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Former good article nominee Cossacks was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Ukrainian Cossacks???[edit]

There is no such definition as Ukrainian or Russian or German or whatever-else Cossacks. Cossacks appeared in the Pontic steppes and later became very popular in the Russian Empire and with a some extent in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 21:26, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

All Cossacks came from Ukraine and have nothing to do with Kazakh people. The national identity of Cossacks can certainly be discussed, however the fact of matter is that it was a multinational militarized society that stood for defense of the Eastern Orthodox religion. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 21:30, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Another important fact is that all of Cossacks Hosts spoke some version of the Ukrainian language (such as Balachka) which also points to the fact of their origin. One may reinvent a wheel all day, if he wants, however Cossacks will still be Cossacks. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 21:35, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Interesting note[edit]

The uniform of the man in the Cossack photo here is very similar to the Militia uniforms( from the 1943-1958 time period. (talk) 05:16, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Article seems, strangely, to miss events in history with negative connotations for article subject[edit]

I came to the article to understand better certain historical events involving the Cossacks, in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Based on reading from other sources, it appears the 28 March version of this Wikipedia article may understate, even ignore, participation of Cossack units alongside Russian (and sometimes Polish) forces in religious violence against Jewish and Catholic residents of various territories, e.g., in Nemirov and Tulchin in June 1648, and much later, in the Ukraine in 1919.

The various accounts have, e.g., "Cossack troops and ...peasant bands under ...Ganzha advanc[ing] against the fortified town of Nemirov, which had 6,000 Jewish inhabitants... [[a]fter the defeat of the Poles near Korsun]", a confrontation which reportedly ended in the slaughter of the Jewish residents of Nemirov, with "those escaping immediate death undergoing frightful tortures (June 10, 1648)".

In Tulchin, two weeks later, it is reported that "600 Polish soldiers and 2,000 Jews" had taken refuge, whereupon division between the Poles and Jews resulted in the Pole's admission of Cossacks held outside the fortress. The report states that after "everything [had been take] from the Jews", they were "offered ...choice between death and baptism", whereupon "1,000 Jews who remained steadfast were tortured and executed before the eyes of the Polish nobles (June 24, 1648)."

At the same time, other instances that are given limited description may also need review (e.g., incidents in 1919).


The historical veracity of these references need to be crosschecked, but events in history that may be construed as negative nevertheless have to be present for the article to be an unbiased representation of the history of this important group within Russia. If the facts of the matter are contested, all sides of the matter can be summarized. In any case, the events and claims cannot simply be passed over or ignored. LeProf — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I should note that I am a registered editor, do not always log before writing, and propose that editorial comment should be judged at face value, and not on the basis of whether the commentator is registered or is known to us simply by IP. The latter often join the registered ranks after a period of commenting anonymously. I am aware of no Wiki policies that prohibit this (though registration is always encouraged), and so believe we should welcome all contributions of substance, without bias as to registration. LeProf — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
These are important points that you are raising. However, it could perhaps be mentioned that Don Cossacks and Russian troops participated in stopping Ukranian Cossacks (of Bogdan Kmelnitsky) from pogroms. This is a well known episode. Actions of Ukrainian Cossacks, however, should be carefully judged, since Kmelnytsky and his Cossacks fought very bitter liberation war against the Polish oppression (which had resulted in thousands of people of Orthodox faith killed and tortured). This is an extremely sad story. Someone -- who has both Cossack and Jewish blood in their veins -- perhaps Galassi, should very carefully write about this, since otherwise this might turn into a blame war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:52, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, Galassi did write about this in this entry So the facts that you are mentioning belong in Galassi's article.
It is not clear, to whom the immediately preceding text should be ascribed. Please sign.
In re: "the facts that you are mentioning belong in Galassi's article". Please, consider again the request for a further few sentences of clarification, here in this article, regarding the questions raise in this section. Each article should be able to stand alone, in terms of its tone, and general accuracy of impression. If key facts related to the impressions created for a subject only appear elsewhere, at the very least, the reader should be directed to them. Better, they can be summarized for the reader, in the process of directing them to the in-depth source (wikipedia or otherwise). Otherwise, the stand-alone article appears to remain imbalanced. LeProf — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

I edited this out: [1] You can't cite a fictional work to make historical claims. As stated above, they're much more known for slaughtering Jews than saving them from pogroms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Dangling sentence from Early History Section, for review.[edit]

The following sentence was removed as the last sentence to the "Early History" section, because it provides only a weak and confusing close to the section:

  "The term 'Cossacks' was also used for a type of light cavalry in the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth."

insofar as the sentence, as it stands, does not place the stated association into the same timeframe as the preceding information. (This Commonwealth was only firmly established in 1569, far later than most events referenced in this section.) More critically, no reference is given, making it an outlier in this otherwise generally informative section. If can be returned, but further information, and a citation need to be added. However, it is possible that this stated fact belongs elsewhere in the article (if it is important and its citation can be given).

The sentence that now ends the paragraph is also weak, but it seemed less disjointed (connecting more clearly to the preceding bullets), and so was left in place. It too, however needs to be clarified as to time and place, and given a citation. LeProf — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Claim or claimed Khazar origin[edit]

If a Cossack organizations is called Kazarla then this means that they still claim Khazar origin. Khazars in no way were considered inferior to Germans even in the Nazi Germany. Not only Cossacks, but Crimean Karaites, which claimed the same Khazar origin, served in SS, though the Karaites belonged to Judaism.

'Kazarla' - it is a neologism and they don't claim Khazar origin. Nazi Germany gave a shit for Asians. - Altenmann >t 02:20, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Altenmann, you seemed to have reverted Cossacks article to a version that Gallasi was not supporting. Actually, you reverted to a version that was pushed by a hyper-energetic "Khazar editor" from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Too many changes of very low quality. It will take several weeks to polish the intro back to a civilized level. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, see for youriself. Of course, the article is a mess. The first step is to block other incoming mess. - Altenmann >t 04:18, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Here is a diff since february. There are some dubious additions to verify. 04:22, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Cossacks are not ethnic group, they are first of all - "free people by the will of God"[edit]

While talking, writing or discussing cossacks you must always keep in mind this, main and most ancient interpretation of word cossack (kozak, kazak, kazakh) - "free man by the will of God". This meaning is preserved in our region till nowadays and just from it other well-known meanings are derived: "freelancer", "man of free trade", "free warrior", "man of registered cossack status in Russian empire", "man of some or other ethnic group" and so on. Without this meaning and it's existence in worldview of people through centuries you will hardly understand people of region and their dramatic history, from ancient times connected with eternal struggle for freedom, for democracy, for human liberties and rights. Glory to God nowadays we, all people of the planet can freely say - we are cossacks, remembering all those people who saved this important worldview in steppes of Eurasia for all humanity of nowadays. Serge-kazak (talk) 07:28, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Many Cossacks beg to differ -- see,, and It is an ethnicity -- see Wikipedia's definition ethnicity, which is rather broad:

"Ethnicity or ethnic group is a socially defined category based on common culture or nationality. Ethnicity can, but does not have to, include common ancestry, appearance, cuisine, dressing style, heritage, history, language or dialect, religion, symbols, traditions, or other cultural factor. Ethnic identity is constantly reinforced through common characteristics which set the group apart from other groups." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:22, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Dear Serge:

Cossack meant a slave from prisoners of war in Ossetian contrary to other languages. This, some authors argue, was the most ancient meaning. Prince Myshetsky, who served in the Sich in 1736-1740, wrote that "Cossack" was Greek misspelling of an original Cossack ethnic name. We do not know the most ancient meaning now. Dear Madam/Sir: One ethnicity does not exclude another. For example, general Karbyshev from a well-known Siberian Cossack starshyna family was a great Cossack patriot, a great Russian patriot, but a Tatar patriot and a Kryashen patriot as well. He had 4 ethnicities simultaneously thus. On another note, probably just Russian ethnicity might be a single one for Mikhail Kutuzov, as long as he joined Zaporozhian Sich Cossacks being an adult officer. Of course, he was a diplomat. Therefore we do not know. Yakiv Markovych, who coined the term "Ukrainian" in the current (more correctly, close to current) sense first, considered "Cherkasy" especially after the Malorussian Cossack regiments disbandment so that Malorussian Cossack co-servicemen could not become "soft" and "feminine" and earlier the requirement that Zaporozhian knights be transferred to family life, very offensive. See Markovych's «Записки о Малороссии, ее жителях и произведениях», Санкт-Петербург, 1798, С. 98. Though Russians explained to Cossacks that it meant a Cherkasy city origin only, Ukrainian Cossacks understood that origin was "Cherkashenin" and saw LGBT accusation in "Cherkasy". This is why Markevych asked to replace Cherkasy with Ukrainians in all documents etc. Renaming of Ukrainian Cherkasy into Ukrainians coincided with renaming of Caucasus Cherkasy into Cherkesy so that not to accuse them as well. Not a single people in either Ukraine or Caucasus and Siberia etc. has ever called itself Cherkasy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Indeed, I did not say that being an ethnic Cossack precludes another dual (or maybe triple or quadruple) ethnic identity, as was the case of Karbyshev. The Kazarla has a view that Cossacks is a poly-ethnicity. I have a lot of respect for the Ukrainian national identity -- some Cossacks, for example Dmytro Dontsov, played an important role in creating or, at least, reinforcing Ukrainian identity (as nationality and ethnicity). I have read all great Ukrainian writers in Ukrainian, and I have much appreciation for the great Ukrainian culture and the Ukrainian identity. I think one can be both a Cossack and a Ukrainian. There are some people who think of themselves as being both Cossack and Russian (in a very wide sense of the latter word). I also did see people in Cossack forums listing their ethnicity as "Cherkass", emphasizing the link to their precise ancestry; likewise, Cossacks do use "Donetz" to mean a Don Cossack, "Uralez" an Ural Cossack, or "Khoperez" a Khoper Cossack. There is also a question of nationality (citizenship, national identity) versus ethnicity (ethnic affiliation), which are different concepts, but in Russian the word "nationality" is used to mean "ethnicity". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 11 April 2013 (UTC) Dear Madam/Sir, Dmytro Dontsov has never been a Cossack in any sense. He was of a mixed Italian-German-Muscovite origin. In Vyacheslav Lypynsky's opinion, Dontsov "became an Ukrainian to prevent the creation of Ukraine". Dontsov insisted that Ukrainians, Belarussians and and all other people for exception of Russians had been a single biological kind. Russians, including Russian Cossacks, were to be a different biological kind , not Homo Sapiens, not mankind, but waging Darwin's struggle for existence against mankind, in Dontsov's opinion. Ukrainians were to be cleared from all people of Russian descent, i. e. from the vast majority of Ukrainians, to join mankind. There are not so many people of Italian-German-Muscovite origin, like Dontsov, among Ukrainians. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure, where you get your information, but I must say that your edits and assertions are extremely odd. Dontsov's family comes from the old Cossack starshina. Please do not push you OWN views POV on the topic and stick to well-known, accepted facts, published in well-regarded academic sources. Also some passages you inserted (for example, about many dissertations written on Cossacks) are in a bad need of editing. I can't edit the paragraph, since I have no idea what you meant to say there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 13 April 2013 (UTC) I get information from the works of Dontsov himself. He wrote that his origin had nothing common with Ukrainian starshyna , but he was created as an Ukrainian by Gogol, Storozhenko, Kulish etc. As a spiritual Ukrainian, he had a right to invent his Ukrainian origin, in his opinion. There was a good writer Sat Ok in Poland, who invented his American Indian origin under the influence of Cooper and Main Reed. Dontsov had invented his Ukrainian starshyna origin similar to Sat-Ok and was excluded from the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party for this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 13 April 2013 (UTC) Please read Dmytro Dontsov's Донцов Д. Дух нашої давнини. Дрогобич, 1991, where Dontsov emphasizes the Nordic race origin of Ukrainians. It has nothing common with any Chercass ancestry. Please do not replace Dmytro DONTSOV's OWN views and opinions with YOUR OWN views and opinions.

I have read Dontsov, and it is clear to me that you are making this up. Read Dontsov here -- this is his self-biography. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

"Що мене "Вісті" звуть росіянином? Хай собі звуть. Це ж і Липинський писав, що я росіянин, бо "родився в краю, який росіяни звуть Новоросією"... За те Драгоман-ов, Петр-ов, Фітіль-ов, Вєтух-ов, це не росіяни. Глупість це все і злоба тих душевбогих людців... Коли Зінченко оповідає, що її батьки походять з того самого села, що мій батько, то це певно помилка. Мій батько (що вмер в 1894 р.) походив не з села, а з міста, і не з Полтавщини (як Зінченко), а з Слобідської України (укр(аїнської) частини Вороніжчини). Читаючи Д. Багалія "Історію Слобожанщини", я знайшов, що багато свого часу емігрувало звідти в нашу Таврію та що у нас було багато назвиськ, що часто стрічаються в Слобожанщині (Харківщина й укр(аїнська) Вороніжчина, Подоння). Взагалі на Україні це назвисько дуже поширено, в Московщині я його не стрічав. У Багалія ж читав я, що першим колонізатором Слобожанщини (що була й за Гетьманщини державно-московською територією) був полковник Федір Донець (з Правобережжя) та що в XVIII в. його нащадки — коли всі козаки убігалися о признання їм рос(ійського) дворянства — змінив своє назвисько на Донцов та ще й Захаржевський (це, щоб довести свою давню, ще з Польщі, шляхетність). Чи від тих Донцових походив мій батько, я не знаю, в кождім разі для мене це була вказівка, як Донці перемінилися в Донцових..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Please read the self-biography of Sat-Okh. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

I have read Sat-Okh's information, but I was not able to deduce from it anything about Dontsov's origins. You asserted that Dontsov claims to be of German-Italian origin. It would be great if you could provide the exact quotation where Dontsov says so. Thank you very much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 13 April 2013 (UTC) Please read the article of John Paul Himka from University of Alberta, Canada. He emphasizes that Dontsov, though a fascist, has not been a Nazi. The radical Nazi Cherkass theory, according to which Cossacks were untermensche, has nothing common with Dontsov. The Cherkass theory has been recognized as extremist one by Adolf Hitler as well. The German-Italian origin of Dontsov's has been described in his letters. When he befriended with Lypynski, he wrote this to him. But he wrote about this to his family as well. Please read the names of his relatives. Dear Sat-Okhs, do not write your novels to Wikipedia. It is an encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 13 April 2013 (UTC) The articles explains that in spite of largely Italian origin of Dontsov the foundations of Dontsov's national Ukrainian self-conscience have been established by his German grandfather. But Dontsov insisted on the Nordic race, not on any Cherkass... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 13 April 2013 (UTC) The article describes the largely Italian origin of Dontsov. He understood what Cherkass meant in Romanic languages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

I clearly asked you a clear question, and instead you change the subject. I don't care what "Cherkasy" might mean in Romanic languages, but to all Cossacks this is an important and great name, which is born by several major regions and towns in Ukraine (Cherkasy) and Southern Russia. Moreover, Novocherkassk is the capital of Don Cossacks. -- (talk) 21:27, 13 April 2013 (UTC) You had no question at all. You tried to tell that Cossack Dmytro Dontsov had discovered precise Cherkass ancestry of Cossacks. But 1)he proposed a Nordic race origin of Ukrainians instead 2) he was not a Cossack 3) his lover poetess Teliga was assassinated in Babyi Yar according to the request of just those who had discovered the precise Cherkass ancestry of Cossacks. Novocherkassk means new Cherkassk. Cherkassk, the second capital of Don Host, was founded by Cossacks of Cherkasy starosta Mikhail Vishnevetsky, probably from Monastyrsky island. But they were joined by Don Cossacks of other ancestry very soon. Razdory, the first capital, was founded by Cossacks not from Cherkasy. Ivan III asked his sister, the ruling princess of Ryazan, for death penalty to all Ryazan Cossacks, who had been moving on Don run by their own "self-stupidity" , in 1502. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

I said *none* of the above. Just what are you talking about? You are making no sense whatsoever. I don't want to have any discussions with you at all.

You are absolutely right, because the "Liberty" All-Ukrainian movement won a lot of trials in the Ukraine accusing anybody, who insisted on the precise Cherkass ancestry of Cossacks, in racial hatred and Ukrainophobia. They wanted to share their experience with human right groups in Canada and in the USA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

I am not a Ukrainian, so I am not sure if I can understand your lines of thought. -- (talk) 14:08, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

The article's writing[edit]

Just came happened to stumble upon this article by chance and I am compelled to say that the writing, at least in the first few introductory paragraphs, seems rather sloppy--perhaps as if written by non-native English speakers. It should be improved.

Agree, have been working on editing today. I have known something about the community, but am learning here. I understand they have a long and complex history, but am also trying to compare the article to other articles on ethnic groups, peoples, and history. There are very lengthy commentaries in notes in the Lead, which appear to be 1) POV bordering on OR, and 2) need to be sourced. It is too much information for what is supposed to be a summary; all the arguments do not have to covered in the Lead. Later in the article, there are dismissals of unsourced material, with statements such as "false allegations" were made that Cossacks participated in pogroms. Another editor notes such allegations have been documented with facts. Such allegations need to be sourced, as well as evidence that presents another view. I understand these have been difficult issues, but the article sounds somewhat like a polemic for Cossacks. All quotes need cited sources, even if within the Notes section, and the article would be better if there were not such lengthy notes. The Lead should not be a repetition of an unresolved historical argument, especially as so much is unsourced. If a historian is known for a position that is significant for this topic, the source (with pages) needs to be cited, not just the historians' name. Am just going through this first for writing, editing, format, use of citations, etc. It's great that someone can read Russian but that doesn't help the English readers on English WP, and sources in English should also be used. Russian specialists in the West likely use those Russian sources, but also publishsought.Parkwells (talk) 17:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Given the lengthy discussion about the terms Cossack, Khazar, etc. in different languages, maybe there should be an "Etymology section" - this is typical of articles on peoples, providing a place to discuss what others called them, what they called themselves, what the words refer to, etc.


Some editors seem to have strong POV, but not so much should be reflected here. From Talk above, for instance, it appears there is no academic consensus on the development/origins of Cossacks. That statement can be written - and then should be followed by major points of view. But this topic should not overwhelm the Lead, as it currently does in Notes. Parkwells (talk) 17:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)


Suggest a "Religion" section, as this is a hard thread to follow, and it would likely provide another historical thread. For instance, in 20th century sections, there are references to Cossack opposition to Catholics, Orthodox and Jews, and a brief note that some (most?) they were Old Believers, but not an explanation of what that meant at the time, or how that would have affected their relations with other groups or the state.Parkwells (talk) 17:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Repatriation and ethnic expulsion[edit]

The huge population transfers after WWII have been getting increased attention by historians, including the expulsion of ethnic Germans from the East. Editors should look for sources that address the British acts related to repatriating Cossacks and their families. This needs to be sourced. (How did their families end up in the West? Did they flee during the war? Will read article again, but this was not clear.) It is known that Soviets treated prisoners of war as the enemy, executing so many or sending them into the gulag. Parkwells (talk) 17:25, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Cossacks preventing pogroms[edit]

The article rather prominently mentions Cossacks being used to prevent/put down pogroms, based on a short story by Sholom Aleihem. For the benefit of other editors the full text of the short story, machine translated into English, is included here. Just open the compressed block of text and you'll find it. I don't for a second doubt that Cossacks were used to perform police duties in Russia, just like other units were (and just like military units were used to perform police duties in most other countries at the time). The question is whether prevention of pogroms should be singled out or not, or just included in unspecified police work. IMHO a source that puts a bit more emphasis on the "anti-pogrom work" would be needed for singling it out. Preferrably also a source that says that Cossacks did more of that kind of work than other military units in Russia did at that time.

Thomas.W talk to me 18:54, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

  • I disagree with your both assertions. First, "featured prominently" and being mentioned in a footnote is definitely not the same thing, not even close. So I would firmly disagree with the deletion of a footnote based on this argument. Second, an earlier version of this Wikipedia article claimed that Sholem Aleihem wrote exactly the opposite of what is written in his story (whose machine translation you kindly provided). Somehow editors did not even bother to read the original source. I had read it long time ago, and was appalled by the assertion when I have read it (as well as by other edits by editors who evidently have not studied the subject of the article at all.) Second, it is one of the current cliches and stereotypes that Jews and Cossacks never got along. I think any examples of positive cooperation between the two ethnic groups should be mentioned in the article in order not to perpetuate the stereotypical thinking. In fact, Sholem Aleihem's story presents a completely different stereotype of a Cossack than the said stereotype. I think people wanting to learn about the topic should have the right to access a footnote that mentions what a prominent Jewish writer wrote about them. (talk) 18:33, 6 September 2013 (UTC)


Is there a reason why Cossack is often not capitalized in this article and in other articles? As the name of a people, I'd think it should be capitalized, but I often see it lower case. Thanks, SchreiberBike talk 02:46, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

My guess there is a confusion here related to conversion of Cossacks as an ethnic people to a military estate. So there is a mixup concerning the ethnic vs. military use. I am not sure what capitalization rules are appropriate in this case. (talk) 22:14, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by a "military estate" or "military use". I couldn't find cossack used as a military unit or anything like that. There is the article Registered Cossacks which sometimes capitalized Cossacks and sometimes doesn't. SchreiberBike talk 02:23, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I guess "cossacks" might designate irregular cavalry units serving the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Muscovy. In contrast, Cossacks designates a people, ethnicity. The problem is that it is hard to separate the two. In medieval Latin a similar problem existed with respect to the pair of words "slave" and "Slav"; the first term designates a slave, and the second term designates a person of Slavic ethnicity (a stereotypical slave back then was a Slav). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Orthodox Catholic[edit]

I know that "Orthodox Catholic Church" is an official and accepted name of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but used repeatedly in this article it merely engenders a lot of confusion. Perhaps we should change it to read "Eastern Orthodox Church" or "Russian Orthodox Church" or whatever appropriate name for the context. Unless a preponderance of reliable secondary sources are using the term Orthodox Catholic Church, which I sincerely doubt. Elizium23 (talk) 20:35, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, your edit makes perfect sense. (talk) 03:37, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Contemporary vs. Historical Cossacks[edit]

The reputation of the Cossacks is legendary, as were the Samurai and as are the Gurkhas. However, I (along with a great many other people) was stunned to learn that Cossacks were part of the security detail at the Sochi Olympics. In the past week or so, I have been engaged in various discussions about the current Olympics games in Russia and I must say, that everyone (and I mean everyone) I have met has been quite surprised to learn that there are Cossacks at the games. It is "common knowledge" (if incorrect or incomplete) that the Cossacks were routed by the Bolsheviks.

As is, this article has an excessively long lede, which dwells predominately on the historical record. It requires great patience to wade through and, even then, it is not clear what the legacy of the pre-Bolshevik Cossacks is today, and/or what legitimate lineage contemporary Cossacks have to their precursors. While I feel strongly that the article as is, is awkward, with an excessively long lede, and little or no description of the current title of Cossack and how that class or position was restored since the Bolshevik revolution. I would respectfully submit that much of the lede could, and probably should, be merged into the main body of the article; and that the lede could and should be condensed to a more concise contemporary and historical summary.

I freely admit that I am not knowledgeable nor qualified to make such edits. I therefore recuse myself and hope that others more qualified can help to make the article more informative from a NPoV.
Enquire (talk) 21:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Dear Wikipedian Enquire,
Firstly, "Cossacks" that beat up "Pussy Riots" are a part of a fringe effort by the President Putin and Kuban Governor Tkachev to "restore" what they thought the pre-revolutionary Cossack forces were -- "defenders" of the Empire and its cruel ways; in fact, they were not, as the lead of the article nicely summarizes. There are many people of Cossack descent who consider Cossacks to be an ethnicity, an Eastern Slavic people. As the Russian Population Censuses of 2010 and 2002 show, indeed, there are roughly 150,000 people in Russia who list their ethnicity as Cossack. This is in fact reflected in the lead, at the very end of it. These people do not dress up in the uniforms, they don't beat up girls, they are ordinary people: farmers, students, teachers, medical doctors, professors, engineers, etc. Many of these people do object to the use of the term "Cossack" as a name for the quasi-police force organized by Tkachev; and many were deeply embarrassed by the actions of these quasi-policemen. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, most people in the quasi-police force are not of Cossack descent and have no relation to historical Cossacks. There is no "title" Cossack in modern day Russia; according to the Russian law (which is vague on this point), the term "Cossack" simply means a member of a Cossack community.
Secondly, I am surprised that you have "strong views", while admitting to be "not knowledgeable". Yes, the article is long, but, if you are not knowledgeable, perhaps you could reserve your judgment for a while. You may be bored from a long lead, because you may think Cossack is a "title" and the article should nicely summarize the term as such. Well, Cossacks is not a title and the article provides a summary of what Cossack people were and are. The article is very far from ideal, but it takes so much effort to keep it from falling apart completely, defending it from various random editors who happen to have "strong views". The article is similar to other articles, e.g. Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Armenians, etc. It is hard to argue that those articles are overly long.
Finally, I apologize for being a straight shooter. I am just trying to make our life efficient here. All of the best wishes and with best regards. ViktorC (talk) 00:26, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate that the Cossacks have been somewhat resurrected in part for political optics at the Sochi Olympics, but as far as I can see from reading this page, the process of restoration of the Cossacks goes back even before the break-up of the Soviet Union. I have also learned that there is dispute between different editors as to whether Cossacks are restricted to a specific ethnic group or not, etc.. I do not have "strong views" on this subject because, as I freely admit, I am a lay-person on this subject. I merely visited the page because I was seeking to understand what a Cossack means, particularly in the contemporary context, not only at the Sochi Olympics. However, I do feel strongly that the article as is could benefit from NPoV editing, taking into account the various strongly held opinions on this subject. I am sure that with good will on all sides, it should be possible to craft a concise lede (lead) paragraph or two that is considerably shorter that what we have now, and which lucidly and concisely outlines both the historical context as well as the contemporary understanding of "Cossack" today ... for the benefit of lay persons like myself; the detail of the differing opinions can (and should) be left in there, but more thoroughly debated within the main sections.
Enquire (talk) 03:36, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I am a bit puzzled here. If you are "not knowledgeable" on the topic, how can you "strongly believe" that the article can benefit from NPOV editing? For instance, I don't edit the Wiki article on the quantum entanglement, as I have no knowledge of the topic, and therefore I really have no idea whether the current lead of the article is NPOV or not. Also, it does not matter what POVs the editors have. What matters is the systematic, encyclopedic sourcing of the key facts pertaining to the topic. For example, Russian Censuses 2002 and 2010 list Cossacks as one of the ethnic groups. This is a fact. Whether editors agree on this or disagree is a matter of POV. Kind regards. ViktorC (talk) 04:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thank you, ViktorC, for your response. I have already discussed the topic with Enquire, resulting in mutual agreement on the fact that the area is best left for those who have specialised knowledge of the complexity and diversity of the subject. I think it has been understood that there is no linear narrative (ethnic group 'Cossacks' originated in region 'A' and have now become the regiment which have been given the title of 'Cossack' in the military infrastructure in the contemporary Russian Federation).

P.S. Enquire, I'm sorry if you have formed a disparaging view of who the cossacks were and are. Bear in mind that this article brings in a lot of less-than-neutral traffic. Editors who are normally civil, co-operative and genuinely excellent contributors start to get a little curt when the same issues are brought up week in, week out, year in, year out. Best regards. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:33, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Iryna Harpy. I never represented myself as an expert on this topic, nor expressed any "strong" PoV. I simply visited this page (as I am sure many have recently) in light of the recent and well publicized and spectacular whipping of the Pussy Riot by "Cossacks" at the Sochi Olympics. If you search "cossacks sochi olympics" on Google (for example) then you will see about 70 million hits. My only comment is that, as is, this article does not shed much light on the perceived legitimacy of contemporary "Cossacks" viz-a-viz the historical (pre-Bolshevik) Cossacks.
For the record, I certainly do not "strongly believe" any particular point of view and never represented any "strong" beliefs on this subject, period. I just (simply) visited this page to try to understand what relationship (if any) contemporary "Cossacks" have to the historical "Cossacks". Period. I have no input to this, I simply comment as a reader of the page seeking guidance and understanding of how contemporary "Cossacks" fit in (or not). There are a couple of lines at the end of the article lead mentioning that many ethnic Cossacks have returned to Russia in recent years, but not about the apparent restoration of their role as adjuncts to security. Just to be clear, I have no interest or intention to edit this page at all ... but would hope that in due course, that the page would be more helpful in describing the apparent resurrection and restoration of Cossacks in recent decades and what role that Cossacks would play in Russia post Sochi.
I wish ViktorC, Iryna Harpy, and all the other devoted editors my best wishes on maintaining this article, especially now that I do understand that it is a challenging and, at times, vexatious subject matter.
Sincerely, Enquire (talk) 08:29, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Post script. Here are a couple of citations that others may find helpful, they certainly helped me to better understand the controversy over the so called "Cossacks" at Sochi:
I trust these citations are helpful.
All the best, and good luck, Enquire (talk) 09:32, 24 February 2014 (UTC)


It would be very nice if some knowledgeable person added a (clear, in English,) map of modern and/or historical distributions of where the Cossacks live/lived. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Colonel Lobo (talk) 21:00, 23 September 2014 (UTC)


This article reminds me of a halfway-decent house, which started small and was added to and remodeled numerous times, almost always without a permit. It's ramshackle, disorganized, and has no narrative thrust. It requires several knowledgeable editors with no agenda to pursue. I am not such a person. Let's hope at least one or two show up and do some good work. Tapered (talk) 05:44, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ , both to prevent pogroms and[...] ref: 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.[1].