Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More about the Cossacks

A site on historical conflicts provides an interesting webpage about the long time defenders of Russia, the Russian Cossacks. The site explains their sad history, provides a map as to where they once lived, and gives pics on their changing appearance (from the 16th-17th century to World War II).

Russian authorities have long pushed to revive the Cossack's traditional roles. Last week, Putin proposed giving them legal status to help "keep law and order." From the Washington Post:

President Vladimir Putin has proposed a law that would allow Cossacks to serve in special units in the military, assist the police and work in border control, counterterrorism and counter-drug operations...

The Cossacks' reemergence is part of a broader revival of vestiges of the Russian past, both czarist and Soviet, that for many people invoke national greatness and patriotism, a goal of the Kremlin. The trend began under President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s and has continued under Putin.

Putin has however rejected a demand by the Don Cossacks to have their own oblast (territorial autonomous region).


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