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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cossack martial artists re-enact battle with tatars.
Kiev and the surrounding Ukraine were under the thumb of the golden horde, a Mongol offshoot, for many years. The cossacks were the Czar's frontier warriors against them. The Tatars also got converted to Islam and were mostly a Turkic people that were close to the Mongols.
I do not understand the dialog that I assume is Ukrainian or maybe Russian. But the weapons and tactics are interesting.

Batu,
He established the state of the Golden Horde in southern Russia, which was ruled by his successors for the next 200 years. In 1240 Batu's army sacked and burned Kiev, then the major city in Russia. Under the Golden Horde, the centre of Russian national life gradually moved from Kiev to Moscow.
 

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You are correct sir very interesting.
 

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Cossack martial artists re-enact battle with tatars.
Kiev and the surrounding Ukraine were under the thumb of the golden horde, a Mongol offshoot, for many years. The cossacks were the Czar's frontier warriors against them. The Tatars also got converted to Islam and were mostly a Turkic people that were close to the Mongols.
I do not understand the dialog that I assume is Ukrainian or maybe Russian. But the weapons and tactics are interesting.


I think you are confusing XVI-XVIII cent Zaporozhe Cossacks who were eventually disbanded by Tsarist Russia after it gained control over Ukraine with the Russian-to-the-bone XVIII-XX cent Don Cossacks, famous not only as excellent light cavalry in the Imperial Russian ranks but also for effectiveness in pacification tasks all along the Empire. The movie is definitely Ukrainian and refers to "true" Zaporozhe Cossacks and their exploits with their "tradional" enemies - the Crimean Tatars somewhere on the Dnepr steppe.
 

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I think you are confusing XVI-XVIII cent Zaporozhe Cossacks who were eventually disbanded by Tsarist Russia after it gained control over Ukraine with the Russian-to-the-bone XVIII-XX cent Don Cossacks, famous not only as excellent light cavalry in the Imperial Russian ranks but also for effectiveness in pacification tasks all along the Empire. The movie is definitely Ukrainian and refers to "true" Zaporozhe Cossacks and their exploits with their "tradional" enemies - the Crimean Tatars somewhere on the Dnepr steppe.
the movie


Stills from the film: "Pekelna Khorugva, abo Rizdvo Kozatske Director: Misha Kostrov Music: Vataga Yoriy Klots - Oh, fire on the mountains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think you are confusing XVI-XVIII cent Zaporozhe Cossacks who were eventually disbanded by Tsarist Russia after it gained control over Ukraine with the Russian-to-the-bone XVIII-XX cent Don Cossacks, famous not only as excellent light cavalry in the Imperial Russian ranks but also for effectiveness in pacification tasks all along the Empire. The movie is definitely Ukrainian and refers to "true" Zaporozhe Cossacks and their exploits with their "tradional" enemies - the Crimean Tatars somewhere on the Dnepr steppe.
I was mainly interested in the martial techniques that were presented and I am not a historian. At one time Zaporizhian Cossacks did fight for the Czars and also waged battles against the Czar. A quick check of history show the 'Russian' cossacks as having been more in service to the government in Moscow.
About the Ukrainian Cossacks getting disbanded, they seems to have persisted for centuries with splits and shifting loyalties. The Zaporozhe cossacks were around in many forms for centuries besides fighting for the russian government they also for fought the poles and the ottomans and revolted against the russian government.
A little wiki history of the fate of Ukrainian cossacks.
With the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich, many Zaporozhian Cossacks, especially the vast majority of Old Believers and other people from Greater Russia, defected to Turkey. There they settled in the area of the Danube river, and founded a new Sich. Some of these Cossacks settled on the Tisa river in the Austrian Empire, also forming a new Sich. A number of Ukrainian-speaking Eastern Orthodox Cossacks fled to territory under the control of the Ottoman Empire across the Danube, together with Cossacks of Greater Russian origin. There they formed a new host, before rejoining others in the Kuban. Many Ukrainian peasants and adventurers later joined the Danubian Sich. While Ukrainian folklore remembers the Danubian Sich, other new siches of Loyal Zaporozhians on the Bug and Dniester rivers did not achieve such fame.
The majority of Tisa and Danubian Sich Cossacks returned to Russia in 1828. They settled in the area north of the Azov Sea, becoming known as the Azov Cossacks. But the majority of Zaporozhian Cossacks, particularly the Ukrainian-speaking Eastern Orthodox, remained loyal to Russia despite Sich destruction. This group became known as the Black Sea Cossacks. Both Azov and Black Sea Cossacks were resettled to colonize the Kuban steppe, a crucial foothold for Russian expansion in the Caucasus.
During the Cossack sojourn in Turkey, a new host was founded that numbered around 12,000 people by the end of 1778. Their settlement on the Russian border was approved by the Ottoman Empire after the Cossacks officially vowed to serve the sultan. Yet internal conflict, and the political manoeuvring of the Russian Empire, led to splits among the Cossacks. Some of the runaway Cossacks returned to Russia, where the Russian army used them to form new military bodies that also incorporated Greeks, Albanians, Crimean Tatars, and Gypsies. After the Russo-Turkish war of 1787–1792, most of these Cossacks were absorbed into the Black Sea Cossack Host, together with Loyal Zaporozhians. The Black Sea Host moved to the Kuban steppe. Most of the remaining Cossacks who had stayed in the Danube Delta returned to Russia in 1828, creating the Azov Cossack Host between Berdyansk and Mariupol. In 1860, more Cossacks were resettled in the North Caucasus, and merged into the Kuban Cossack Host.
A segment from a famous Folklore Opera about the famous ukrainian cossack and also a pirate leader Stenka Razin ;
'Stenka Razin (Volga Volga ) Russian Red Army Choir'

Stenka Razin to keep the loyalty of his men tosses the Persian princess into the Volga. Film depicts these cosacks as being a little like in appearance to the earlier Rus Vikings that sailed the Russian rivers centuries before.

 

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Neither am I a historian, but the Zaporozhe Cossacks are an important part of current Ukrainian national identity. I think most Ukrainians would feel offended (rightly or not) for calling "their" Cossacks defenders of the Tsarist state, especially in the light of current events. And the guys from the movie, who are known reenactors of the Cossacks of Khortyca Island would be the first to be pissed off by that :)
Leaving politics aside, Zaporozhe Cossacks initially served loyally as a frontier "bumper" to the Polish-Lithuanian crown against the Crimean Tatars' raids and Ottomans, waging their own wars with them until the Polish aristocracy intentded to screw them and force them into peasants. This pushed their loyalty towards the Tsar (although not entirely as shows the case of Ivan Mazepa), who eventually screwed them twice as hard... Having said that, those folks have nothing to do with Don Cossacs much better recognized in the West thanks to their performance in the Napoleonic Era and later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Neither am I a historian, but the Zaporozhe Cossacks are an important part of current Ukrainian national identity. I think most Ukrainians would feel offended (rightly or not) for calling "their" Cossacks defenders of the Tsarist state, especially in the light of current events. And the guys from the movie, who are known reenactors of the Cossacks of Khortyca Island would be the first to be pissed off by that :)
Leaving politics aside, Zaporozhe Cossacks initially served loyally as a frontier "bumper" to the Polish-Lithuanian crown against the Crimean Tatars' raids and Ottomans, waging their own wars with them until the Polish aristocracy intentded to screw them and force them into peasants. This pushed their loyalty towards the Tsar (although not entirely as shows the case of Ivan Mazepa), who eventually screwed them twice as hard... Having said that, those folks have nothing to do with Don Cossacs much better recognized in the West thanks to their performance in the Napoleonic Era and later on.
I do not really have a dog in the fight and from family memories that were passed down to me was that all cossacks were bad violent people that is not necessarily my point of view. Maternal side of family were russian jews and my grandfather got beaten up by cossacks about 1905 likely in Babruysk .
I think this is what you disagree but you sort of say that it is also true:
At one time Zaporizhian Cossacks did fight for the Czars and also waged battles against the Czars. A quick check of history shows the 'Russian' cossacks as having been more in service to the government in Moscow.
The Ukrainians might be upset for sure since many like to emphasize their personal points of view when discussing history. The Ukrainians are now at war with the Russians and that certainly will alter your point of view.

For the Zaporizhians it seems they did a bit of side switching depending on how they were being treated and what side was offering the better deal. It seems not so different with the Romans of old and how the german tribes and also other tribs made deals with Rome and and often then later switched sides.
 

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All I'm trying to do is to emphasize the fundamental difference between the Zaporozhe Cossacks (whose history is traced back to times well predating the Moscow Tsar wet dreaming about escaping the role of the Crimean Khan's punchbag) and the Don Kossacks. Zaporozhe Cossacks formed famous infantry in the XVI and XVII century, most of the time fighting the Ottomans, and ambivalent towards the Moscow Tsar. Those folks were typical people of the frontier, very attached to the idea of free life on the wild steppes, forming a somewhat irregular fighting force. Their history in fact came to end when Katarina disbanded them in the late XVIII cent. Although the people were relocated to Kuban, due to intense and galloping russification and pressing into strict military organisation it is impossible for us to see any continuity between them (later to be called Kuban Cossacks) and the original Zaporozhe Cossacks - Zaporozhe Cossacks in their original form and meaning simply ceased to exist after late XVIII cent. And the ones you are referring to, known very well all over the Empire for brutal pacification actions (here in Lodz too for fighting the workers' strikes in 1905) are simply Don or Kuban Cossacks - light cavalry formations that could easily be refered to as the Tsar's chaindogs. They spoke a different language, fought horseback, dressed much differently to the Zaporozhe Cossacks and were Tsars loyalists to the bitter end - I see no point in mixing those two groups together?
And since the thread is started as an insight on tactics - Zaporozhe Cossacks were primarily light infantry, well known for using the "mobile fortress" tactics with wagons chained together and for their fencing skills (can be seen in the movie). This again differs them greatly from the Don Cossacks. Did they also differ in terms of love for violence and brutality? I never met any of them but I suspect they were quite harsh too - well, what to expect having XVII cent Tatars, Moscovians, Moldavians, Poles and Ottomans as your neighbors... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All I'm trying to do is to emphasize the fundamental difference between the Zaporozhe Cossacks (whose history is traced back to times well predating the Moscow Tsar wet dreaming about escaping the role of the Crimean Khan's punchbag) and the Don Kossacks. Zaporozhe Cossacks formed famous infantry in the XVI and XVII century, most of the time fighting the Ottomans, and ambivalent towards the Moscow Tsar. Those folks were typical people of the frontier, very attached to the idea of free life on the wild steppes, forming a somewhat irregular fighting force. Their history in fact came to end when Katarina disbanded them in the late XVIII cent. Although the people were relocated to Kuban, due to intense and galloping russification and pressing into strict military organisation it is impossible for us to see any continuity between them (later to be called Kuban Cossacks) and the original Zaporozhe Cossacks - Zaporozhe Cossacks in their original form and meaning simply ceased to exist after late XVIII cent. And the ones you are referring to, known very well all over the Empire for brutal pacification actions (here in Lodz too for fighting the workers' strikes in 1905) are simply Don or Kuban Cossacks - light cavalry formations that could easily be refered to as the Tsar's chaindogs. They spoke a different language, fought horseback, dressed much differently to the Zaporozhe Cossacks and were Tsars loyalists to the bitter end - I see no point in mixing those two groups together?
And since the thread is started as an insight on tactics - Zaporozhe Cossacks were primarily light infantry, well known for using the "mobile fortress" tactics with wagons chained together and for their fencing skills (can be seen in the movie). This again differs them greatly from the Don Cossacks. Did they also differ in terms of love for violence and brutality? I never met any of them but I suspect they were quite harsh too - well, what to expect having XVII cent Tatars, Moscovians, Moldavians, Poles and Ottomans as your neighbors... :)
Let us get back to tactics. Yes
I was wondering because in the flim clip they were fighting as infantry and using chained wagons.
But Stenka Razin considered to be a don cossack did navigate the rivers and lead a rebellion he said was against the boyars and not the Czar. I take the naval mode to mean that the cossacks were quite adaptable in their tactics.

The Ukraine as does Russia has problem with antisemitism and I have no idea what they think of Tatars that apparently are a significant ethnicity in Russia and I assume the Ukraine. .
 

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I'm quite positive the Crimean Tatars have much harder times after the invasion when many of their local leaders started to dissapear than during the Ukrainian times when thay had some sort of authonomy.
As for tactics, in the XVII cent the Zaporozhe Cossacks drove a series of maritime raids aimed at Ottoman ports in the Black Sea basin, so yes, this type of warfare did form part of their menu
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm quite positive the Crimean Tatars have much harder times after the invasion when many of their local leaders started to dissapear than during the Ukrainian times when thay had some sort of authonomy.
As for tactics, in the XVII cent the Zaporozhe Cossacks drove a series of maritime raids aimed at Ottoman ports in the Black Sea basin, so yes, this type of warfare did form part of their menu
The swedish Rus folk I think they did similar things centuries earlier on those water ways on their way to Constantinople. With vikings if you were strong they traded with you and if you were weak they raided and took what you had for trading elsewhere.
 

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The "original" 13th C Mongols were likely the most awesome soldiers, warriors and military force in the history of human conflict. They could and did ride (and shoot) further, faster, longer than any troops before or after (100+ miles per day on a mongol horse), and were disciplined fighters, not a mob. They drew a laminated ("compound") bow that rivaled the English longbow in range and power - but could accurately shoot it from horseback at a full gallop. (Like Ginger Rogers with Fred Astair: doing the same thing backwards, in heels.)

I semi-assume stirrups were in use in central Asia by the time of Genghis in the mid-13th C, which made Mongols even scarier. The bow remained their primary weapon, but heavy cavalry became another tool in the steppe commander's tool box.

When firearms started becoming practical during the 1400s or after it was mostly "game over" for mounted steppe warriors though. It takes a lifetime to produce an effective horse archer, while peasants armed with crude cannon and match-fired muskets - kind of like the video here - can be trained-up in just a few months, and then mow-down the cream of the horde in just a few minutes or hours. Not quite that easy, but the game had changed.

~~~~~~~~~

I've been a Mongol fan since watching the 1965 Omar Sharif Genghis movie on the tube a million times as a kid, reinforced by other films like Yul Brynner in "Taras Bulba," which depicted a later period but is still full of that old-time steppe-land grit.

"Fan" not quite the right word: In the time of Genghis they were bloody-handed butchers who considered the highest and best use for the arable Chinese land they occupied was to kill the peasant grain farmers and raise horses. By the time Kublai Khan a pleasure-palace did build, they had become more economically and politically sophisticated.

When the real Mongols surrounded your rich city in Khwarazmia they would pitch a white tent in front of the gate, which was a sign that if you came out and walked away, leaving all your goods, chattlels and cute daughters behind they might let you live. If that didn't happen before time the white tent came down and black one went up, meaning every man, woman, child, dog, bird, kitten etc. was going to die. And so they did. (I'm rusty on the details but that's not far off.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The "original" 13th C Mongols were likely the most awesome soldiers, warriors and military force in the history of human conflict. They could and did ride (and shoot) further, faster, longer than any troops before or after (100+ miles per day on a mongol horse), and were disciplined fighters, not a mob. They drew a laminated ("compound") bow that rivaled the English longbow in range and power - but could accurately shoot it from horseback at a full gallop. (Like Ginger Rogers with Fred Astair: doing the same thing backwards, in heels.)

I semi-assume stirrups were in use in central Asia by the time of Genghis in the mid-13th C, which made Mongols even scarier. The bow remained their primary weapon, but heavy cavalry became another tool in the steppe commander's tool box.

When firearms started becoming practical during the 1400s or after it was mostly "game over" for mounted steppe warriors though. It takes a lifetime to produce an effective horse archer, while peasants armed with crude cannon and match-fired muskets - kind of like the video here - can be trained-up in just a few months, and then mow-down the cream of the horde in just a few minutes or hours. Not quite that easy, but the game had changed.

~~~~~~~~~

I've been a Mongol fan since watching the 1965 Omar Sharif Genghis movie on the tube a million times as a kid, reinforced by other films like Yul Brynner in "Taras Bulba," which depicted a later period but is still full of that old-time steppe-land grit.

"Fan" not quite the right word: In the time of Genghis they were bloody-handed butchers who considered the highest and best use for the arable Chinese land they occupied was to kill the peasant grain farmers and raise horses. By the time Kublai Khan a pleasure-palace did build, they had become more economically and politically sophisticated.

When the real Mongols surrounded your rich city in Khwarazmia they would pitch a white tent in front of the gate, which was a sign that if you came out and walked away, leaving all your goods, chattlels and cute daughters behind they might let you live. If that didn't happen before time the white tent came down and black one went up, meaning every man, woman, child, dog, bird, kitten etc. was going to die. And so they did. (I'm rusty on the details but that's not far off.)
I have always been in awe of some conquerors, but as you say some of them were bloody hand butchers like the Mongols. You did need weapons and techniques that would win, but the hardest was gretting large numbers of men together and feeding until you took enough booty to make it all pay. Once the big guy died as with the Mongol almost everybody stopped and the all went home to choose a new leader.
I am in most awe of Alexander the Great. In 20 years he marched from Greece to india and did not quite get back and conquered Egypt, Persia, and the middle east.
People like Cortes and Pizarro conquering huge nations with just handfuls of men is just even more astounding.
Likely the Mongols were ultimately responsible to the turks getting control of muslim world and then the resulting decline of it. The Mongols sacked the middle east then just about when things were almost back to normal a Mongol descendant call Timur or Tamerlane comes back and destroys major muslim cities again.
The turks drained their possession allowing failure of the infrastructure of the lands they controlled and the wealth and power of the muslim middle east and persia declined just in time for Europeans to enrich themselves from the new world and the Chinese were no competition since they had officially withdrawn themselves from exploration in those years and had I think had other problems too.
After spain retook Iberia and the europeans stopped the turks at Vienna, it was Europeans up and muslims down in world power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Ukrainian Cossacks claim an international composition on the Cossack registry. One will have to go to youtube to see it
International Army of the Ukrainian Cossacks in Ukraine

 
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