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Cossacks!

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19th century tool of Russian authoritarianism, meet 21st century Russian anarchist performance art collective:

Cossack militia attacked the Pussy Riot punk group with horsewhips on Wednesday as the group tried to perform under a sign advertising the Sochi Olympics.

Say this about Vladimir Putin–he is a subtle man.

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  • MAJeff

    As they were trying to say, Putin will teach you to love the Motherland…or else.

    • Bill Murray

      Anna Politkovskaya certainly found that out the hard way

      • It’s a quick–and menacingly surreal–read, so if anyone has anything more than a passing interest in how sinister Russia is under Putin, I highly recommend her Putin’s Russia, in particular the sections on the “rescue” of the hostages in the Russian theater. It’s like something Kafka might have written had he spent time in the Gulag.

  • DrDick

    Well, think we have known for a while the Putin aspires to be the Czar of all Russias.

    • Warren Terra

      Does this mean we get a Rasputin?

      Maybe the same Rasputin?

      • Rasputin

        Of course the same Rasputin! You fools can’t possibly have been so naive as to think that poisoning me, shooting bludgeoning me, throwing me off a bridge into a frozen river, dismembering my corpse, feeding the corpse to a pack of hyenas, strangling the hyenas, placing the hyena corpses on a rocket and launching it into the sun would be enough to kill ME? Ha ha ha!

        • Jim Williams

          That’s a true story, and deliciously evil.

          • heckblazer

            I’ve heard it said that it shows more about the general competency of Russian aristocracy of the time than it does anything about Rasputin.

        • Anonymous

          So when did you drop the “Ras”?

          • DocAmazing

            When he cut off his dreadlocks.

          • Hogan

            He traded it to Ra’s al Ghul for access to the Lazarus Pit.

  • Too bad Putin doesn’t have hemophilia.

    • Anonymous

      Wouldja settle for homophobia?

    • herr doktor bimler

      Putin doesn’t have hemophilia

      A liking for blood? Oh I think he does.

  • I’m starting to suspect the George W. Bush looking into somebody’s eyes may not be the most accurate way to judge their character.

    • MAJeff

      It may be a good judge of his character….

      • Anonymous

        Indeed.

    • McAllen

      I dunno, if Bush likes someone that’s probably a pretty good sign that I should not.

  • JoyfulA

    I was certain there’d be a Cossack dead horse in that picture.

    • Patrick

      Why do you think he’s on foot? It’s just out of frame.

  • DocAmazing

    the Cossacks work for the prevailing wage.

  • James E. Powell

    Is this story getting play in Russia? Are the people there, in general, cool with this whole whipped by Cossacks thing? Is the whole country okay with living Под сапогом?

    • I’m afraid the majority response will be “bitches had it coming.”

      • JL

        So am I. That’s how most people in the US, in my experience, respond to most instances of police brutality, against political demonstrators or otherwise, so why would Russians be any better?

        • Pat

          The “tear-gas in the eyes of a kneeling protestor” video did have an effect, though.

          • advocatethis

            Yeah, now we know where the line is.

    • LeeEsq

      I suspect that the majority of Russians or at least a decent plurality of them are experiencing a reactionary turn these days.

  • LittlePig

    I hear that in the voice of Pavel Chekov….

    • LittlePig

      Ahh. “Gamesters of Triskelion” Knew I had heard it relatively recently.

  • Rarely Posts

    Not to thread jack, but Loomis, I’m honestly surprised you haven’t posted anything on the latest Walker document dump. Sounds like a lot of illegal stuff was happening in his office (a secret router so people could do campaign work in the office?).

    • Schadenboner

      Yes, this. Don’t forget us in Wisconsin. Seriously. :(

  • jeer9

    Say this about the Cossacks – they inspired the great Don novels.

    • James E. Powell

      And let’s not forget Taras Bulba – One of my favorite old school epic dramas.

      Cast of thousands. Cast of thousands of horses.

    • IM

      just reading them.

    • allium

      This made me lol when I first saw it.

      • rea

        You link to the picture, but the actual letter they wrote is pretty good (Shostakovich set it to music, too)

        The Sultan wrote the Cossacks:

        Sultan Mahmud IV to the Zaporozhian Cossacks:

        As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the sun and moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God Himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians — I command you, the Zaporogian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.

        The Cossacks wrote the Sultan:

        Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!

        O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil excretes, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we’ve no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck your mother.

        You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw your own mother!

        So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding Christian pigs. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!

        The Cossacks were a much oppressed people before they got a job as the Czar’s tools for oppresing others–as often happens.

        • Karen

          Do you have a link for that? I must post this to my Facebook page.

          • rea

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reply_of_the_Zaporozhian_Cossacks

            Or, listen to Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony. One might suspect that Shostakovich had Stalin rather than the Sultan in mind . . .

            Guilamme Appolinaire turned it into poetry, and that’s the version Shostakovich used.

            • LC

              For those who read French:

              Plus criminel que Barrabas
              Cornu comme les mauvais anges
              Quel Belzébuth es-tu là-bas
              Nourri d’immondice et de fange
              Nous n’irons pas à tes sabbats

              Poisson pourri de Salonique
              Long collier des sommeils affreux
              D’yeux arrachés à coup de pique
              Ta mère fit un pet foireux
              Et tu naquis de sa colique

              Bourreau de Podolie Amant
              Des plaies des ulcères des croûtes
              Groin de cochon cul de jument
              Tes richesses garde-les toutes
              Pour payer tes médicaments

              • rea

                Yeah Appolinaire cleaned it up a lot.

        • Malaclypse

          goat-fucker of Alexandria

          The blog has been sorely lacking in Kaus-mockery lately.

        • LeeEsq

          You don’t get diplomacy like this in our age. One could only wish we would hear Obama or really anybody in our government give a similar rant about Putin.

          • stickler

            Come, now. Putin’s secret services just released audio of a US diplomat saying “fuck the EU.” Not quite as eloquent, sure, but at least touchingly human.

        • Pat

          That is one beautiful fuck-you.

        • mc

          My wife is actually from Zaporizhia… I was there last summer!

          We went to a cossack horse show. They have a little historical village on an island in the middle of the Dnieper there. The crazy riding stunts and whip stunts they did was entertaining. During the show, they dropped lots of insults about “Moskvas” (sp? pr?) which is their derogatory word for Russians, specifically from Moscow. Not all cossacks are pro-Russian; there are many different groups of them, settled in various places throughout the former Russian Empire/USSR.

          • rea

            Not all cossacks are pro-Russian

            Well, yeah, that was kinda why the Czar used them to keep the Russians (and other ethnicities) in line

          • So-in-so

            There were Cossack units in both the Soviet and German armies in WWII, possibly WWI as well.

            Relevant only in so far as they would be just as happy whipping Putin if the tables somehow turned.

  • AB

    Has nobody told Putin his beloved Tchaikovsky was gay?

  • Johnnie

    Say what you will about their historical use in various imperial campaigns, I thought they were a great civ-specific unit.

  • Cossacks? I knew he was old-school but I didn’t realize how much.

    • I expect a post shortly on whether the Cossack air force can handle the Texas navy.

      • Texas would win if they can manage to deploy unemployed lawyers.

        • Karen

          I’ll defeat the Cossacks simply by giving away bottles of Tito’s Texas Vodka, jalapeño flavor.

  • wengler

    All Cossacks with whips symbolize is that Putin’s Russia is tied together with duct tape and bungee cords. The US equivalent would be hiring a bunch of good ol’ boys to walk around and harass anyone and everyone.

    • Karen

      Exactly. Beating up on a punk band does not make Russia look like a strong country. Strong countries ignore punk bands and beat up on actual armies. So far, Russia has only managed to defeat an attack by Georgia.

      • So-in-so

        Sort of like the militia guys in the U.S. who were going to patrol the Mexican border a few years ago. They might well still be there, although I suspect they went away after the breakaway members were convicted of murder. Now imagine that government actually gives them approval to do that, and maybe take care of other “problems” as well…

        • Karen

          Exactly.

    • Tristan

      They called it ‘Stand Your Ground’ and they didn’t even have to pay them.

  • Barfbag

    This is what the black race wants.

    • Anthony

      Well it certainly makes White people look bad if that’s what you mean…

      ???

      • Barfbag

        Whatever you say, race traitor.

        • Anthony

          I still can’t tell if you’re being serious.

          • Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenhenheim den Sidste

            I like Poe’s Law.

            My guess here, based on the distressingly low level of enthusiasm displayed by Mr Bad, is that we have a genuinely dumb bigot on our hands.

            Over/Under on how persistent he will be?

  • Warren Terra

    I realize you’re not going to successfully block the troll – it’s too easy to get around the blocks, if for some reason a troll refuses to accept they’re not welcome – but now that they’ve descended to merely shouting abuse, could a front pager please delete their spoor?

    • KmCO

      I second that notion. I’m also noticing an unfortunate reaction on my part to simply scrolling past “Anonymous” posts without fully taking into account that a). Not all “Anonymous” posts are the work of JenBob, and b). sometimes non-JenBob Anonymous posts are actually well-written and contain thoughtful information.

  • JenBob

    Suck my fucking cock. I have a micropenis. Blacks! Jews! I’m a sad sick old man.

    • LeeEsq

      We are finally getting to the truth of JenBob’s problems.

    • LeeEsq

      We are finally getting to the truth of JenBob’s problems.

  • Tom Servo

    You guys played Vladibird yet? http://deidealewereld.vier.be/vladibird/

    • Barry Freed

      Damn your robot gumball eyes!

  • K

    Puts a new meaning to the word pussy whiped. And don’t anyone dare insult George jrs judge of character. Junior could obviously tell and see that putin was exactly his type of guy.

  • Hogan

    Cossack Militia would be a pretty good band name.

  • LeeEsq

    The Post-Soviet Russia seems intent a ressurecting everything bad about Imperial Russia without the colorful spectacle that made it least an interesting place. The Romanovs might have been terrible rulers but at least they were easy on the eye unlike most other royal families of the time.

    • Karen

      Exactly. If we have to have the bloody repression, can’t we have the jewelry and fancy uniforms?

    • Hogan

      Did Nicholas II ever pose with his shirt off?

    • So-in-so

      It seems as though when the Russians traded the Romanovs for the Bolshiveks they got a more ruthless and efficient authoritarianism, industrialization and better imperial expansion with a sense of historical determinism in exchange for the fancy dress balls and grand architecture. Since Putin, they gave back the empire and lost the historical sense of destiny, and the industrial part is rotting.

      • ajay

        Oh, come on, the Bolsheviks had grand architecture too. Look at all those immense statues and war memorials, and the Stalin Wedding Cake buildings around Moscow.

        • LeeEsq

          The great architectual accomplishment of Stalin was that he built the world’s most aesthetically pleasing subway system.

        • herr doktor bimler

          I have photographs of Stalinist architecture in Riga and I’m not afraid to use them.

          • LeeEsq

            Stalin wanted to get close to something like the skyscraper without actually building skyscrapers, which he thought were too capitalistic in their symbolism.

      • LeeEsq

        It depends on which historian you ask of course. I have a book called Russia 1913 that makes a good argument that all things considered, Imperial Russia was developing a civil society during the late part of Romanov rule despite Nicholas II’s attempts to the contrary. It wasn’t becoming a democracy by any stretch but things were getting better economically and within the parameters of the system. Than WWI screwed everything up.

        The NEP period of the USSR wasn’t so bad all things considered. Russia probably wouldn’t have turned into a democracy but the continuation of NEP under the Right Bolsheviks would have been a lot more humane than Stalin’s rule. The Left Bolsheviks were desperate to industrialize the USSR though. Stalin more or less demanded the people of the USSR commit suicide in the name of industrialization. Mao would famously follow suite in a much more spectacular manner in China.

      • LeeEsq

        The economy of late Imperial Russia wasn’t doing all that bad either in pure technical terms. Agriculture played a very large role in the economy but having masses of people stream into cities isn’t always the best thing either. Russia was industrializing and a rather nice pace to.

      • Warren Terra

        I’m just going to leave this here. You do what you like with it.

  • ajay

    You know, it’s very strange but Russia Today has completely missed this story. Does anyone know a regular contributor to RT who might be persuaded to mention it?

    • LeeEsq

      Russia Today is basically Pravda on TV. Its a propaganda channel. You shouldn’t expect them to mention anything unfavorable to Putin’s regime.

  • Yosemite Semite

    After the Russian hockey team’s humiliating defeat at the sticks of the Finns, Vladimir Putin ordered the hockey team into its uniforms, and the members of Pussy Riot into Cossack uniforms, and ordered Pussy Riot to whip the Russian hockey players. He may not understand that the hockey uniforms cover padding. Or maybe he does – this may be some sort of fantasy that only a successor to Ivan the Terrible could get to play out. When they refused to whip or be whipped, he ordered them all off to Siberia for “conspiring in anti-Soviet acts, and engaging in behavior that undermines moral order.” (That anti-Soviet reference may be a Strangelovian slip on the part of Putin.) “Will be fun for them. Lots of ice. Boys learn to play hockey, and girls sing to them. Very nice, very nice.”

    It didn’t seem to work out as Putin planned. Nadya Tolokonnikova was last seen boarding an Aeroflot flight for Washington on the arm of Alex Ovechkin, who was making some sort of ambiguous hand gesture back towards the terminal.

  • Yosemite Semite

    BTW, Vlad seems to have a hand in selecting the Russian hockey coach. Will he now be fired for that?

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