"Patience, cossack, and you'll be a chieftain". A Kuban Cossack patrols Russia's southern city of Krasnodar. The name "kazak" in Russian, was borrowed from the Turkish for "free man" or "bandit" an
d for centuries the tsars co-opted the disparate groups of Slav-speaking runaway serfs, brigands and reliigious dissenters in Cossack "hosts" or "Voiska" to police the empire's ever-widening borders. The Kuban Cossacks, heavily suppressed by the Soviets for their alliance with the White Army's General Denikin during the civil war, have support from the local government to patrol Kransodar with air pistols and whips. The new Cossack units - who are not allowed to make an arrest, let alone charge at anyone with a sabre - were a political sop to nationalist Russians who feared the influx of many Muslim minorities, part of the large number of people drafted in to help with the Sochi winter olympics. Cossack dress is actually copied from the Muslim mountain peoples of southern Russia. Krasnodar, Krasnodar Region. Russia. 2012/12.
© Thomas Dworzak | Magnum Photos
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