The Broken Empire 
The Cossacks
RealAudio: The Cossacks
 Don River, Russia. 1997
The Cossacks trace their origins at least to the 1400s, when their traditional homeland, the steppe of Russia and Ukraine was virginal grassland that belonged to no government. They were not an ethnic group but a community of bandits and soldiers for hire. Here a horse and rider rear as one in Russia’s fabled river.
Starocherkassk, Russia. 1997 
A gathering of Cossack picnickers leaven their lunch with revelry on the banks of the Don River near Starocherkassk, the first capital of the Don voisko (meaning host or community) from 1644 to early 1800s.
Photograph by Gerd Ludwig
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