“Crimean Cossacks” by Ikuru Kuwajima // #crimearaw
After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Cossacks have been reviving their tradition mainly in Ukraine and Russia. In Crimea, a number of active Cossack communities have been spring up in the decade. Some of them are also tied to pro-Russian movement, as ethnic Russians still dominate the demography in Crimea. Before the Soviet Union, Cossacks formed independent military communities, with a large degree of autonomy and were known as brave soldiers with skillful horsemanship, having fought many wars for hundreds of years. However, Cossacks’ activities and tradition are suppressed during the Soviet era. After the Soviet collapse, Cossacks have been active in restoring their tradition, often working as security guards in each community and organizing events to commemorate Cossacks’ historic events to reaffirm their identity. The photographs were taken in 2009 – several years before the annexation of Crimea. At that time, Cossacks played much less political role.
Ikuru Kuwajima’s website: www.ikurukuwajima.com