Kaznakov to Tzar Alexander III, 1875. ^ Богаевский А.П. Ледяной поход. Воспоминания 1918 г. ^ Steven Eke (9 August 2007). "Russia's Cossacks
Cossacks
rise again". news.bbc.co.uk. BBC News. Retrieved 5 October 2015.  ^ 12 января 1907 года родился Сергей Павлович Корольов [On 12 January 1907 Sergei Pavlovich Korolev was born] (in Russian). Yablor.ru. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2015.  ^ Heifetz, Elias (1921). The Slaughter of the Jews in the Ukraine
Ukraine
in 1919. Thomas Seltzer, Inc.  ^ Bessonov, V. A.; B. P. Milovidov (2006). Польские военнопленные Великой армии в России в 1812-1814 гг. [Polish Prisoners of War of the Imperial Russian Army in Russia During 1812-1814] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2013.  ^ Plokhy, Serhii (2012). The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires. New Studies in European History (Reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 357. ISBN 9781107022102. Retrieved 2015-01-27. ...
...
the Russian used by the Ukrainian elite of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries ...
...
was strongly influenced by the military and bureaucratic terminology of the period (the hallmark of the Cossack elite's imperial experience) ...
...
The increasing influence of Russian ...
...
gave evidence of the new cultural situation in the Hetmanate, which had all the hallmarks of a colonial setting.  ^ Khodarkovsky, Michael (2004). Russia's Steppe
Steppe
Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800. Indiana-Michigan series in Russian and East European studies (Reprint ed.). Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253217707. Retrieved 2015-01-27.  ^ Ivanov, A. The Russo-Japanese War 1904-05. p. 45. ISBN 1-84176-708-5.  ^ Mollo, Borris. Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army. pp. 140–141. ISBN 0-7137-0920-0.  ^ Nadezhda Kuznetsova (21 September 2010). Казаки и "ряженые" [ Cossacks
Cossacks
and "masqueraders"] (in Russian). Info.sibnet.ru. Retrieved 2 October 2015.  ^ Boris Almazov (2006). Казачья драма [The Cossack Drama] (in Russian). Borisalmazov.narod.ru. Retrieved 2 October 2015.  ^ Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 5 декабря 2005 г. N 154-ФЗ - О государственной службе российского казачества [Federal Law
Law
of the Russian Federation
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from 5 December 2005 No 154-FZ - On the State Service of Russian Cossacks] (in Russian). rg.ru. 8 December 2005. 

Sources[edit]

Avrich, Paul (1976) [1972]. Russian Rebels, 1600–1800. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-00836-4.  Knotel, Richard; Knotel, Herbert; Sieg, Herbert (1980). Uniforms of the World: A Compendium of Army, Navy and Air Force Uniforms 1700–1937. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.  Newland, Samuel J. (1991). Cossacks
Cossacks
in the German Army, 1941–1945. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-3351-0.  Summerfield, Stephen (2005). Cossack Hurrah: Russian Irregular Cavalry Organisation and Uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars. Partizan Press. ISBN 1-85818-513-0.  Summerfield, Stephen (2007). The Brazen Cross: Brazen Cross of Courage: Russian Opochenie, Partizans and Russo-German Legion during the Napoleonic Wars. Partizan Press. ISBN 978-1-85818-555-2.  O'Rourke, Shane (2008). The Cossacks. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-7680-0. 

Further reading[edit]

H. Havelock, The Cossacks
Cossacks
in the Early Seventeenth Century, English Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 50 (Apr., 1898), pp. 242–260, JSTOR "The Cossack Corps", General
General
der Flieger Hellmuth Felmy, US Army Historical Division, Hailer Publishing, 2007 Le Fiamme di Zaporoze -Flames of Zaporoze – Novel on Zaporozhian Cossacks
Cossacks
of hetman Ivan Mazepa. ISBN 88-6155-268-4

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cossacks.

Look up Cossacks
Cossacks
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

 "Cossacks". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). 1911.  Cossacks
Cossacks
during the Napoleonic Wars Zaporizhian Cossacks History of Ukrainian Cossacks
Cossacks
at Encyclopedia of Ukraine Soviet Cossacks
Cossacks
– an issue of the propaganda journal USSR in Construction which presents numerous images of Cossack life in Soviet Russia. Cossack Nation Livejournal Cossack Nation – The Social Network of Ethnic Cossacks The Congress of Cossacks
Cossacks
in America Pirate, Rebel, Freedom Fighter, Champion of the Poor Open Public Library " History of the Cossacks
History of the Cossacks
15-21 cent." Documents, maps, illustrations.

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