Highly skilled cavalrymen with a strong independent streak, Russia’s Cossacks are an interesting people with a rich history. Initially swearing allegiance to no one, they nonetheless had a profound impact on Russian, Polish and Ukrainian history.
For centuries, the Cossacks formed a military society and organized themselves into nations called “Hosts.” Raiders and pirates, their pursuit of plunder either caused or contributed to several military conflicts between Poland, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Yet, their independence and adherence to the “Cossack traditions” (kind of like the Pirates’ Code for Cossacks) has made them the stuff of legend.
Get a Russian visa, and you can tour part of the historic homeland of the Black Sea Cossack Host in South Russia. There are two main sites to explore: Taman and surrounding areas, and Krasnodar. Bootsnall notes that the latter is an especially good place to get a feel for Cossack history:
“The current government aims to resurrect the Cossack traditions and thus Cossack monuments, memorabilia and customs are in abundance. In fact, most of the monuments in the city are dedicated either to Catherine the Great or the Cossacks. Do pay a visit to the State Archeological Museum to see the exhibition on the Cossack way of living and see some of their relics. Every Sunday at noon there is a fascinating change of guard in the center of the city.”
To get there, you’ll need to get a Russian visa first. Unfortunately, Russia’s complex visa system means that you might need the fortitude of a Cossack to do so. Here’s a brief rundown of what you’ll need:
- Your passport.
- A completed Russian visa application form
- 1 passport photo
- A copy of your airline tickets or a copy of your itinerary showing your flight number and the dates that you’ll be in Russia.
- A tourist invitation from a Russian travel agency or hotel that can serve as your visa sponsor. The hotel or travel agency must be registered with the Russian government.
- A hotel voucher from your hotel.
RushMyTravelVisa can greatly simplify the process of getting a Russian visa. We’ll research your itinerary, help you complete the paperwork and gather the required documents, then submit them to the Russian Embassy for the fastest possible processing.
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