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The Cossacks Are Coming

The Cossacks Are Coming

Associate Editor

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Call me nostalgic, but my favorite part of the Russian-Georgian war was the Cossacks.

In the end, you need your enemy. If the Dodgers disappeared from the face of the earth, Giants fans would be the sorrier. Many college football fans hate Notre Dame but everyone wants to see them play. I’d like to see the Cossacks, provided I’m not dressed like Motle Kamzoil when they come galloping by.

According to the Guardian, early in the war, “Units of armed Cossacks from across the North Caucasus region that borders Georgia were poised to join the battle…. Under Russian law, Cossacks – the descendants of runaway serfs and outlaws who in the past were employed by the Kremlin to protect the country’s southern border – are allowed to carry arms and carry out policing functions in cooperation with interior ministry forces.

“At the Vladikavkaz headquarters of the Terek Cossacks today a group of men sat under portraits of fierce looking warriors with drooping moustaches watching television coverage of Georgian artillery shelling Tskhinvali…. In Volgograd the leader of the Don Cossacks, Viktor Vodolatsky called on all Cossacks under 40 years of age to volunteer to fight.”

Runaway serfs and outlaws? Warriors with drooping mustaches? Can’t we get some Jews together to challenge these guys to a rematch?

Viktor Vodolatsky, I’d like you to meet the sons of Vladimir Yevgenyevich Jabotinsky.

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