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“What you cannot do, a Cossack can.”
March 17, 2013 6:33 AM   Subscribe

The Cossacks Are Back. May the Hills Tremble. [New York Times]
"In his third term, President Vladimir V. Putin has offered one clear new direction for the country: the development of a conservative, nationalist ideology. Cossacks have emerged as a kind of mascot, with growing financial and political support."
posted by Fizz (14 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's no way that can go badly! YAY!
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 7:04 AM on March 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


These days men in Cossack uniforms are making appearances all over Russia, carrying out blustery raids of art exhibits, museums and theaters as standard-bearers for a resurgent church. But here on Russia’s southern flank, the Cossack revival is more than an idea. Regional leaders are granting them an increasing role in law enforcement, in some cases explicitly asking them to stem an influx of ethnic minorities, mainly Muslims from the Caucasus, into territory long dominated by Orthodox Slavs.

[...]

“With police it is a short conversation — you committed a crime, here’s the punishment,” he said. With Cossacks involved, he added, “There is a prophylactic effect, a kind of education. They come here. Take this group of young people. Explain to them the traditions of the Orthodox, Slavic, Cossack people of the city of Stavropol. What our rules are. How we live here.”
I think some folks here in the US might have some spare white robes they could probably sell them on the cheap.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:26 AM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Or brown shirts.
posted by migurski at 7:27 AM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Related: Cossack Mamay the ideal image of Cossack in Ukrainian folklore.
posted by Fizz at 7:28 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't this how we got the first wave of Eastern European jews in the US, and NYC? Escaping pograms? That crap didn't just start in the 1930s.
posted by C.A.S. at 7:42 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Clearly, there are important things for the Cossacks to do... like patrolling the borders, or building closer ties with the local neo-nazis, or threatening the use of force to stop ethnic minorities from opening cultural centers, or disrupting plays critical of the government.

Really the term "Cossack" is loaded, due to the group's history of notorious anti-semitism. It might be better to just refer to them as brownshirts instead.
posted by markkraft at 7:46 AM on March 17, 2013


It always worries me when groups of people start to wear the same types of clothing and talk about what is "right".
posted by Fizz at 7:55 AM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


the ideal image of Cossack in Ukrainian folklore.
There can only be one ideal Ukrainian Cossack!
posted by Abiezer at 8:10 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vladimir Sorokin's Day of the Oprichnik keeps getting closer to reality.
posted by khonostrov at 8:37 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cossacks vs. Femen (nsfw): Ukrainian Cossacks then harassed the group, plastering Femen's door with a sign reading "A Woman's Path Goes Only From the Front Door to the Stove."
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on March 17, 2013


Thank you, Zayde, for making the immigration to the U.S. for me.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:12 PM on March 17, 2013


I shudder to think that Scott Walker's The Drift might have been prescient.
posted by valrus at 12:05 AM on March 18, 2013


the ideal image of Cossack in Ukrainian folklore.

I just can't get past the image of "Cossack" as experienced by my great-grandparents. There's a reason why they fled the Ukraine.
posted by snottydick at 1:19 PM on March 18, 2013


mainly Muslims from the Caucasus, into territory long dominated by Orthodox Slavs.

The stereotype of Georgians as thieves in law/drug importers/friends-of-Chechens also ensures that the Orthodox get plenty of hassle. Armenians aren't viewed as proper Orthodox, so that's their category as religious threat defined. Everyone from the Caucasus gets considerable trouble.
posted by jaduncan at 4:48 PM on March 18, 2013


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