Azov Cossack Host

Azov Cossack Host (Azovske kozatske viisko). A military formation organized by the Russian government and consisting of the descendants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who settled in the Turkish lands of the Dobrudja region after the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775 and formed the Danubian Sich. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–9 about 1,500 Danubian Cossacks, led by Otaman Yosyp Hladky, joined the Russian side and fought the Turks as a separate Danubian Cossack regiment. After the war the Russian government settled these Cossacks along the coast of the Sea of Azov between Berdiansk and Nohaisk. In 1831 they were renamed the Azov Cossack Host. Other units were later added to the host. Hladky was the acting hetman, responsible to the governor-general of New Russia. The main task of the host was to protect the coast of the Sea of Azov with an armed flotilla of small vessels. In 1862–4 the Russian government began to resettle the Cossacks by force in the Kuban and northern Caucasia. As a result the Cossacks revolted and were suppressed in 1865. Over six thousand Cossacks were demoted into peasants.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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