History of the CossaksEdit
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Template:CossacksCossacks (Template:Lang-ru, Template:Lang-uk, Template:Lang, Template:Lang-be, Template:Lang-pl, Czecho-Slovak: Template:Lang, Template:Lang-hu[nb 1]) 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 and in South-Eastern Ukraine. 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 Ukraine and Russia.
The origins of the first Cossacks are disputed, though the 1710 Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk claimed Khazar origin.[nb 2] The emergence of Cossacks is dated to the 14th or 15th centuries, when two connected groups emerged, the Zaporozhian Sich of the Dnieper and the Don Cossack Host.[nb 3]
The 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 Cossack state under Russian rule. The Sich with its lands became an autonomous region under the Russian-Polish protectorate.
Template:Multiple issues Template:Cossacks The history of the Cossacks spans several centuries. 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 (Ural) 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, democracy, 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 with ruthless executions and tortures, the destruction of the western part of the Don Cossack Host during the Bulavin Rebellion in 1707–08, the destruction of Baturyn after Mazepa's rebellion in 1708,[nb 4] and the formal dissolution of the Lower Dnieper Zaporozhian Host in 1775, after Pugachev's Rebellion.[nb 5]
By the end of the 18th century Cossack nations had been transformed into a special military estate (Sosloviye), "a military class".[nb 6] Similar to the knights of medieval Europe in feudal times or the tribal Roman auxiliaries, 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.[nb 7] 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 War, numerous Russo-Persian Wars, 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.[nb 8] 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. 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 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, some people reported their ethnicity as Cossacks.Template:Cn There are Cossack organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus and the United States. Template:EngvarB Template:Use dmy dates Template:Cossacks Template:See also
The Zaporozhian Cossacks, Zaporozhian Cossack Army, Zaporozhian Host (Template:Lang-uk, Template:Lang-ru) or simply Zaporozhians (Template:Lang-uk, Template:Lang-ru, Template:Lang-pl, Template:Lang-cs) were Cossacks who lived beyond the rapids of the Dnieper River, the land also known under the historical term Wild Fields in today's Central Ukraine. Today much of its territory is flooded by the waters of Kakhovka Reservoir.
The Zaporizhian Sich grew rapidly in the 15th century from serfs fleeing the more controlled parts of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It became established as a well-respected political entity with a parliamentary system of government. During the course of the 16th, 17th and well into the 18th century, the Zaporozhian Cossacks became a strong political and military force that challenged the authority of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Tsardom of Russia, and the Crimean Khanate.
The Host went through a series of conflicts and alliances involving the three powers, including supporting an uprising in the 18th century. Their leader signed a treaty with the Russians. This group was forcibly disbanded in the late 18th century by the Russian Empire, with most of the population relocated to the Kuban region in the South edge of the Russian Empire. The Cossacks served a valuable role of conquering the Caucasian tribes and in return enjoyed considerable freedom granted by the Tsars.
The name Zaporozhtsi comes from the location of their fortress, the Sich, in Zaporozhia, the ‘land beyond the rapids’ (from Ukrainian za ‘beyond’ and poróhy ‘river rapids’).
Registered Cossacks became a military formation of the Commonwealth army beginning in 1572 soon after the Union of Lublin (1569), when most of the territory of modern Ukraine passed to the Crown of Poland. Registered Cossack formations were based on the Zaporozhian Cossacks who already lived on the lower reaches of the Dnieper River amidst the Pontic steppes as well as on self-defense formations within settlements in the region of modern Central and Southern Ukraine. Template:Original research Template:Use dmy dates Template:EngvarB Template:Infobox ethnic group Template:Cossacks Don Cossacks (Template:Lang-ru) are Cossacks who settled along the middle and lower Don. Historically, they have been located within what was the Don Cossack Host (Template:Lang-ru, Vsevelikoye Voysko Donskoye), which was either an independent or an autonomous democratic republic in the present-day Southern Russia and the Donbass region of Ukraine, from the end of the 16th century until 1918. As of 1992, by the presidential decree of the Russian Federation, Cossacks can be enrolled on a special register. A number of Cossack communities have been reconstituted to further the Cossack cultural traditions, including those of the Don Cossack Host.
Don Cossacks have had a rich military tradition, playing an important part in the historical development of the Russian Empire and participating in most of its major wars. Template:EngvarB Template:Use dmy dates Template:Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks (Template:Lang-ru, Kubanskiye Kаzaki; Template:Lang-uk, Kubans'ki Kozaky) or Kubanians (кубанцы, кубанці) are Cossacks who live in the Kuban region of Russia. Most of the Kuban Cossacks are descendants of two major groups of Cossacks who were re-settled to the western Northern Caucasus in the late 18th century. The western part of the host (Taman Peninsula and adjoining region to the northeast) was settled by the Black Sea Cossack Host who were originally the Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine, from 1792. The eastern and southeastern part of the host was previously administered by the Khopyour and Kuban regiments of the Caucasus Line Cossack Host, who were re-settled from the Don from 1777.
The Kuban Cossack Host (Кубанское казачье войско), the administrative and military unit composed of Kuban Cossacks, formed in 1860 and existed until 1918. During the Russian Civil War, the Kuban Cossacks proclaimed a Kuban People's Republic, and played a key role in the southern theatre of the conflict. The Kuban Cossacks suffered heavy losses during the Holodomor and the subsequent Soviet extermination of Russians and Ukrainians and their culture in the Kuban region. Hence, during the Second World War, Cossacks fought both for both the Red Army and against them with the German Wehrmacht. The modern Kuban Cossack Host was re-established in 1990 at the fall of the Soviet Union. Template:Cossacks
The Terek Cossack Host (Template:Lang-ru) was a Cossack host created in 1577 from free Cossacks who resettled from the Volga to the Terek River. The local aboriginal Terek Cossacks joined this Cossack host later. In 1792 it was included in the 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.
During the Time of Troubles in 1606 four thousand Terek Cossacks left for the Volga to support their own candidate for the Tsar, Ileyka Muromets. By 1614 the Rowers supported the new Romanov monarch and aided him in quelling the unrest in Astrakhan. In 1633 they destroyed the remnants of the Nogay Horde and a decade later aided the Don Cossacks against the Crimean Khanate in 1646. By the mid 17th century the Cossacks again expanded into the Sunzha where they built a new outpost in 1651. Two years later the outpost withstood a hailing attack by Kumyks and Dagestanis. Though the battle ensured the Tsar's respect, it was advised that the Cossacks pull down the outpost. In the 1670s the Terek Cossacks helped to defeat Stenka Razin in Astrakhan.
In 1680 after the Raskol in the Russian Orthodox Church reached the Don Cossacks, a number of Old Believers left the Don River and settled first on the Kuma and later on the Agrakhan. After the aid of the Terek and Rowing Cossacks to the Don Cossacks during the Azov Campaigns in 1695, the Ottoman Empire retaliated against the Terek Cossacks and in 1707 most of their outposts were destroyed on the right bank of the Terek.
In 1711 Graf Apraskin re-settled all of the Rowing Cossacks on the left bank of the Terek River, this move was met with resentment, and during the entire 18th century the Terek Cossacks would still inhabit the left bank and use the rich vineyards and lands right up until 1799. Also in 1720 the Rowers and Tereks were fully incorporated into the Russian Empire and during the Russo-Persian War (1722-1723), the Cossacks aided Peter I of Russia in his conquest of the eastern Dagestan and the capture of Derbent. During the campaign the 1000 re-settled Don Cossacks on the Agrakhan and the Sulak formed the Agrakhan Cossack Host (Аграханское Казачье Войско), which was united with the Terek Cossacks. In 1735 by a new agreement with Persia the Sulak line was abandoned, and Agrakhan Cossacks were re-settled on the lower Terek Delta, and the fort of Kizlyar was founded.
Thus in 1735 three hosts were formed: Grebenskoye (Гребенское Rowing) from the descendants of the earliest Cossacks, Tersko-Semeynoye (Терско-Семейное Terek-Family) from the re-settled Agrakhan Cossacks up to Kizlyar, and Tersko-Kizlyarskoye (Терско-Кизлярское Terek-Kizlyar) from the Agrakhan Cossacks as well as Armenians and Georgians. When the Kalmyks arrived in the northwestern Caspian a combined campaign was waged against Temryuk during the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739), where the Terek Cossacks were led by Atamans Auka and Petrov.
In 1736 and again in 1765 the right bank of the Terek, still nominally Cossack property, was offered to Chechens who wanted to adopt Russian patronage and re-settle there (noting that historically, the lands immediately north of the Terek river were indeed Chechen before the Mongol invasion and even to a degree after it, and the Chechen highlands were dependent on their agricultural production). By the latter half of the 18th century relations between the Cossacks and the Mountain people began to sour. In 1765 the outpost of Mozdok was founded, which became an immediate target for Kabardins who attacked the Terek line and Kizlyar. In 1771 Yemelyan Pugachev arrived in Terek, and, to show loyalty, Ataman Tatarintsev arrested him. Pugachev fled and the Pugachev Rebellion in 1772-1774 gained no support on the Terek.
Caucasus War (1770s-1860s)Edit
The Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) and the resulting Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca gave Russia the pretext under which they could begin their expansion into the Caucasus, marking the start of the century-long Caucasus War. In 1769-1770 almost half of the Volga Cossacks were re-settled around Mozdok. In 1776 further settlers arrived including more of the Volga Cossacks (the remaining Cossacks on the lower Volga were separated into the Astrakhan Cossacks Host) and the Khopyor Cossacks from the eastern Don territory. These formed the Azov-Mozdok defence line. Major foreposts for Russian expansion into the central Caucasus were founded by the re-settlers including: Giorgiyevsk in 1777 by the Khopyor regiment, and Vladikavkaz in 1784.
During this early phase several high-profile battles took place. In June 1774 Devlet-Girey sent a massive Kabardin Army against the Terek Cossacks, on 10-11 of June the stanitsa of Naurskaya was heroically defended against the invaders and in 1785 Kizlyar was defended against Sheikh Mansur. In 1788-91 the Terek Cossacks took part in three campaigns which took them to the Circassian port of Anapa in western Caucasus. The major gap in the western section of the line of defense was solved in 1792 when the Black Sea Cossacks were re-settled there.
The next three decades brought severe difficulties for the Russian effort in the Caucasus. After the joining of Georgia to Russia in 1801 and the subsequent Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), the Terek Cossacks spared some men and took part in combat under Yerevan, but on the whole most of them were in constant defence of their home lines. All this changed when in 1816 General Yermolov took command of the Caucasus army. Having by now secured major strategic footholds in most of the North Caucasus and Georgia following the last war fought with Persia and the resulting Treaty of Gulistan, he found himself able to make major adjustments. In 1818 he changed the Russian tactics from defensive to offensive and began building the Sunzha-Vladikavkaz line where strongholds such as Groznaya and Vnezapnaya were founded. Yermolov further reformed the whole structure of the Cossacks and in 1819 replaced elected Atamans with appointed commanders.
In Transcaucasia, Cossacks took part in the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829) where they participated in the Siege of Kars and other key battles. After Yermolov was recalled from the Caucasus, a new reform took place and the interim regiments in the central Caucasus were united with the three Hosts on the Terek to form the Caucasus Line Cossack Host (Кавказское линейное казачье войско, Kavkazskoye lineynoye kazachye voysko) in 1832, and the new Nakazny Ataman was named Peter Verzilin. Several reforms followed: In 1836 the Kizlyar and Family regiments were united and made responsible for the Terek Delta, and in 1837 a Malorossiyan (Little Russian) regiment (formed in 1831 to combat the November Uprising in Poland) was resettled on the upper Terek north of Vladikavkaz. In 1842 the regiment was incorporated into the Line host. This was followed by the formation of the Sunzha regiment with its Ataman Sleptsov.
By this point the Russian control in the Caucasus had improved, with the initiative firmly in the Cossack hands. Most of the battles took place in Chechen and Dagestani territories far away from Cossack homes. During the 1840s several successful expeditions were mounted deep into the mountains. The Line Cossacks participated in the Crimean War (1853–1856) and finally in the closing phase of the Russian advance against Shamil in 1859.
The arrival of the February and later the October Revolution caught most Cossacks on the front lines in Kurdistan. The unrequited mountainous peoples took full advantage of the crises, Chechens and Ingush on the Sunzha line wiping out several Cossack stanitsas. The Bolsheviks were able to establish themselves in Grozny and Vladikavkaz, though Denikin's Volunteer Army drove them out across the Caucasian lands to Astrakhan.
Although Cossacks did form a substantial part of Denikin's units, the Terek Cossacks were mostly involved in fighting the Caucasus insurgency against their traditional adversaries (Denikin's units became known among native Caucasians for their brutality and their association with the Cossacks)Template:Citation needed. In 1920 many Terek Cossacks were deported to Ukraine and the northern part of European Russia and a new Mountain ASSR was formed. This left the former Sunzha-Terek Mesopotamia triangle split by the returned Chechen land stretching through the middle. The remaining portions were formed by the Sunzha Cossack Okrug which also encompassed lands around Grozny. However, the Sunzha's importance to the Vainakh peoples as their historical territorial heart ensured that the early communists, mindful of the claims of indigenous peoples, would return it in order to turn them from the Mensheviks toward the Bolsheviks (to balance out the anti-Bolshevik Cossacks). A deadlock formed in the Northern Caucasus. On one hand, the Cossacks were very adverse to Bolshevism, and the latter responded with a Decossackization policy. On the other hand, many mountainous peoples were hostile to any Russian rule, Red or White (most originally looked to the Reds as a force also fighting against their foes, the Cossacks, but after the Reds began adopting similar policies as their Tzarist predecessors, resentment resurfaced), and continued fighting Russian/Cossack populations. In the end, the Red Army had to use Cossack tactics and hire local population to police the region. The idea of sandwiching a Cossack district within a Chechen autonomy was seen as a solution.
In the 1930s, to make the mountainous autonomies more sustainable in economical terms, they were united with the remaining Cossack holdings: the Sunzha district was retaken by the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, the former capital of the Terek Oblast, Vladikavkaz became the administrative centre for North Ossetia, likewise the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Oblast was also awarded to Cossack territories. On the lower Terek, between 1923 and 1937, the Dagestan ASSR administered the extensive territory there (Kizlyar, Terek Delta). Thus by the start of the Second World War only the historical Terek Left-bank was not administered by autonomies. However, on the other hand, all these lands (northern Chechnya, Kizlyar, Little Kabarda, historical North Ossetia, East Prigorodny/Western Ingushetia, etc.) had historically been inhabited by Caucasian peoples before the end of the Caucasian Wars.
Thus by the start of the Second World War only the historical Terek Left-bank was not administered by autonomies, however, most of the administration and urban population of those regions was dominated by ethnic Russians. This was paralleled with the gradual down-folding of anti-Cossack repressions and their eventual rehabilitation by the mid-1930s, including forming numerous units in the Red Army.
Cossacks fought on both sides of the Second World War. Many Cossack prisoners of war joined Nazi Germany who promised to free their lands from Bolshevism. Terek Cossacks made up the Vth regiment of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Cossack Division. Soon the war came to Cossack lands themselves, in 1942 the Nazi offensive Case Blue, and by autumn, the western regions of the former Terek Cossack Hosts were occupied. By November, the Battle of the Caucasus reached North Ossetia, and Germans were already making plans to lease the oilfields in Grozny. Most of the Cossack population took part in repelling the invader.
During the 1920s and 30s, despite efforts of Soviet Union to pacify the mountainous peoples via different programmes, such as Korenizatsiya, there was still low-level criminal secession movements in the highlands. Nazi Germany decided to use this friction in creating a fifth column out of them. In the central Caucasus, these were the Karachay and Balkars who carried out low-level insurgency. Further east, these were the Vainakhs and an existing insurgency by a Khasan Israilov was fuelled by supplies via Nazi paradrops. By autumn 1942, the insurgency diverted significant Red Army resources, including aviation.
However, after the Battle of Stalingrad the Germans began a mass evacuation from the Caucasus. The price that mountainous people paid was dear, in late 1943 as part of Soviet Collective punishment, Operation Lentil began, which saw a total deportation of all Chechens, Ingush, Karachay and Balkar people to Kazakhstan. In the aftermath, most of the land was portioned, between loyal mountainous peoples such as Kabardins, Ossetians and Dagestanis, and Russians and Cossacks. For example, a vast Grozny Oblast was created encompassing almost all of the historic lower-Terek Cossack lands, whilst North Ossetia took the Sunzha and Kabardin ASSR had central line cossack stanitsas.
This status quo continued until the second half of the 1950s, when there was once again a cool-down in Soviet government towards Cossacks after the death of Joseph Stalin. In 1957, all of the deported mountainous people were rehabilitated, and their republics restored. However this was not done in previous borders, for example, the historic homeland of lower Terek, Naursky and Schyolkovsky districts were incorporated into the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, whilst the Kizlyar district was passed onto Dagestan. Old problems of land ownership quickly resurfaced, and many returning Chechens and Ingush, forbidden to re-settle in the mountains, were settled in Cossack stanitsas.
The politics of Stagnationed USSR towards titular nations was also two-faced, on one hand all signs of nationalism were repressed, on the other hand Soviet authorities actively encouraged assignation of jobs and selection to the minorities rather than Russians. As a result, of the positive discrimination and better economic prospects in other regions of the USSR, many Russians migrated from the Northern Caucasus to other regions, such as the Tselina, Russian Far East and the Baltic Republics. Naturally, the high birth rate, of the mountainous peoples, meant that many sold their homes to them.
Although this hid the historic adversity between Russians and Caucasus people, it never removed the tension, as both sides saw each other gaining favours at their expense.
During the perestroika, Cossacks once again took steps to re-create their nationality Template:Citation needed. Many Cossack organisations were formed throughout the former Host. However, in doing so, many wished to review the existing administrative borders in the Northern Caucasus, and return the Cossack regions, that belonged to the once Terek Oblast from the national autonomies. In Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia and Dagestan this was resolved by granting the Cossacks full minority rights, that raised on par with titular nations, and today Cossacks play an important role in local administration, culture and development.
In Chechnya and Ingushetia however, the situation was different. There was a long-running ethnic conflict between the Chechen returnees and the Russian settlers of the region. Before 1989, the Russians had dominated all parts of government as well as the workforce, but then this reversed with the "Chechen revolution" in 1990, where the Chechen and Ingush majority took control of the ruling of their homeland. Russians were left jobless as able Vainakh took their places. The Russian language remained in many schools and the Russians of the republic were not immediately made victims.
Cossacks and Russians, unsurprisingly,Template:According to whom were staunch foes of Chechen independence from Russia. Chechens feared that Cossacks were variously plotting to undermine the independence which they saw as a desperate necessity and to detach a large part of their state. The chronic economic hardship of Chechnya during and after the Soviet period and the large income gap between Russians and Chechens before 1990 also worsened tensions. For these reasons and for the centuries of fighting between Cossacks and Chechens, ethnic relations were highly hostile.
President Dzhokkar Dudayev, himself married to a Russian, tried to suppress ethnic tensions, which he viewed as a destabilizing element to an already impoverished and internationally isolated republic. However, the statements of the President about "hospitality" were not convincing enough, and Dudayev had other priorities, such as handling the economic conditions inherited from the Soviet age and international isolation, another major problem.
An exodus of ethnic Russians occurred, although its causes and intensity are disputed. Some sources say that virtually the whole Russian population that left (300,000 people) before the First Chechen War, which others dispute, saying that while tens of thousands (as opposed to 300,000) left, most left due to the First Chechen War during it; Russian sources claim it was due to anti-Russian discrimination and violence, whereas others (such as Russian liberals Boris Lvin and Andrei Illarionov, and Western commentators Gall and De Waal< see below) cite economic reasons and the loss of the previous disproportionate privilege held by the Russians during Soviet times, as well as the mass bombing of Grozny during the First Chechen War, where 4 out of 5 Russians in Chechnya lived. As noted by ethnic Russian economists Boris Lvin and Andrei Illiaronov, the rate and number of departures of ethnic Russians from Chechnya during 1991–94 was actually less than other areas (Kalmykia, Tuva and Yakutia).
There is also dispute that Chechens were antagonistic towards ethnic Russians and Cossacks because they were ethnic Russian (as opposed to because of their hostility to Chechen statehood) - there were two originally ethnic Russian Chechen teips, and the president's wife was Russian. The Chechen clan system protects individuals from theft and murder because the whole clan would become involved, and one can join a teip - thus, those who didn't join teips (like the Cossacks) would be subject to theft by the poor, etc.
Many of the educated elite also lost their positions in government, industry and academia to locals connected with those in power (which previously they had a vast advantage in due to the situation after the return of the Chechens from exile). Nadteretchny, Naursky and Shelkovskoy raions of the Republic of Chechnya practically lost the traditional Cossack population.
After an attempted coup against Dudayev (who was seen as a threat to Russian oil transit) failed, Moscow responded with a military operation to reconquer Chechnya (see First Chechen War); many Terek Cossacks jumped at the opportunity to show their loyalty, and formed volunteer units that operated with the Russian Army. These were created to fight in the Sunzha and Terek stanitsas against Chechens.
During the Second Chechen War, once again Cossack units took part as an auxiliary support, and this time were allowed to establish in the Naursky raion, which still had a Russian minority; today the stanitsa of Naurskaya remains strongly associated with the Cossack movement in Chechnya.
The two wars have brought large suffering to both the Cossacks and the Chechens. Template:Cossacks
The Ural Cossack Host was a cossack host formed from the Ural Cossacks -- those Eurasian cossacks settled by the Ural River. Their alternative name, Yaik Cossacks, comes from the old name of the river.
The Yaik (Ural) Cossacks although speaking Russian and identifying themselves as being of primarily Russian ancestry also incorporated many Tatars into their ranks. According to Peter Rychckov some these Tatars called themselves Bulgarians of Khazar origin, and the first Yaik Cossacks, including these Tatars and Russians, existed by the end of 14th century. These Tatars might be both Chuvash people and Mishari (Meschera in Russian, Mişär in Tatar language), the latter had not only Muslims and Jews, but Christians among them to facilitate their merge with Russians Meschera were important on Don as well. Later, as Pushkin wrote, a lot of Nogai joined Yaik Cossacks. Twenty years after the conquest of the Volga from Kazan to Astrakhan, in 1577  Moscow sent troops to disperse pirates and raiders along the Volga (one of their number was Ermak). Some of these fled southeast to the Ural River and joined Yaik Cossacks. In 1580 they captured Saraichik together. By 1591 they were fighting for Moscow and sometime in the next century they were officially recognized. In 1717 they lost 1,500 men on the Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky expedition to Khiva. A census in 1723 showed 3,196 men fit for military service.
Yaik Cossacks were the driving force in the rebellion led by Yemelyan Pugachev in 1773-1774. Their main livelihood was fishery and the taxation on it was a major source of friction between the Cossacks and the state. A revolt broke out in 1772, marked by the murder of General von Traubenberg. Traubenberg headed a commission which was to investigate and settle Cossack complaints and grievances, but his behaviour only antagonized them further. In reprisal, many were arrested, executed and outlawed. Pugachev appeared shortly after and managed to rally them to his cause.
The distinguishing colour of the Ural Host was crimson; worn on the cap bands, epaulettes and wide trouser stripes of a dark blue uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. High fleece hats were worn on occasion with crimson cloth tops. The Yaik Cossacks were renamed as part of the Ural Host after the rebellion.
The Ural regiments later took part in Suvorov's Italian and Swiss expedition, the Great Patriotic War of 1812, the Russo-Turkish War, the November Uprising of 1830 and in the Crimean War. They also played a significant role in the Turkestan campaigns of the 1870s. Template:No footnotes Template:Cossacks Astrakhan Cossack Host (Russian: Астраханское казачье войско) was a Cossack host of Imperial Russia drawn from the Cossacks of the Lower Volga region, who had been patrolling the banks of the Volga River from the time of Russia's annexation of Astrakhan Khanate in 1556. Open main menu Wikipedia Search Wikipedia 5 EditWatch this page Read in another language Astrakhan Cossacks Page issues Astrakhan Cossack Host (Russian: Астраханское казачье войско) was a Cossack host of Imperial Russia drawn from the Cossacks of the Lower Volga region, who had been patrolling the banks of the Volga River from the time of Russia's annexation of Astrakhan Khanate in 1556.
History Edit In 1737, the Russian government relocated a number of the Volga Cossacks to Astrakhan and formed a Cossack unit of 3 sotnyas, or 300 men, for escorting couriers and correspondence and for guard duty, which would be re-organized into the Astrakhan regiment (5 sotnyas, or 500 men) on March 28, 1750. It was settled along the right bank of the Volga River from Astrakhan to Cherniy Yar (a town in the Astrakhan Oblast). In the early 19th century, the regiment was reinforced with the Cossaks from Tsaritsyn, Kamyshin, Saratov, and also with the remnants of the Volga Cossaks, some Kalmyks and Tatars. In 1817, the Astrakhan regiment (16 sotnyas, by that time) was reorganized into a 3-regiment Astrakhan Cossack Host. In 1833, it was transferred from under the authority of the Caucasus corps to the governor (ataman) of Astrakhan. In 1872, the Astrakhan Cossack Host was divided into 2 departments and re-grouped into 1 cavalry regiment. The Astrakhan Cossack Host possessed 4 stanitsas next to Tsaritsyn, Saratov, Cherniy Yar and Krasniy Yar, 16 yurt stanitsas, 57 khutors (farms), and 808,000 desyatinas of land. One desyatina equals 2,7 acres (11,000 m²).
The Astrakhan Cossack Host took part in the Patriotic War of 1812 and Russo-Turkish Wars of the 19th century. At least two mounted regiments of Astrakhan Cossacks saw active service as part of the Tsarist armies in World War I.
During the Russian Civil War, a significant number of the Astrakhan Cossacks sided with the counterrevolution and participated in the Astrakhan offensive. In October–November 1919, the Whites were defeated at Astrakhan, causing the disbandment of the Astrakhan Cossack Host in 1920.
Organisation in final years Edit In 1916, the total number of Astrakhan Cossacks was approximately 40,000 people. In times of peace, the Astrakhan Cossack Host supplied 1 cavalry regiment (4 sotnyas) and 1 platoon of guards (local police); in times of war - 3 cavalry regiments, 1 platoon of guards, 1 battalion of infantry, 1 special and 1 reserve sotnyas (to a Host total of 2,600 men). In addition, one platoon of the Composite Cossack Regiment of the Imperial Guard was provided by the Astrakhan Host.
The Astrakhan Cossacks were unusual in that there was no single Host area. They had instead evolved into a number of separate districts, communities and farms located in clusters along the right bank of the Volga River between Astrakhan and Chenyi Yar. Although long-established, their relatively small numbers and scattered locations made the Astrakhan Cossacks one of the less significant of the Hosts, overshadowed by the neighboring Don Cossacks
Distinctions Edit The distinguishing colour of the Astrakhan Cossack Host was yellow; worn on the cap bands, epaulettes and wide trouser stripes of a dark blue uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. Individual regiments were distinguished by numbers on the epaulettes. Lambs-wool hats (papakha) were worn on occasion with yellow cloth tops.
This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.
Orenburg Cossacks on camels, c. 1910 The Orenburg Cossack Host (Russian: Оренбургское казачье войско) was a part of the Cossack population in pre-revolutionary Russia, located in the Orenburg province (today's Orenburg Oblast, part of the Chelyabinsk Oblast and Bashkortostan).
After having constructed fortifications around the future town of Orenburg in 1734, they officially founded it in 1735. For the purpose of defending the city and colonizing the region, The Russian government relocated the Cossacks from Ufa, Iset, Samara and other places and created the Orenburg non-regular corps in 1748. In 1755, a part of it was transformed into the Orenburg Cossack Host (or Voisko) with 2,000 men.
In 1773—1774, the Orenburg Cossacks took part in Yemelyan Pugachev's insurrection. In 1798, all of the Cossack settlements in the Southern Urals were incorporated into the Orenburg Cossack Host (except for the Ural Cossacks). A decree of 1840 established the borders of the Host and its composition (10 cavalry regiments and 3 artillery battalions). In the mid-19th century, the Cossack population of this region equaled 200,000 people.
The Orenburg Host participated in the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–1790, and later in the campaigns that Russia waged in order to conquer Central Asia.
The Orenburg Host consisted of 2 districts, or okrugs (after 1878 - 3 departments, or otdels). By 1916, the Cossack population of this region had grown to 533,000 people occupying a territory of 7,45 million desyatinas. One desyatina equaled 2,7 acres (11,000 m²). In the early 19th century, the Orenburg Cossack Host supplied 6 cavalry regiments, 3 artillery battalions, 1 cavalry battalion, 1 sotnya (100 men) of guards and 2 detached sotnyas. During World War I, the Orenburg Cossack Host supplied 18 cavalry regiments, 9,5 artillery battalions, 1 cavalry battalion, 1 sotnya of guards, 9 unmounted sotnyas, 7,5 reserve sotnyas and 39 detached and special sotnyas (to a total of about 27,000 men).
After the October Revolution of 1917, the leadership of the Orenburg Cossack Host, under the command of Ataman Alexander Dutov, fought against the Soviets. The poorer Cossacks joined the ranks of the Red Army. The 1st Orenburg Cossack Socialist Regiment took part in the Ural Army Campaign of 1918.
In 1920, the Orenburg Cossack Host ceased to exist.
A Cossack officer from Orenburg, with a shashka at his side, early 1900s Distinctions Edit The distinguishing colour of the Orenburg Cossack Host was light blue; worn on the cap bands, shoulder straps and wide trouser stripes of a dark green uniform, of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. High fleece hats were worn on occasion with light blue cloth tops. Officers wore silver epaulettes and braiding. After 1907 a khaki-grey service uniform of standard Imperial Cavalry pattern was introduced but the light blue distinctions were retained until 1920.
See also Edit Nagaybaks, Tatar-speaking Cossacks belonging to the Orenburg Host References Edit
St. Nicholas Cossack Cathedral, the main church of the Siberian Cossack Host
Contents History Edit Tsarist period Edit Siberian Cossacks participated in military conflicts on behalf of the Tsars, from the 18th century until the revolution of 1917.In 1801 the Siberian Host provided 6,000 cossacks to garrison the settlements and frontier posts of the territory. By 1808 the Host had been organised into ten regiments of mounted cossacks and two companies of horse artillery.
During the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 the cossacks of the Siberian Host provided a significant proportion of the 207 squadrons of Russian cavalry involved. There was, however, criticism of their standard of horsemanship, and they were described as "infantry on horseback".
Post revolution Edit The Siberian Host was disbanded in 1919, following the Russian Revolution, and efforts were made by the new Soviet regime to eliminate the cultural and other distinctions of the cossacks at large. While some cossack regiments were reestablished in 1937, these did not include specifically Siberian units.
Currently a regiment of the Russian Ground Forces at Borzya in the Eastern Military District has the title "Cossack".
Siberian Cossack c. 1890s Distinctions Edit In 1802 the Siberian Host were authorized to wear uniforms, replacing their traditional dress. Initially these were based on the uniforms of the Don Cossacks, although after 1812 a more conventional lancer style dress was adopted. In practice the Siberian cossacks continued to provide their own clothing and equipment, meaning both were variegated.
By the 1880s, the distinguishing colour of the Siberian Cossack Host was red; worn on the cap bands, epaulettes and wide trouser stripes of a green uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. High fleece hats were worn on occasion with red cloth tops. In 1909 khaki government issue tunics and caps were provided but the red facings and green breeches were retained.
In recognition of their service during the French Invasion of Russia in 1812, the regiments of the Siberian Host were given the privilege of attaching colored pennants to the lances which remained their primary weapon until World War I.
Contents Organisation Edit The Transbaikal Cossack Host was one of those created during the 19th century as the Russian Empire expanded to the Far East and South-East. It remained smaller than the Don Cossacks and other longer-established Hosts. The Transbaikal Cossack Host partially consisted of Siberian Cossaks, Buryats, Evenk (Tungus) military units, and included the peasant population of some of the regions. The military component included three cavalry regiments and three unmounted brigades. Its main purpose was to patrol the Sino-Russian border and perform everyday military duties in the region. The official leader of the Transbaikal Cossack Host had the title of Nakazny ataman ("the one who was appointed"). From 1872 he also served as military governor of the Transbaikal oblast, which had with its headquarters in Chita.
In the early 20th century, the Transbaikal Cossack Host normally supplied one polusotnya (fifty men) of guards for rural policing work, four cavalry regiments, and two batteries in time of peace. During World War I, the Host expanded to one polusotnya, nine cavalry regiments, four batteries, and three reserve sotnyas (each of one hundred men). In 1916, the Cossack population of the Transbaikal Cossack Host numbered 265,000 people, out of which 14,500 men served in the military.
The Chita Cossack Regiment of the Transbaikal Host at the front during 1914-17 History Edit The Transbaikal Cossack Army is known to have participated in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in 1899-1901, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, and World War I. During the Russian Civil War, the more prosperous Cossacks joined the ranks of the anti-Soviet armies of General Grigory Semenov and baron Roman Ungern. The poorer Cossacks took active part in the guerrilla movement.
In 1920 at the end of the Russian Civil War, the Transbaikal Cossack Host was disbanded.
Distinctions Edit The distinguishing colour of the Transbaikal Cossack Host was yellow; worn on the cap bands, epaulettes and wide trouser stripes of a dark green uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. Individual regiments were distinguished by numbers on the epaulettes. High lambs-wool hats (papakha) were worn on occasion, with yellow cloth tops. From 1908 the new khaki service jacket of the regular Russian cavalry was adopted, but the yellow shoulder straps of the full dress uniform were retained, as was yellow piping on the blue/grey breeches.
==Contents Early history ==
Different cossack hosts in the late 19th century. Figure at right in greatcoat is an Amur Cossack. Their resettlement began in 1854. The first Cossack stanitsa (Khabarovskaya) was created in 1858. A decree announcing the creation of the Amur Cossack Host was issued in 1860. Initially the host was subordinate to the military governor of the Amur Oblast and Primorye. In 1879 it became responsible to the governor of the Amur Oblast. Subsequently, the Amur Cossack army became the responsibility of the Governor-General of the Amur region and the Commander of the armies of the military district of the Amur region (the latter was also the ataman of the Amur and Ussuri Cossack Hosts). The headquarters of the Amur Cossack Host was located in Blagoveshchensk.
Region, resources and organisation Edit The Amur Cossack Host patrolled the borders along the Amur River and Ussuri River (In 1889, a separate Ussuri Cossack Host was created for patrolling the Ussuri.) It also staffed the Amur-Ussuri flotilla (river squadron), created in 1897. The Amur Cossacks possessed 5,8 million desyatinas of land (64,000 km²). The Cossack population (120 settlements) numbered 49,200 people. In times of peace, the Amur Cossack Host supplied 1 mounted regiment (4 sotnyas) and 1 platoon of local guards. In times of war this contribution expanded to two mounted regiments, 1 platoon of guards, 5 special and 1 reserve sotnyas and 1 infantry battalion. These made up a total of 3,600 men.
Four Amur Cossacks, c. 1900. The Amur Cossack Host took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and World War I. During the Russian Civil War a significant number of the Amur Cossacks fought on the side of the Soviets.
Distinctions Edit The distinguishing colour of the Amur Cossack Host was yellow; worn on the cap bands and broad trouser stripes of a green uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. Epaulettes were green. High fleece hats were worn on occasion with yellow cloth tops. White blouses and cap covers were worn in summer (see photograph opposite). In 1911 their parade uniform comprised a dark green chessman (frock coat) with yellow piping on cuffs and collar, the fleece hat and blue-grey breeches with yellow stripes. The field service dress worn during World War I consisted of a khaki-grey tunic or blouse, worn with the grey-blue breeches noted above.
In common with other Cossacks, no spurs were worn by the Amur Host.
Semirechye Cossack, Semirechye (present-day Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), 1911 Semirechye Cossack Host (Russian: Семиреченское казачье войско) was a Cossack host in Imperial Russia, located in the Semirechye Oblast (today comprising most of Kyrgyzstan as well as Almaty oblysy, Taldy-Korgan (Taldyqorghan) oblysy, and parts of the Taraz oblysy and Semey oblysy in Kazakhstan) with the center in Verny.
The Semirechye Cossask Host was created out of a portion of the Siberian Cossack Host in 1867. It was commanded by a nakazny or ataman (who was also the military governor of the oblast). From 1882, the Semirechye Ataman was responsible to the Governor General of the Steppe; and from 1899 the Governor General of Turkestan.
In the early 20th century, the Semirechye Cossask Host supplied 1 cavalry regiment (4 sotnyas) and 1 platoon of local guards in times of peace. In times of war the host provided 3 cavalry regiments and 12 detached sotnyas. The Semirechye Cossasks possessed 7,440 km² of land, including 710 km² of arable land. In 1916, The Cossack population in this region numbered approximately 45,000 people.
The Semirechye Cossask Host played a role in the expansionist colonial policy of the Tsar in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Semirechye Cossacks took part in the conquest of Central Asia and in World War I. During the Russian Civil War, the prosperous leadership of the Semirechye Cossask Host opposed the Soviets. After the defeat of the White movement in the Seven Rivers region (Semirechye) in April 1920, the Semirechye Cossask Host was disbanded. As part of the process of "Decossackization", its former members were forcibly transferred to the Russian Extreme North.
Flag of the Semirechye host Distinctions Edit The distinguishing colour of the Semirechye Cossack Host was "raspberry red" (crimson); worn on the cap bands, shoulder straps and wide trouser stripes of a green uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. Officers wore silver epaulettes and braid. High fleece hats were worn on occasion, with crimson cloth tops. Until 1908 cossacks from all hosts were required to provide their own uniforms; together with horses, saddlery and sabers. However the prosperous Semirechye Host was able to maintain its own clothing factories and stores as community owned resources.
Emmanuel, Vladimir A. The Russian Imperial Cavalry in 1914. pp. 89 & 99. ISBN 978-0-9889532-1-5. Notes Edit This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.
Caserns of the First Ussuri Cossack Sotnia, Khabarovsk Ussuri Cossack Host (Russian: Уссури́йское каза́чье во́йско) was a Cossack Host in Imperial Russia, located in Primorye south of Khabarovsk along the Ussuri River, the Sungari River, and around the Khanka Lake.
The Ussuri Cossack Host was created in 1889 on the basis of an unmounted half-battalion of the Amur Cossack Host and later reinforced with settlers from the Don Cossack Host, Kuban Cossack Host, and other Cossack hosts. The Ussuri Cossack Host headquarters was first located in Vladivostok and then in Iman (now Dalnerechensk). Its nakazny ataman (who was also the military governor of the region) subordinated to the Governor General of the Amur region, who, in turn, was the nakazny ataman of the Amur and the Ussuri Cossack Hosts.
The Ussuri Cossacks possessed 6740 km² of land. In 1916, they numbered 39,900 people in six stanitsas, which comprised 76 settlements. In times of peace, the Ussuri Cossacks supplied one cavalry battalion (300 men) and one platoon. The Ussuri Cossack Host was used for border patrol, postal and police service. It participated in the Russo-Japanese War. During the World War I, the Ussuri Cossacks supplied one cavalry regiment (600 men), one cavalry battalion, one platoon of guards, and six special sotnyas (total of 2,514 men). Most of the Ussuri Cossack Host took the side of the White movement during the Russian Civil War.
The Ussuri Cossack Host was disbanded in 1922. It was re-established in 1990, although not as an administrative unit of any sort.
Distinctions Edit The distinguishing colour of the Ussuri Cossack Host was yellow; the color of the cap bands, epaulettes and wide trouser stripes of a green uniform of the loose-fitting cut common to the Steppe Cossacks. Individual regiments were distinguished by numbers on the epaulettes. Lambs-wool hats (papakha) were worn on occasion with yellow cloth tops. From 1907 on, light khaki blouses (gimnasterka) summer blouses were adopted to replace the white shirt-tunics previously worn.
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