I’ve become something of a student of Irregular Warfare since starting this blog. Lately I have been paying close attention to the Russo-Georgian War and reports of Ossete, Chechen and Cossack irregulars. They’ve been following in the wake of the Russian Army’s unconscripted kontraktniki regulars (called that because they sign enlistment contracts; the same term is also used to describe Russian mercenaries in the Balkans and Chechnya) like jackals after lions, burning, pillaging, looting, plundering, raping, and going medieval on Georgian ass. Seems amazing to me that in this day and age Tsar Volodka has called up the Cossacks to pacify the Near Abroad. Until very recently I had no idea that they still existed as an armed paramilitary force.
Both. It’s a nagayka, good for beating horses and persecuting non-Russian minorities .
These guys may look like reenactors, but they take themselves very seriously.
Cossacks maintain close contact with militia in Kaluga. They call their cops militia. Kaluga is a city 117 miles southwest of Moscow.