The attitude towards modern Cossacks in Russia is no less controversial than the role of the Cossacks themselves in the development of the state and society. Some call these people, claiming the status of a separate class, mummers and pseudo-patriots, others see in the Cossacks the beginnings of a revival of the foundations of morality and culture of the Russia that we once lost. However, modern Cossacks are a whole phenomenon, which, like any other phenomenon, is difficult to give an unequivocal assessment, and an unequivocal assessment of all external attempts will be obviously one-sided and therefore meaningless. And therefore we will try to look at the representatives of the modern Cossacks from different sides. The goal is the same: to try to clarify the situation with what people, who call themselves Cossacks, really represent themselves.
We will not touch upon the historical aspect of the appearance of the Cossacks in stories Russia, because this topic has already been voiced at the Military Review. We will focus precisely on the modern stage of the existence of the Russian Cossack.
First you need to make an attempt to separate the flies from cutlets. The fact is that the Cossacks (at least from the position that is designated today) do not appear as an ethnic layer, but rather as a public organization, designed to solve certain problems. What problems? Whose problems? And here is the main question. Someone uses the term "Cossack" as a kind of synonym for honor and loyalty, patriotism and depth of moral traditions, and someone is ready to make from this word for itself a certain set of preferences, allowing to quench unbridled vanity. Some are quite ready to serve the Fatherland on a voluntary basis, while others are trying to hastily blind themselves from the statements about the hypothetical service to the Motherland of a banal PR-action, which, in the opinion of such people, can add certain public or even political bonuses to them.
That is why there are “flies”, which are neither historically, nor morally, nor in any way connected with traditional Cossacks, but this does not prevent them from using self-made “crusts”, hanging their wide breasts as large as August apples with orders and changing shoulder straps, towering along the Cossack hierarchy, with breathtaking speed. It is these people who parasitize on the concept of the Cossacks, and are the reason that many (even hereditary) Cossacks in Russia are often viewed, to put it mildly, with some distrust. It is precisely the “mumbled hundred” that outwardly turns the very idea of reviving the Cossack traditions to serving the Fatherland into a farce. After all, many of our compatriots, due to a number of objective reasons, have lost all hope of determining for themselves whether there are any real Cossacks in modern Russia. And if there is, are they ready to offer their services to strengthen the security of the country? .. And are their services needed by modern Russia and its citizens?
Let us give a few examples of how the Cossacks of the new generation have recently managed to prove themselves. So that the situation was presented as fully as possible, and everyone was able to appreciate the role of the Cossacks in public life, let us present several plots, both positive and negative.
Since the end of last year, the situation with the so-called Cossack patrols in major cities of Russia has somewhat calmed down. The activities of the Cossacks, who, when coordinated with local law enforcement agencies, took to the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh to carry out activities for the protection of law and order, received diametrically opposite assessments. Some, seeing people in uniform, not assigned to any of the military or police units, openly expressed their negativity and were clearly not going to obey the requirements of the Cossack patrol. Others reacted quite calmly and believed that the protection of public order using Cossack squads was an event that manifested itself quite positively.
The Cossack of the East Kazakhstan Region "Reserve Cossack Army" "The Great Don Army" A. Popov tells:
As an ordinary Cossack, I was attracted to the protection of public order during the celebration of the city’s day. The task before me and a group of other Cossacks was set as follows: we had to prevent pretty drunk people from going to crowded places, and if they too wanted to go to the festivities, report the incident to their immediate head. He has already contacted the police, who are bully and tied. We did not have the authority to take action against violators.
Moscow. The end of last year. Belorussky Station. A group of Cossacks, which was later presented as a Cossack patrol, carried out law enforcement in the presence of broader powers, which caused a discussion in society. The point is that the Cossack patrol carried out a raid and revealed the places of illegal trade. Subject to the discussion that the Cossacks in identifying places of illicit trade proceeded to the seizure of goods and loading it into a pre-prepared bus. According to the Cossacks themselves, the bus belonged to the DAEC, and all their actions with the DAEC were agreed. However, after such a zealous discharge of duties by the Cossacks, the press began to skip the information that the Cossacks had become a tool for dividing the market in a very busy place for trade in the capital.
Cossack patrol in Moscow in work
After the sensational raid, the very first deputy ataman of the EKR Central Cossack Army, General Kolesnikov, said that the first attempt could not be called the most successful. Obviously, new attempts to take Cossacks participation in Moscow raids were also discussed, but these raids obviously did not become systematic. Apparently, the whole point is that the authorities themselves (not only regional, but also federal) have not yet decided what to do with such “happiness” (or without quotes?) As modern Cossacks. If you give authority, thinks the authorities, they can sit on your neck; if you don’t give authority, the electorate will be lost, but oh, how needed are voices ... In general, the whole dilemma.
One of the governors, who decided to regulate the activities of the Cossacks in his region, today is the head of the Voronezh region, Alexey Gordeyev. Not so long ago, he discussed with the leaders of the local Cossacks the problems of interaction between the Cossacks and local authorities. At the meeting, Ataman of the Central Cossack troops V.Nalimov came up with a proposal for the Ministry of Education to create an educational institution in the region, which will be called the single Cossack cadet corps. Vyacheslav Nalimov connects the very possibility of creating such an educational institution with the fact that Cossack traditions are strong in the region and there are all possibilities for implementing this kind of idea. In addition, the ataman Nalimov suggested to the governor Gordeyev to create a military training center of the Cossack army, which could become a place for high-quality training of young Voronezh citizens for military service. It is planned that such a center could be located to the north of the capital of the Black Soil Region. Aleksey Gordeyev promised that he was ready to personally assist the implementation of the plans outlined, because they are primarily aimed at caring for the younger generation and at implementing plans for a comprehensive pre-conscription training.
Raising the state flag in Matvey Platov Cadet Cossack Corps (Voronezh region)
Winter fees of cadets Matvey Platov of the cadet Cossack corps (Voronezh region)
On this seemingly blissful background of interaction between the Cossacks and the official authorities, the same Voronezh region turns into a place of active confrontation between the Cossack squads and those who are trying to promote a business project to develop nickel deposits in the Khopersky Nature Reserve. The company, which in the near future intends to start developing nickel in the so-called Yelanskoe deposit, encounters unprecedented public resistance in Russia, and the Cossacks have come to support it. For several months, the Cossacks of the Second Khopersky District exhibited posts in the place where the developer intends to carry out metal mining (and this is literally the very heart of the fertile black soil of Russia). The Cossacks have already promised that if they see heavy equipment and people preparing for the development of the Voronezh subsoil in the reserve, they are ready to give a real fight to the representatives of the mining company.
Cossack post at the site of preparation for the development of a nickel deposit (Voronezh region) (conversation with the police)
These words of the Cossack atamans were approved by the local population and the situation began to look very tense also because in one of his interviews Governor Gordeyev stated that he would not allow Voronezh black soil to be destroyed just until he took the governor’s chair. However, despite this, the business lobby promotes the idea of security development. However, at the same time, representatives of this very lobby do not mention that the nickel deposit near Voronezh was known in the Soviet years. But at that time, a number of scientists published materials according to which mining of nickel in the Black Earth region could lead to serious environmental consequences. Moreover, the nickel content in the ore in the region is relatively low, and therefore not the fact that mining will be profitable. The prospect of getting at one’s own, instead of fertile soil, a virtually dehydrated and dug desert, which may eventually be declared “not quite a successful outcome of a nickel mining project,” is clearly not impressive for Voronezh residents.
The confrontation between the public, which is indirectly supported by the governor Gordeyev, and not even indirectly at all - the representatives of the 2 of the Khopersky district of the Cossack IEDs, and the lobbying workers, begin to show real urgency. Just the other day, the sentries of that same Cossack post at the field stopped a group of geologists, who were preparing to start the next batch of research. Having found out whose interests geologists represent, as well as their determination to start their work, the Voronezh Cossacks, together with other local residents, decided to show the “guests” all their “cordiality”. As a result, the meeting ended with the fact that geologists thoroughly received Cossack whips, after which they turned to the police. A criminal case was opened against the Cossacks and a number of environmentalists.
The police are increasingly visiting the Cossack post
After this "first fight for nickel" the public again divided. Some called the Cossacks "mummy PR", others, on the contrary, stood up for them, claiming that this is apparently the only force that can still counterpose the barbaric attitude to Russian wealth.
Appeal Cossacks to President Vladimir Putin
This story eloquently illustrates the situation with the Russian Cossacks, whose purpose is not yet clearly defined by the state. At the same time, we ourselves forget that the interests of the Cossacks and the state in Russia did not always coincide ... Does this mean that modern Cossacks (putting people outside the parasitic Cossacks out of their brackets) is a force that in reality is not “amusing” army ", and ready to stand not on guard of the interests of its leaders and oligarchs exclusively, but on the guard of the interests of the people? Difficult question ... After all, the Cossacks are different, and the rest of the people are far from being a uniform substance ...
And here is the brightest representative of the "ryazhenoy hundreds"
Recall that in September last year, Vladimir Putin approved the strategy of the Russian Cossacks. Here are a few points of the document:
a) the involvement of the Russian Cossacks in fulfilling the tasks of ensuring the security and defense capability of the Russian Federation, passing by members of Cossack societies of military service in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations and bodies, including members of Cossack societies in the mobilization human reserve to ensure guaranteed resupply in the established the terms of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as well as the creation of an effective system of military registration of members of Cossack societies;
b) the involvement of the Russian Cossacks to participate in the protection of public order and ensuring environmental and fire safety, in the implementation of measures to prevent and eliminate emergency situations and eliminate the consequences of natural disasters, civil defense, environmental protection activities;
c) the involvement of the Russian Cossacks to participate in the protection of the state border of the Russian Federation;
d) maximum use of the potential of Cossack societies in places of traditional and compact Cossacks to attract members of these societies to protect forests, wildlife objects, and cultural heritage objects;
e) attraction of the Russian Cossacks to the state and other services in other areas of activity in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
The Strategy spelled out, including both the historical Cossack heraldry and the system for the development of new heraldic signs, uniforms, awards and insignia.
The main thing is that the Cossacks and the state should not forget that their main goal is, after all, the protection of the rights and freedoms of all citizens of Russia without exception, and not just those who belong to the elect, who deserve special attention. I would like to believe that in this regard the state and modern Cossacks are unanimous.