“What you can’t do, the Cossacks can”

 

Kuban kosakkerne er de traditionelle vogtere af Ruslands sydlige grænse i Kaukasus. Nu vil regionens guvernør, Alexander Tkachyov, genopvække det gamle krigersamfund. Et paramilitært hjælpekorps på omkring 1000 kosakker skal hjælpe det lokale politi med at holde regionen fri for “darker-skinned Muslims”, som en russer-fjendtlig, amerikansk korrespondent skrev.

“What you can’t do, the Cossacks can”, sagde guvernør Tkachyov i en tale til ledende politifolk. “The police have sufficiently high powers, but there are limitations”, forklarede han. “We have seen this in recent years because of democracy and the greater attention paid to human rights and civil society.”

I artiklen Russia’s Cossacks rise again giver en britisk journalist følgende beskrivelse af kosakkernes smukke kultur:

Cossack family values are simple, rigid, and to a Western eye, seem to come from another era. The men build the home and provide an income; the women cook, clean and give birth to children. Traditional Russian values, culture, and Orthodoxy form the bedrock of their beliefs…

Communism, they say, was an alien belief forced on Russia by foreigners. He was referring to Karl Marx.

Buying and selling, and taking responsibility for one’s own welfare, they added, were an intrinsic part of their way of life.

Before we sat down to a table laden with food, Ataman Viktor recited the Lord’s Prayer in Old Church Slavonic. There was no alcohol on the table, something unusual in Russia, town or country…

Cossack values are deeply conservative, a mix of self-reliance, fervent patriotism and belief in discipline and authority. As I prepared to leave, Ataman Viktor told me he would like to see the Tsar return to Russia.

When I asked him if he could suggest any candidates, he told me there was “only one”. President Vladimir Putin, he said, had proved himself as a potential Tsar, by bringing order and the start of Russia’s long-awaited national revival.

Guvernør Alexander Tkachyov er ligeledes en loyal støtte af Vladimir Putin, “the only person who has shown the United States its place”, som regionens mufti for nogle måneder siden slog fast. Ved samme lejlighed sagde en anden loyal mufti til Ruslands leder: “Muslims know you, Muslims trust you, Muslims are wishing you success”.

***

(Illustration: Cossacks Riding into Battle, Franz Roubaud ca. 1885.)

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