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  • #341758

    Anonymous

    [img width=700 height=413]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Repin_Cossacks.jpg/800px-Repin_Cossacks.jpg”/>

    Cossacks (Ukrainian: Козаки́, Kozaky; Russian: Казаки́, Kazaki; Polish: Kozacy) are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of military communities in Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the historical development of those nations. They continue to exist in Russia, Ukraine and other post-Soviet states. Their origins are disputed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q-OzsOmi00#

    Towards the end of the 15th century, the Ukrainian Cossacks formed the Zaporozhian Sich centered around the fortified Dnipro islands. Initially a vassal of Poland-Lithuania, the increasing social and religious pressure from the Commonwealth caused them to proclaim an independent Cossack Hetmanate, initiating by a rebellion under Bohdan Khmelnytsky in the mid-17th century. Afterwards, the Treaty of Pereyaslav brought most of the Ukrainian Cossack state under Russian control for the next 300 years.

    The Don Cossack Host, which had been established by the 16th century, allied itself with the 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 (see Yermak Timofeyevich), the Yaik and the Terek Rivers. By the 18th century, Cossack hosts in the Russian Empire served as buffer zones on her borders. However, the expansionist ambitions of the empire relied on ensuring the loyalty of Cossacks, which caused tension with their traditional independent lifestyle. In the 17th and 18th centuries this resulted in rebellions led by Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin and Yemelyan Pugachev. In extreme cases, whole Hosts could be dissolved, as was the fate of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775. By the end of the 18th century, Cossacks were transformed into a special social estate (Sosloviye); they served as border guards on national and internal ethnic borders (as was in the case in the Caucasus War) and regularly supplied men to conflicts such as the numerous Russo-Turkish Wars. In return, they enjoyed vast social autonomy. This caused them to form a stereotypical portrayal of 19th century Russian Empire abroad and her government domestically.

    During the Russian Civil War, Cossack regions became centres for the Anti-Bolshevik White movement, a portion of whom would form the White emigration. The Don and Kuban Cossacks even formed short-lived independent states in their respective territories. With the victory of the Red Army, the Cossack lands were subjected to famine, and suffered extensive repressions. During the Second World War, Cossacks fought for both the Soviet Union and for Nazi Germany. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cossack lifestyle and its ideas have made a return in Russia. Special Cossack units exist in the Russian Military, while Cossacks also have a parallel civil administration and police duties in their home territories that have become an integral part of contemporary society. There are Cossack organizations in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other countries.

    [img width=700 height=477]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Kozak_na_stanowisku.jpg”/>

    It is not clear when the Slavic people started settling in the lower reaches of major rivers such as the Don and the Dnieper. It is unlikely it could have happened before the 13th century, when the Mongols broke the power of the Bulgars on that territory. It is known that they inherited a lifestyle that persisted there long before, such as those of the Turkic Cumans and the Circassian Kassaks . That fact seems even more probable considering that the family of Mstislav, the Prince of Tmutarakan was already closely assimilated with the local Circassian population of the eastern Black Sea coast.

    Proto-Cossack groups very likely came into existence within the territories of today's Ukraine in the mid-13th century as the Golden Horde in influence grew weak. In the midst of the growing Moscow and Lithuanian powers, new political entities had appeared in the region such as Moldavia and Crimean Khanate. In 1261 some Slavic people living in the area between the Dniester and the Volga were mentioned in Ruthenian chronicles. Historical records of the Cossacks before the 16th century are scant as the history of the Ukrainian lands in that period for various reasons. It is known that Don Cossacks, in 1380, gave the icon of the Virgin Mary to the Dmitry Donskoy.[citation needed] In the 15th century, the Cossack society was described as a loose federation of independent communities, often forming local armies, entirely independent from the neighbouring states (of, e.g., Poland, Grand Duchy of Moscow or the Khanate of Crimea).[9] According to Hrushevsky the first mentioning of cossacks could be found already in 14th century, however they were either of Turkic or undefined origin. He states that they (cossacks) could have been descendants from the Berlad territory (today in Romania) that was part of the Grand Duchy of Halych, brodniki, or even the long forgotten antes. Cossacks were a sort of a self-defense formations organized against various raids conducting by neighbors. Already in 1492 the Crimean Khan was complaining that the Kiev and Cherkasy cossacks attacked his ship near Tighina (Bender) and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander I promised to find the guilty among the cossacks. Sometime in the beginning of 16th century there have appeared the old Ukrainian Ballad of Cossack Holota about a cossack near Kiliya.

    By the 16th century these Cossack societies merged into two independent territorial organisations as well as other smaller, still detached groups.

        * The Cossacks of Zaporizhia, centered around 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 State, on the river Don, separated from the Grand Duchy of Moscow by the Nogai states, vassals of the Ottoman Empire. The capital of the Don Cossack State was Cherkassk, later moved to Novocherkassk.

    Less well-known are the Polish Cossacks (Kozacy) and the Tatar Cossacks (Nağaybäklär). The term 'Cossacks' was also used for a type of light cavalry in the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

    [img width=469 height=700]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Bohdan_Chmielnicki_z_Tuhaj_Bejem_pod_Lwowem_Matejko.JPG”/>

    The native land of the Cossacks is defined by a line of Russian/Ruthenian town-fortresses located on the border with the steppe and stretching from the middle Volga to Ryazan and Tula, then breaking abruptly to the south and extending to the Dnieper via Pereyaslavl. This area was settled by a population of free people practicing various trades and crafts.

    These people, constantly facing the Tatar warriors on the steppe frontier, received the Turkic name Cossacks (Kazaks), which was then extended to other free people in northern Russia. The oldest reference in the annals mentions Cossacks of the Russian city of Ryazan serving the city in the battle against the Tatars in 1444. In the 16th century, the 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 (source Vasily Klyuchevsky, The course of the Russian History, vol.2).

    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 carried out sentry and patrol duties, observing Crimean Tatars and nomads of the Nogai Horde in the steppe region.

    The most popular weapons used by Cossack cavalrymen were usually sabres, or shashka, and long spears.

    Russian Cossacks played a key role in the expansion of the Russian Empire into Siberia (particularly by Yermak Timofeyevich), the Caucasus and Central Asia in the period from the 16th to 19th centuries. 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 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).

    During Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, Cossacks were the Russian soldiers most feared by the French troops. Napoleon himself stated "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."[15] 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 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.

    Western Europeans had had few contacts with Cossacks before the Allies occupied Paris in 1814. As the most exotic of the Russian troops seen in France, Cossacks drew a great deal of attention and notoriety for their alleged excesses during Napoleon's 1812 campaign.

    Here's an old Cossack from Ukraine, he was here playing in Zagreb, Croatia few years ago…
    image

    Anyway what i wanted to ask, if Lenka as a Russian could clear it up, do present day Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks (if there's any actually really left) consider themselves as a separate group from other Russians and Ukrainians? Because i heard that before, in the times of White Russia, they were highly respected by the Royal family and they were treated as a separate privileged group inside White Russia, and that by some records Cossack communities even had the highest percentage of literacy in Russia.
    Do they actually Cossacks in general see themselves as a separate ethnicity inside those two countries? And are they a dying breed or is their actually still a lot of people in Ukraine and Russia that have Cossack ancestry?

    #354532

    Anonymous

    Important also to note which ones. Kuban cossacks still exist to this day. In fact, many fought as volunteers on Serbian side in Yugoslav wars and many also fought in Caucasus wars against Georgians and Chechens.

    Don Cossacks were mostly exterminated by Stalin, to my knowledge, for siding with Germany, so I doubt many remain.
    Zaporozhian Cossacks were disbanded under Russian Empire rule, so there are none left today.

    Kuban Cossacks of today:

    [img width=700 height=466]http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/9264085.jpg”/>

    image

    image

    image

    image

    #354533

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Important also to note which ones. Kuban cossacks still exist to this day. In fact, many fought as volunteers on Serbian side in Yugoslav wars and many also fought in Caucasus wars against Georgians and Chechens.

    Don Cossacks were mostly exterminated by Stalin, to my knowledge, for siding with Germany, so I doubt many remain.
    Zaporozhian Cossacks were disbanded under Russian Empire rule, so there are none left today.

    Cossacks weren't exterminated, there was a de-cossacization during SSSR, actually it was an attempt to place cossacks under the Soviet influence and make them a part of the "soviet" heritage. They were the enemies of the communist ideology because they have been the supporters of the White Russia in Russian civil war and October Revolution 1918–1921. They were the essential part of the White movement, supporters of Russian royal family and members of White Army, so they were the natural enemies to the Red army.

    That's why in ww2 there were a lot of Cossacks that sided with Germans, but then again there was "artificial" Cossacks under the Soviet army as Soviets wanted to "steal" their identity and place it in Soviet sphere.

    #354534

    Anonymous

    I wasn't referring to Civil War, but to after WWII. Didn't many, if not all Don Cossacks get arrested and executed by Stalin?

    #354535

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I wasn't referring to Civil War, but to after WWII. Didn't many, if not all Don Cossacks get arrested and executed by Stalin?

    I think they were because they opposed the Bolsheviks. Thought not sure.

    #354536

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Important also to note which ones. Kuban cossacks still exist to this day. In fact, many fought as volunteers on Serbian side in Yugoslav wars and many also fought in Caucasus wars against Georgians and Chechens.

    Don Cossacks were mostly exterminated by Stalin, to my knowledge, for siding with Germany, so I doubt many remain.
    Zaporozhian Cossacks were disbanded under Russian Empire rule, so there are none left today.

    Kuban Cossacks of today:

    image

    Reminds me of our warriors here in the south. The Yugoslav Army, fought for the liberation of Yugoslavia in the WW2 against the Fascists (Germans, Croats, Bosniaks/Muslims and Albanians) and Communist terrorist. For King and Fatherland, Freedom or Death was their motto. The communist, that were more organized with great SSSR support, eventually won.

    They are still used to scare little Croatian and Bosniak children, if they didn't eat all their cabbage :) It also became a prejorative for all Serbs in the Croatian and Bosniak population, "a wild bearded wolf-man that can eat a whole pig and drinks rakija instead of water."

    [img width=700 height=504]http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/6717/kalabic1uq0.jpg”/>
    [img width=525 height=700]http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/9827/s391mp5.jpg”/>

    Hehe, those beards do like each other alot, they meet every couple of years to eat and drink. Here cossack and chetniks meet on Ravna Gora, Serbia.

    image

    Cossacks and Serb way of living was pretty similar throughout the ages. Here a depiction of Serbs in the work of Pavle Jovanovic (Serb migrations)

    [img width=700 height=480]https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/40771/HIL_ENICH_VID_2_34.jpg”/>

    #354537

    Anonymous
    Quote:

    Quote:
    Important also to note which ones. Kuban cossacks still exist to this day. In fact, many fought as volunteers on Serbian side in Yugoslav wars and many also fought in Caucasus wars against Georgians and Chechens.

    Don Cossacks were mostly exterminated by Stalin, to my knowledge, for siding with Germany, so I doubt many remain.
    Zaporozhian Cossacks were disbanded under Russian Empire rule, so there are none left today.

    Kuban Cossacks of today:

    image

    Reminds me of our warriors here in the south. The Yugoslav Army, fought for the liberation of Yugoslavia in the WW2 against the Fascists (Germans, Croats, Bosniaks/Muslims and Albanians) and Communist terrorist. For King and Fatherland, Freedom or Death was their motto. The communist, that were more organized with great SSSR support, eventually won.

    They are still used to scare little Croatian and Bosniak children, if they didn't eat all their cabbage :) It also became a prejorative for all Serbs in the Croatian and Bosniak population, "a wild bearded wolf-man that can eat a whole pig and drinks rakija instead of water."

    [img width=700 height=504]http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/6717/kalabic1uq0.jpg”/>
    [img width=525 height=700]http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/9827/s391mp5.jpg”/>

    Hehe, those beards do like each other alot, they meet every couple of years to eat and drink. Here cossack and chetniks meet on Ravna Gora, Serbia.

    image

    Cossacks and Serb way of living was pretty similar throughout the ages. Here a depiction of Serbs in the work of Pavle Jovanovic (Serb migrations)

    [img width=700 height=480]https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/40771/HIL_ENICH_VID_2_34.jpg”/>

    You know, I never noticed it, but indeed there is some similarities between Chetniks and certain Cossacks.

    Could it perhaps be from times in late 19th Century, when Russian Empire helped local Romanian, Serbian and Bulgarian armies crush Turks in Balkan campaigns? Or do Chetniks (or some old equivalent) exist since times before Russians came?

    Either way, I would not like to mess with either of them (2m X 2m mountain of a man with big moustache and beard who drinks more than fish does) .

    #354538

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I think they were because they opposed the Bolsheviks. Thought not sure.

    They did indeed, already since day one. Don cossacks rode on side of Polish army in 1919-1920 Polish-Soviet War.
    They them we are always also grateful!

    #354539

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    You know, I never noticed it, but indeed there is some similarities between Chetniks and certain Cossacks.

    Could it perhaps be from times in late 19th Century, when Russian Empire helped local Romanian, Serbian and Bulgarian armies crush Turks in Balkan campaigns? Or do Chetniks (or some old equivalent) exist since times before Russians came?

    Either way, I would not like to mess with either of them (2m X 2m mountain of a man with big moustache and beard who drinks more than fish does) ;).

    The beard growth tradition among Chetniks dates back from when Serbian royal family escaped out of Serbia because of occupation, thus Chetnik Royalist started to grow their beards pledging they'll shave them when the Royal family returns back to their country.

    #354540

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    The beard growth tradition among Chetniks dates back from when Serbian royal family escaped out of Serbia because of occupation, thus Chetnik Royalist started to grow their beards pledging they'll shave them when the Royal family returns back to their country.

    Ah, interesting. I did not know about this. Thanks!

    #354541

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    You know, I never noticed it, but indeed there is some similarities between Chetniks and certain Cossacks.

    Could it perhaps be from times in late 19th Century, when Russian Empire helped local Romanian, Serbian and Bulgarian armies crush Turks in Balkan campaigns? Or do Chetniks (or some old equivalent) exist since times before Russians came?

    Either way, I would not like to mess with either of them (2m X 2m mountain of a man with big moustache and beard who drinks more than fish does) ;).

    Chetnik is a Slavic word for troopers, meaning the same as guerilla or partisan (in Czech I think it means policeman).

    The tradition existed earlier, much earlier, it originated in the uprisings against the Ottomans. The Serbian Gusars could be an equivalent of such, Gusar means Raider in Serbian. The term fell synonym to Hajduk, Gusar kept itself in seashore regions, for sea raiders – pirates.

    ** the article is about Hussars in general, for Gusars one should scroll down a bit

    #354542

    Anonymous

    True Cossacks don't exist anymore, basically Cossackdom died when the Zaporizhzhyan Sich was destroyed under Moscovian rule – everything else is nothing but just imitation. However, nowadays there are some serious attempts in Ukraine to revive true Cossackdom.

    #354543

    Anonymous

    I've noticed over the years that some mistake Cossack with Kazakh – the Cossacks were not Turkic Nomads and second the Kazakh people (and the Khanates encompassing the modern state's region) were never annexed into the Russian Empire until the late 1890s-1910…  Similiar pronunciation but the two had nothing in common.

    Contemporary historiography (Marxian influenced to an extent) seems to regard the Cossacks as being heterogenous and (western) historians tend to emphasize the peasant contribution (socio-economic / class warfare) to the Khmelnytsky Uprising. 

    The Cossacks were the original cowboys and they fought for freedom.  Had the Cossacks been successful, they would had created a Hetmanate Republic with a constitution in the 1650s and the end result would have been closer to the Ruthenian ideal (Moscow was the one, albeit successful, exception – all other Ruthenian states like Novgorod Republic, Polotsk and Pskow were populist republics)

    #354544

    Anonymous

    Hetmanate was realy rich and intellectual state, if we can say that it was state. To bad Russian Empire destroyed Zaporizhian Host. Just imagine how powerful Ukraine would be now.

    #354545

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Hetmanate was realy rich and intellectual state, if we can say that it was state. To bad Russian Empire destroyed Zaporizhian Host. Just imagine how powerful Ukraine would be now.

    And who is to blame that the Zaporozhian Sich was disbanded… a Serb  :)


      [li]

    Under his command, Zaporozhian Cossacks were disbanded and subjugated to the Imperial authority in 1775, without spilling a single drop of blood, for which he received the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky from Empress Catherine the Great. He retired in 1790, and died two years later in his mansion at Novomirgorod.[/li]

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