What are cossacks?

Cossacks

Cossacks (Ukrainian: козаки́, kozaky, Russian: казаки́, kazaki; ) are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in Ukraine and Southern Russia. They inhabited sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins, and played an important role in the historical development of both Ukraine and Russia.

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Some articles on cossacks:

Cossacks - Modern Day Russian Cossack Identity
... Unlike in Ukraine, where the issue of Cossack status and identity seems to have been resolved, in modern Russia, the question of "Who is a Cossack?" can and does create major controversies ... There are ethnic or "born" (prirodnye) Cossacks, those trace or, at least, claim to trace their direct ancestry to Cossacks of the old, Tsarist era ... Others, however, who are not "born" Cossacks, can become Cossacks through initiation ...
Balachka
... is a term used to label the dialects spoken by Cossacks living in Russia ... the usage of this term has recently broadened to include the Cossack dialects spoken on the Don, Terek, Ural and even those further out into Asiatic Russia and Central Asia ... For the Don Cossacks this was due to their historical proximity to Ukraine (Little Russia), and for the Kuban Cossacks due to their descendency from the Ukrainian speaking Black ...
Mykhailo Doroshenko
... (?–1628) was the Hetman of the registered Ukrainian Cossacks from 1623–1628 ... He was elevated to the rank of Cossack colonel in 1616, and he was active in Petro Konashevych's wars against Muscovy ... Just after Doroshenko was elected hetman of the registered Cossacks, he signed the controversial Treaty of Kurukove with the Polish crown in 1625 ...
List Of Ukrainian Rulers - Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks (1506–1775) - Hetmans and Commanders of Ukrainian Cossacks
... Several Cossack regiments were operating in Ukraine at this time that were largely independent of each other, so some of the Hetmans' tenures overlap ... of Khmilnyk ?-1531 1512 ... Ataman Ostap Dashkevych, was a commander of the Cossacks, sometimes referred to as Hetman 1495–1535 1535 ... Dmytro ...
Amur-Ussuri Cossacks
... The Amur-Ussuri Cossacks are the combined peoples of the Amur Cossack Host and the Ussuri Cossack Host ... in their considering themselves a separate people from other Cossacks ...