Cossacks (Ukrainian: козаки́, koza'ki
- Russian: каза́ки, ka'zaki), are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who became known as members of democratic, semi-military and semi-naval communities, predominantly located in Ukraine and in Southern Russia. They inhabited sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper, Don, Terek, and Ural river basins and played an important role in the historical and cultural development of both Russia and Ukraine.
The origins of the first Cossacks are disputed, though the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk claimed Khazar origin. The traditional post-imperial historiography dates the emergence of Cossacks to the 14th or 15th centuries, when two connected groups emerged, the Zaporozhian Sich of the Dnieper and the Don Cossack Host.
The Zaporizhian Sich were a vassal people of Poland–Lithuania during feudal times. Under increasing social and religious pressure from the 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 brought most of the Ukrainian Cossack state under Russian rule. The Sich with its lands became an autonomous region under the Russian-Polish protectorate.
The Don Cossack Host, which had been established by the 16th century, allied 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), and the Yaik and the Terek Rivers. Cossack communities had developed along the latter two rivers well before the arrival of the Don Cossacks.
By the 18th century, Cossack hosts in the 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, democratic self-rule, and independence. Cossacks, such as Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin, Ivan Mazepa, and 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 by ruthless executions and tortures, the destruction of the western part of the Don Cossack Host during the Bulavin Rebellion in 1707–1708, the destruction of Baturyn after Mazepa's rebellion in 1708, and the formal dissolution of the Lower Dnieper Zaporozhian Host in 1775, after Pugachev's Rebellion.
By the end of the 18th century, Cossack nations had been transformed into a special military estate (Sosloviye), "a military class". Similar to the knights of medieval Europe in feudal times, the 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. 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, Caucasus War, numerous Russo-Turkish Wars, and the First World War. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Tsarist regime used Cossacks extensively to perform police service (for example, both to prevent pogroms and to suppress the revolutionary movement, especially in 1905–7). 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 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, and the Kuban People's Republic. The Cossack troops formed the effective core of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, and Cossack republics became centers for the Anti-Bolshevik White movement. With the victory of the Red Army, the Cossack lands were subjected to Decossackization and the man-made famine of 1932–33 (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 and Yugoslav Wars. In Russia's 2010 Population Census, Cossacks have been recognized as an ethnicity. There are Cossack organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Poland, and the United States.
Vassmer's etymological dictionary traces the name to an Old East Slavic козакъ, kozak, originally from Cuman Cosac - a free man (in the Latin translation of this word in the Codex) or a freed man (in the Arabic translation).
In written sources the name first attested in Codex Cumanicus from the 13th century. The English word is attested from 1590, an Irish surname Cossack has existed since 12th century. The ethnonym Kazakh is from the same Turkic root.
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 after the demise of the Khazar state. It is unlikely it could have happened before the 13th century, when the Mongols broke the power of the Cumans, which 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 and the Circassian Kassaks. However, Slavic settlements in Southern Ukraine started to appear relatively early during the Cuman rule, with the earliest ones, like Tsiurupynsk, dating back to 11th century.
Early "Proto-Cossack" groups are generally reported to have come into existence within the present-day Ukraine in the mid-13th century as the influence of Cumans grew weak, though some have ascribed their origins to as early as the tenth century. Some historians suggest that the Cossack people were of mixed ethnic origins, descending from Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Turks, Tatars, and others who settled or passed through the vast Steppe. However some Turkologists argue that Cossacks are descendants of native Cumans of Ukraine, who lived there long ago before the Mongol invasion.
In the midst of the growing Moscow and Lithuanian powers, new political entities had appeared in the region such as Moldavia and the 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.
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, the Grand Duchy of Moscow or the Khanate of Crimea).Cite error: Closing
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At the same time 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.
Culture and organization
In early times, Cossack bands were commanded by an ataman (later called hetman). 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 are led by Atamans, and Ukrainian by Hetmans.
After the split of Ukraine along the Dnieper River by the Polish-Russian Treaty of Andrusovo, 1667, Ukrainian 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 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).
Each Cossack settlement, alone or in conjunction with neighboring settlements, formed military units and regiments of light cavalry (or mounted infantry, for Siberian Cossacks). They could respond to a threat on very short notice.
Russian Cossacks founded numerous settlements (called stanitsas) and fortresses along troublesome borders. These included forts Verny (Almaty, Kazakhstan) in south Central Asia; 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 settled in China as early as 1685.
Cossacks interacted with nearby peoples, and exchanged cultural influences (for example, the 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. War brides brought from distant lands were also common in Cossack families. 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 1904–1905; he was adopted and raised by a Cossack family.
Cossack family values as expressed in 21st century Russia are simple, rigid, and seem very traditional compared to 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 form the bedrock of their beliefs.
Cossacks, particularly those in rural areas, tend to have more children than most other peoples in Russia. Rural 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 the male 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 neighboring villages composed of other ethnic groups. The writer Leo Tolstoy described such Cossack feminism in his Cossacks novel.
Sergei Korolev's mother was the daughter of a leader of the civil estate of the Zaporozhian Sich. She reportedly joked that men could be real Cossack family leaders in outer space only. When Malorossian Cossack regiments had been disbanded, those Cossacks who were not promoted to nobility or did not join other estates were united into a civil Cossack estate, like Korolev's mother family.
Cossacks have long appealed to romantics as idealizing freedom and resistance to external authority, and their military exploits against their enemies have contributed to this favourable image.
For others they have been a symbol of repression because of the role of various horsemen crying "Cossacks" to cheer up themselves and to frighten people in suppressing popular uprisings in the Russian Empire and their actions during the Khmelnytsky Uprising.
Literary reflections of Cossack culture abound in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish literatures, particularly in the works of Nikolai Gogol's Taras Bulba, Taras Shevchenko, Mikhail Sholokhov, Henryk Sienkiewicz's book With Fire and Sword. One of Leo Tolstoy's first novellas, The Cossacks, depicts their autonomy and estrangement from Moscow and centralized rule. Most of Polish Romantic literature deals with themes about the Cossacks. (Roman Catholics especially Poles could be Zaporozhian Cossacks up to 1635. A lot of landless Polish Schlahta converted into Orthodox Catholics to divide the lands of Russian Schlahta together with Cossacks during the Khmelnitsky's uprising. After this Cossacks used to convert Poles, especially Polish children, into Orthodox Catholics to turn them into Cossacks. Many Polish and Polish Jewish children were adopted into Cossack families. All Poles captured with arms in 1812-1814 campaign were enlisted in Cossack Hosts for 25 years, though without their obligation to convert into Orthodox Catholics now. Moreover, those who converted into Orthodox Catholics might escape of the Cossack service and of any other exile. Polish Cossack became synonymous with a Polish Roman Catholic patriot since 1814 thus. Even Marshal Rokossovsky commanded a Kuban Cossack bridage in the Soviet Army.)
Cossacks are also portrayed 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 of the stories by adventure writer Harold Lamb, the main character is a Cossack.
In Ukraine, where the Cossackdom represents historical and cultural heritage, some people have been attempting to recreate the images of Ukrainian Cossacks. Traditional Ukrainian culture is often tied in with the Cossacks, and the Ukrainian government actively supports these attempts. The traditional Cossack Bulava is one of its national symbols, and the island of the Khortytsia, where the Zaporozhian Sich once existed, has been restored.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many have begun seeing Russian Cossacks as defenders of Russian sovereignty. Cossacks not only reestablished all of their hosts, they also took over police and even administrative duties in their homelands. The Russian military also took advantage of the patriotic feelings among the Cossacks and as the hosts become larger and more organised, has in past turned over some of its surplus technology to them. On par with that, the Cossacks also play a large cultural role in the South of Russia. Since the whole rural ethnic Russian population of the Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Stavropol territories, as well as the Autonomous republics of the Northern Caucasus, considers themselves consisting almost exclusively of at least spiritual Cossack descendants, the region was always known, even in the Soviet times for its high discipline, low crime and conservative views, like having one of the highest rates of religious attendance and literacy rates.
In the Russian Empire, the Cossacks were organized into several voiskos (hosts), which lived along the Russian border, or internal borders between Russian and non-Russian peoples. Each host had its own leadership and regalia as well as 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 recognized 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|
|Mladshy Uryadnik||Mladshy Serzhant||Corporal|
|Starshy Uryadnik||Starshy Serzhant||Senior Sergeant|
|Mladshy Vakhmistr||Mladshy Praporshik*||Junior Warrant Officer|
|Starshy Vakhmistr||Starshy Praporshchik||Senior Warrant Officer|
|Podkhorunzhy||Mladshy Leitenant*||Junior Lieutenant|
|Sotnik||Starshy Leitenant||Senior Lieutenant|
*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 batches are becoming increasingly rare.
In addition, the supreme ataman of the largest Don Cossack Host is officially titled as marshal, and so wears insignia that is derived from the Russian/Soviet marshal ranks, including the diamond Marshal Star. This is because the Don Cossack Supreme 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.
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. 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. The two Caucasian Hosts wore high fleece caps on most occasions, together with black felt cloaks (burke) in bad weather.
Until 1909, Cossack regiments in summer wore white blouses 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 served as cavalry, several of the larger hosts had infantry and artillery units. Four regiments of 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 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 (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 or Tunic||Beshmet||Trousers||Fleece Hat||Shoulder Straps|
|Don Cossacks||1570||blue tunic||blue||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 Cossacks||1864||black cherkesska||red||grey||red crown||red|
|Orenburg Cossacks||1744||green tunic||none||green with light blue stripes||light blue crown||light blue|
|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 V.K. Shenk, published by the Imperial Russian War Ministry 1910–11.
Modern-day Russian Cossack identity
Ethnic or "born" (prirodnye) Cossacks are those who can trace, or claim to trace, their ancestry to people and families identified as Cossacks in the Tsarist era. They tend to be Christian, practicing as Orthodox Catholics 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 refer to the re-enactors as ryazhenye (ряженые, or "dressed up phonies").
Because of the lack of consensus on how to define Cossacks, accurate numbers of the people are not available.
Russia's Population Census 2010 states that there are 67,573 ethnic Cossacks.
- Cossacks lived along major rivers -- Dnieper, Don, Volga, Terek, Ural, Amur -- and had excellent naval capabilities and skills-- they were excellent fishermen and sea merchants in peaceful times and executed expert naval service in war times. Cossacks combined features of US cowboys, US cavalry, and the US Navy.
- R.P. Magocsi, A History of Ukraine, pp. 179–181
- Count Leo Tolstoy, a noted author, wrote "that all Russian history has been made by Cossacks. No wonder Europeans call all of us that...Our people as a whole wishes to be Cossacks."
- In the 19th century, Peter V. Golubovsky of Kiev University explained that the Severians made up a significant part of early medieval Russians and Khazars. He described the Khazar state as the "Slavic stronghold in the East". Many Khazars, like Cossacks, as described in Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy, could be Slavic-Turkic bilinguals. *(Russian) Golubovsky Peter V. (1884) Pechenegs, Torks and 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 in DjVu format. Later Mikhail Artamonov and his school confirmed many of Golubovsky's conclusions.
- The connection is in part supported by old Cossack ethonyms such as kazara (Russian: казара), kazarla (Russian: казарла), kozarlyhi(Ukrainian language: козарлюги ), kazare (Russian: казарре); cf. N. D. Gostev, "About the use of "Kazarа" and other derivative words," Kazarla ethnic magazine, 2010, №1. (link) The name of Khazars in Old Russian chronicles is kozare (Ukrainian language: козаре ).
- The Don Host and the Sich region had close ties, and both Hosts participated in numerous joint war expeditions. The best known is Azov Sitting, when Don and Zaporozhian Cossacks took over the Azov fortress and defended it with the aid of volunteers for 5 years against Turkish armed forces. A permanent exchange of 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 Dniepr regions, for example, Novocherkassk city and Starocherkasskaya stanitsa in the Don region, and Cherkasy city in Ukraine. Moscovite chronicles use the exonym Cherkasy to refer to both enemy Cossacks (from Polish, Turk, and Tatar armies) and Dnieper Cossacks, even when the latter were allied with Moscow. The Lower Dnieper (Zaporozhian) Cossacks often referred to Higher Dnieper (Malorussian) Cossacks as Cherkasy as well.
- From Tak to Yes: Understanding the East Europeans, Yale Richmond, Intercultural Press, 1995, p. 294
- Андрусовский мир 1667 http://historydoc.edu.ru/catalog.asp?cat_ob_no=15249&ob_no=16146
- "Don River – History and economy", Encyclopedia Britannica
- Andrew Gordeyev. The History of Cossacks, Moscow, 1992
- See, for example, Executions of 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 to forget the men and their rebellions. At the same time the Empire formally dissolved the Lower Dnieper Zaporozhian Cossack Host and destroyed their fortress (the Sich per se) on Dnieper, perhaps in part due to the participation of some Zaporozhians and other Ukrainian exiles in Pugachev's rebellion. During his campaign, Pugachev issued manifests to restore all borders and freedoms of both the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Lower Dnieper (Nizovy in Russian) Cossack Host under the joint protectorate of Russia and the Commonwealth.
- The Malorussian 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 served with other people in the Navy only.
- Their use to suppress pogroms is reflected in a story by a prominent Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem, titled "A Wedding Without Musicians", which describes how a Jewish shtetl in Ukraine is aided by a Cossack unit that disperses a pogrom by the local mob. See Шолом Алейхем, "Быть бы свадьбе, да музыки не нашлось", Гослитиздат, Moscow, 1961..
- "РГ + Россия 24: Росстат об итогах Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года — "Вот какие мы - россияне" — Российская газета — Росстат об итогах Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года". Rg.ru. http://rg.ru/2011/12/16/stat.html. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Конгресс Казаков в Америке | Рассеяны но не расторгнуты". Kazaksusa.com. http://www.kazaksusa.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Этническое казачье объединение Казарла". Kazarla.ru. http://www.kazarla.ru. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Вольная Станица". Fstanitsa.ru. http://www.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.
- "Cossacks". Encyclopediaofukraine.com. http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pages\C\O\Cossacks.htm. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Казак // Этимологический словарь Фасмера
- "Online Etymology Dictionary". http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Cossack.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Article Cossack
- Iaroslav Lebedynsky, Histoire des Cosaques Ed Terre Noire, p38
- 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 and Volga as described for the first time in Russian chronicles.
- Samuel J Newland, Cossacks in the German Army, 1941–1945, Routledge, 1991, ISBN 0-7146-3351-8
- "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, […]." (Karl Friedrich Neumann, the People of southern Russia in its historical evolution, BG Teubner, Leipzig 1855, p.132.)
- Russian nations
- "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. neighboring (settlers -Edit.) in Gor'kaya Liniya, Cossacks ... everyone learnt Kyrgys language and adopted some, harmless though, habits of nomadic folks." quote from Report of Governor-General Kaznakov to Tzar Alexander III, 1875.
- Богаевский А.П. Ледяной поход. Воспоминания 1918 г.
- "Russia's Cossacks rise again :: Russia's Cossacks rise again". news.bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 2007-08-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6937562.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, Yablor blog
- Milovidov, Bessonov. Polish prisoners of war in 1812-1814. http://adjudant.ru/captive/bes06.htm
- "Казаки и "ряженые"". http://info.sibnet.ru/?id=294328.
- Boris Almazov, Cossack Tragedy, Boris Almazov website
- The Cossacks are listed as a sub-ethnic minority group of Russians, along with Pomory, another kind of Slavic minority 
- Knotel, Richard, Knotel, Herbert, & Sieg Herbert (1980) Uniforms of the World: A compendium of Army, Navy and Air Force uniforms 1700–1937, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York
- 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 0-7190-7680-3
- H. Havelock, The Cossacks in the Early Seventeenth Century, English Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 50 (Apr., 1898), pp. 242–260, JSTOR
- "The Cossack Corps", General der Flieger Hellmuth Felmy, US Army Historical Division, Hailer Publishing, 2007
- Le Fiamme di Zaporoze -Flames of Zaporoze – Novel on Zaporozhian cossacks of hetman Ivan Mazepa. ISBN 88-6155-268-4
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cossacks.|
|Look up Cossacks in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Cossack Site – eng., rus., spa., fre.
- Cossackdom.com – history of Cossacks XV-XXI cent.
- Cossacks during the Napoleonic Wars
- Zaporizhian Cossacks
- History of Ukrainian Cossacks at Encyclopedia of Ukraine
- Soviet 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 in America
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