In early March 2014 many mass medias of Russia came out with a title : “The Don Cossacks are ready for military expedition”.

Since I consider myself a Cossack I was slightly upset by news that we are going somewhere to fight. It appeared that the Don Cossacks held a meeting in Novocherkassk – the capital city of Don Cossacks land.

The rally was organized by the Council of Atamans of the Don Cossack land and was attended by more than 5000 people.

The main reasons for the discontent with a policy of Ukraine became the oppression of the Russian-speaking citizens and the attacks against the Orthodox Church.

Almost every Russian citizen has relatives in Ukraine. Almost 70 years we were a united country. There was no border between Ukraine and Russia for nearly 250 years. For most residents of the eastern regions of Ukraine the main language is Russian, not Ukrainian. I’ve been there dozens of times and know what language Ukrainians use to communicate with each other in eastern regions.

Attacks on Orthodox Church caused general indignation. Attempts of Ukrainian nationalists, who are mostly Catholics, to eliminate Orthodox churches in Ukraine, really can cause the formation of voluntary militias among the Cossacks, ready to fight on the territory of Ukraine.

I took this rally not too seriously. I grew up under the Communists, and I well remember the technologies of organization of “nationwide outrage”.  I have to say that most likely both parties of the conflict are lying. The opposing interpretations in media of the same events – nothing but propaganda on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine.

From the very beginning of the revolution in Ukraine, I’m trying to be in touch with friends, who live in Kiev. One old Ukrainian, who has lived all his life in Kiev, said to me: “Try not to watch TV or read newspapers”. (He doesn’t use the Internet). ”This is a very well-prepared coup that at some stage steps out of control of the organizers. But maybe everything is going according to plan. Let’s see who will get the maximum benefit.”

Let’s see how events unfolded. “Maidan” began as a movement of people who were upset by the scale of corruption in the state Then the number of demonstrators started increasing at the expense of hired participants. Fifty dollars for a day of “work” on a Maidan are considerable money for citizens of Ukraine. Some people came to Kiev by the whole families.

Then the leaders of the movement were gradually forced out by well-organized people with military training. From this point an open confrontation started. Anti-corruption slogans were replaced by nationalism.
Many residents of Kyiv at first did not take this movement seriously.  A friend of mine described this movement as follows:
 One group of crooks trying to take a place at the trough by pushing out another scums.

The saddest thing is that the situation in Ukraine is very similar to the situation in Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power.

But let’s return to the Don Cossacks.


Cossack in Nazi army

from Bundesarchiv / CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

It’s interesting that modern history of the Don Cossacks is very similar to the history of western Ukrainians who are now the main visible power of Ukraine revolution.

Both nationality always clearly separated themselves from other people. Even under Soviets the western Ukrainians didn’t consider inhabitants of east areas as Ukrainians. Compare it with the words of my Grandfather: “We aren’t Russians, we are the Don Cossacks”.

Both the Don Cossacks and the western Ukranians persistently fought against communists. Both took part in WWII on the side of Nazi against Russia.

Both nationalities were exposed to repressions from the Soviets.

And now the Don Cossacks want to take part in surpression of the western Ukrainians movement.

Maybe the reason is religious differences, and maybe the habit of taking part in suppression of the rebellions is caused by genes.