TEACHERS: Want the podcast?

Learn More
George v l meyer as cossack

Image in the public domain

Social Studies High School

The History of the Russian Cossacks

When a Russian paramilitary group, called the Cossacks, first emerged more than 500 years ago, it fought for two goals: expand Russia’s borders and protect its Orthodox Christian values. The Cossacks became recognized around the world for their fierce fighting skills and by their traditional dress: black sheepskin hats, long open coats and riding boots. Over the centuries, the Cossacks’ commitment to Russian imperialism and conservative ideology remained constant. The 1991 Soviet collapse resuscitated the Cossacks’ chance to serve as the country’s vigilantes once again. In this audio story, you’ll hear how an attack on a female punk band during the 2014 Sochi Olympics showed the world that the Cossacks aren’t just a page in the history books.

Violence Politics World History II Protest

Story Length: 3:06

Listen to the Story:


National Public Radio © 2014 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 02/22/2014

Want to hear the story and see the teaching resources?

  • Access to full library of lessons
  • Daily current events
  • Listening comprehension questions
  • Graphic Organizers
Learn More


Related Lessons