Black Sea Cossack Host

Black Sea Cossack Host (Russian: Черномо́рское каза́чье во́йско; Ukrainian: Чорномо́рське коза́цьке ві́йсько), also known as Chernomoriya (Russian: Черномо́рия), was a Cossack host of the Russian Empire created in 1787 in southern Ukraine from former Zaporozhian Cossacks.[1] In the 1790s, the host was re-settled to the Kuban River. It comprised the Caucasus Fortified Defence Line from the mouth of the Kuban River to the mouth of the Bolshaya Laba River.


Cossacks graves1
Cossacks' graves in the steppe, SW Ukraine

The Black Sea host played a crucial role in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1797. As a result, Catherine II rewarded them with the Kuban land in the North Caucasus (north of the Kuban River, south of the Yeya River and east of the Sea of Azov) by her decree of June 30, 1792.[1] At that time the area was inhabited by a few Nogain steppe nomads. When Russia annexed the Crimean Khanate in 1783 it inherited the Crimean claim to this land. South of the Kuban were Circassians.

Renamed the Black Sea Cossack Host in honor of the victories during the Russo-Turkish War,[1] a total of 25,000 people made the migration in 1792-1794 from Ukraine, settling in the regions north of the Kuban River. Initially, the Black Sea Cossacks adhered to Zaporozhian traditions, such as the democratic election of the host government, but in time they adopted many Russian ways.

Instead of a central Sich, they formed a defence line from the inlet of the Kuban River into the Black Sea to the inlet of the Bolshaya Laba River, and colonised the land north of this line with stanitsas.

The Cossacks founded the administrative centre of Yekaterinodar (literally "Catherine's gift") in 1794. At the same time, however, the Black Sea Cossacks also sent men to many major campaigns of the Russian Empire, such as the suppression of the Polish Kościuszko Uprising in 1794, the ill-fated Persian Expedition of 1796 where nearly half of the Cossacks died from hunger and disease.

The Host sent the 9th plastun (infantry) and 1st joint cavalry regiments as well as the first Leib Guards (elite) sotnia to aid the Russian Army during the Patriotic War of 1812. Further participation of the new host occurred in the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) where they stormed the last remaining Ottoman bastion of the northern Black Sea Coast, the fortress of Anapa, which fell on June 12, 1828. In the course of the Crimean War, the Cossacks foiled attempts by allied forces to land on the Taman Peninsula, whilst the 2nd and 5th plastun battalions took part in the heroic Defence of Sevastopol (1854-1855).

The migration to Kuban, a part of the monument of Antin Holovaty in Odessa

As the years went by, the Black Sea Cossacks continued their systematic penetration into the mountainous regions of the Northern Caucasus. Taking an active part in the finale of the Russian conquest of the Northern Caucasus (1817-1864), they settled regions as these were conquered. To aid them, a total of 70,000 additional ex-Zaporozhians from the Bug, Yekaterinoslav, and finally the Azov Cossack Host migrated there in the mid 19th century. All three hosts needed to be removed to vacate space for the colonisation of New Russia, and with the increasing weakness of the Ottoman Empire as well as the formation of independent buffer states in the Balkans, the need for further Cossack defensive presence in New Russia had ended. They migrated to the Kuban in 1860 and merged with the Caucasus Line Cossack Host, which consisted of migrated Don Cossack elements. Finally, in 1864, the Black Sea Cossacks and the Azov Cossacks were united into the Kuban Cossack Host, ninety years after the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich.


Upon creation, the territory of the host was governed by the military government.[1] Later, a dedicated military executive office was created, which was headed by the host's ataman.[1] In military matters, this office was subordinated to Kherson's military governor and, since 1802, to the Crimean Inspectorate.[1] In civil matters, the office was subordinated to the Governor of Taurida Governorate.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Azarenkova et al., pp. 9ff.


  • Азаренкова, А. С.; И. Ю. Бондарь; Н. С. Вертышева (1986) [1986]. Основные административно-территориальные преобразования на Кубани (1793–1985 гг.) (in Russian). Краснодарское книжное издательство.
Antin Holovaty

Antin Holovaty (Ukrainian: Антiн Андрійович Головатий) or Anton Golovaty (Russian: Антон Андреевич Головатый) ; between 1732 and 1744 – January 28, 1797 was a prominent Zaporozhian Cossack leader who after the Zaporozhian Sich's destruction was a key figure in the formation of the Black Sea Cossack Host and their later resettlement to the Kuban Region of Russia.

Azov Cossack Host

Azov Cossack Host (Ukrainian: Азовське козацьке військо; Russian: Азовское Казачье Войско) was a Cossack host that existed on the northern shore of the Sea of Azov, between 1832 and 1862.

The host was made up of several Cossack groups who were re-settled there. The most numerous were the former Danubian Sich Cossacks, who came under Russian Patronage in 1828. The host was the only one in the Russian Empire whose primary task was Naval Coast Guard duties, participating extensively in the course of the Caucasus and Crimean wars.

Caucasus Line Cossack Host

Caucasus Line Cossack Host (Кавказское линейное казачье войско) was a Cossack host created in 1832 for the purpose of conquest of the Northern Caucasus. Together with the Black Sea Cossack Host it defended the Caucasus Fortified Defense Line from the inlet of Terek River to the inlet of Kuban River.

It consisted of the following regiments:

Vladikavkaz regiment

Volga regiment

Gorsky (Mountain) regiment

Grebensky regiment

Caucasus regiment

Kizlyar regiment

Labinsky regiment

Mozdok regiment

Stavropol regiment

Sunzhen regiment

Terek regiment

Urup regiment

Khoper regiment

Cossack host

A Cossack host (Ukrainian: козаче військо, kozache viysko; Russian: каза́чье во́йско, kazachye voysko), sometimes translated as Cossack army, was an administrative subdivision of Cossacks in the Russian Empire. The word host is an archaic word for army.


Cossacks (Belarusian: казакi, Czecho-Slovak: kozáci, Hungarian: kozákok, Polish: Kozacy, Russian: казаки́, Ukrainian: козаки́ ) were a group of predominantly East Slavic-speaking people who became known as members of democratic, self-governing, semi-military communities, predominantly located in Southern Russia and in South-Eastern Ukraine. They inhabited sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper, Don, Terek and Ural river basins and played an important role in the historical and cultural development of both Ukraine and Russia.The origins of the first Cossacks are disputed, though the 1710 Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk claimed Khazar origin. The emergence of Cossacks is dated to the 14th or 15th centuries, when two connected groups emerged, the Zaporozhian Sich of the Dnieper and the Don Cossack Host.The Zaporizhian Sich were a vassal people of Poland–Lithuania during feudal times. Under increasing pressure from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in the mid-17th century the Sich declared an independent Cossack Hetmanate, initiated by a rebellion under Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Afterwards, the Treaty of Pereyaslav (1654) brought most of the Cossack state under Russian rule.

The Sich with its lands became an autonomous region under the Russian-Polish protectorate.The Don Cossack Host, which had been established by the 16th century, allied with the Tsardom of Russia. Together they began a systematic conquest and colonisation of lands in order to secure the borders on the Volga, the whole of Siberia (see Yermak Timofeyevich) and the Yaik (Ural) and the Terek rivers. Cossack communities had developed along the latter two rivers well before the arrival of the Don Cossacks.By the 18th century Cossack hosts in the Russian Empire occupied effective buffer zones on its borders. The expansionist ambitions of the Empire relied on ensuring the loyalty of Cossacks, which caused tension given their traditional exercise of freedom, democracy, self-rule, and independence. Cossacks such as Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin, Ivan Mazepa and Yemelyan Pugachev led major anti-imperial wars and revolutions in the Empire in order to abolish slavery and odious bureaucracy and to maintain independence. The empire responded with ruthless executions and tortures, the destruction of the western part of the Don Cossack Host during the Bulavin Rebellion in 1707–08, the destruction of Baturyn after Mazepa's rebellion in 1708, and the formal dissolution of the Lower Dnieper Zaporozhian Host in 1775, after Pugachev's Rebellion.By the end of the 18th century Cossack nations had been transformed into a special military estate (Sosloviye), "a military class". Similar to the knights of medieval Europe in feudal times or the tribal Roman auxiliaries, the Cossacks came to military service having to obtain charger horses, arms and supplies at their own expense. The government provided only firearms and supplies for them. Cossack service was considered the most rigorous one.

Because of their military tradition, Cossack forces played an important role in Russia's wars of the 18th–20th centuries, such as the Great Northern War, the Seven Years' War, the Crimean War, Napoleonic Wars, the Caucasus War, numerous Russo-Persian Wars, numerous Russo-Turkish Wars and the First World War. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Tsarist regime used Cossacks extensively to perform police service. They also served as border guards on national and internal ethnic borders (as was the case in the Caucasus War).

During the Russian Civil War, Don and Kuban Cossacks were the first people to declare open war against the Bolsheviks. By 1918 Russian Cossacks declared the complete independence and formed independent states, the Don Republic and the Kuban People's Republic. Also the Ukrainian State emerged. Cossack troops formed the effective core of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, and Cossack republics became centers for the anti-Bolshevik White movement. With the victory of the Red Army, the Cossack lands were subjected to Decossackization and Holodomor. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cossacks made a systematic return to Russia. Many took an active part in post-Soviet conflicts. In Russia's 2002 Population Census, 140,028 people reported their ethnicity as Cossacks. There are Cossack organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus and the United States.

Danubian Sich

The Danubian Sich (Ukrainian: Задунайська Сiч) was an organization of the part of former Zaporozhian Cossacks who settled in the territory of the Ottoman Empire (the Danube Delta, hence the name) after their previous host was disbanded and the Zaporizhian Sich was destroyed.

Flags of the regions of Ukraine

The flags of the subdivisions of Ukraine exhibit a wide variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as widely different styles and design principles. Most local flags were designed and adopted after 1991.

Krasnodar Krai

Krasnodar Krai (Russian: Краснода́рский край, tr. Krasnodarsky kray, IPA: [krəsnɐˈdarskʲɪj kraj]) is a federal subject of Russia (a krai), located in the North Caucasus region in Southern Russia and administratively a part of the Southern Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Krasnodar. The third most-populous federal subject, the krai had a population of 5,226,647 as of the 2010 Census.Krasnodar Krai is formally and informally referred to as Kuban (Russian: Кубань), a term denoting former Kuban People's Republic and historic region of Kuban situated between the Sea of Azov and the Kuban River which is mostly composed of the krai's territory. It is bordered by Rostov Oblast to the north, Stavropol Krai to the east, Karachay-Cherkessia to the south-east, and Adygea is an enclave entirely within the krai. Krasnodar Krai shares an international border with Georgia to the south, and a disputed border with Crimea across the Kerch Strait.

The northern part of the krai belongs to the Don Steppe, while southern region's Mediterranean climate has made it a popular tourist location. Novorossiysk is Russia's main port on the Black Sea, one of the few cities awarded the title of the Hero City,

and Sochi was host of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014. Krasnodar Krai is home to significant infrastructure of the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet.


Kuban (Russian: Кубань; Adyghe: Пшызэ; Ukrainian: Кубань) is a geographic region of Southern Russia surrounding the Kuban River, on the Black Sea between the Don Steppe, the Volga Delta and the Caucasus, and separated from the Crimean Peninsula to the west by the Kerch Strait. Krasnodar Krai is often referred to as "Kuban", both officially and unofficially, although the term is not exclusive to the krai and accommodates the republics of Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia, and parts of Stavropol Krai.

Kuban Cossacks

Kuban Cossacks (Russian: Кубанские кaзаки, Kubanskiye Kаzaki; Ukrainian: Кубанські козаки, Kubans'ki Kozaky) or Kubanians (кубанцы, кубанці) are Cossacks who live in the Kuban region of Russia. Most of the Kuban Cossacks are descendants of different major groups of Cossacks who were re-settled to the western Northern Caucasus in the late 18th century. The western part of the host (Taman Peninsula and adjoining region to the northeast) was settled by the Black Sea Cossack Host who were originally the Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine, from 1792. The eastern and southeastern part of the host was previously administered by the Khopyour and Kuban regiments of the Caucasus Line Cossack Host and Don Cossacks, who were re-settled from the Don from 1777.The Kuban Cossack Host (Кубанское казачье войско), the administrative and military unit composed of Kuban Cossacks, formed in 1860 and existed until 1918. During the Russian Civil War, the Kuban Cossacks proclaimed a Kuban People's Republic, and played a key role in the southern theatre of the conflict. The Kuban Cossacks suffered heavy losses during the Holodomor and the subsequent Soviet extermination of Russians and Ukrainians and their culture in the Kuban region. Hence, during the Second World War, Cossacks fought both for both the Red Army and against them with the German Wehrmacht. The modern Kuban Cossack Host was re-established in 1990 at the fall of the Soviet Union.

Kuban People's Republic

The Kuban People's Republic (Russian: Кубанская Народная Республика Kubanskaya Narodnaya Respublika; Ukrainian: Кубанська Народна Республiка Kubans'ka Narodna Respublika) was an anti-Bolshevik state during the Russian Civil War, comprising the territory of the modern-day Kuban region in Russia.

The republic was proclaimed by the Kuban Rada on 28 January 1918 and declared its independence on 16 February. It would include all territory of the former Kuban Oblast of the Russian Empire. During its brief independence, it sought union with the Ukrainian People's Republic until the latter was occupied by Soviet forces. The Kuban People's Republic was crushed 7 November 1919, having existed for 21 months.

Kuban bandurists

A Kuban bandurists is a person who plays the Ukrainian plucked string instrument known as the bandura, who is from Kuban, a geographic region of southern Russia surrounding the Kuban River.

The tradition of the kobzar in Kuban migrated from central Ukraine. According to the historian and archivist Ivan Kyiashko the Kuban Cossacks played on the kobza, violin, jaw harp, hurdy-gurdy, basses, tsymbaly, and sopilka.

The Cossacks were especially respectful to itinerant blind singers who played the bandura or kobza. To them, the blind kobzar was a living reminder of their past. In previous eras they themselves were veterans of past battles and campaigns. Their repertoire retold the stories of past battles in the many epic ballads known as dumy (sung epic poems).

March (territory)

A march or mark was, in broad terms, a medieval European term for any kind of borderland, as opposed to a notional "heartland". More specifically, a march was a border between realms, and/or a neutral/buffer zone under joint control of two states, in which different laws might apply. In both of these senses, marches served a political purpose, such as providing warning of military incursions, or regulating cross-border trade, or both.

Just as counties were traditionally ruled by counts, marches gave rise to titles such as marquess (masculine) or marchioness (feminine) in England, marquis (masculine) or marquise (feminine) in France and Scotland, margrave (Markgraf i.e. "march count"; masculine) or margravine (Markgräfin i.e. "march countess", feminine) in Germany, and corresponding titles in other European states.

Pavlo Holovaty

Pavlo Andriyovych Holovaty (Ukrainian: Павло Андрійович Головатий; 1715–1795) was a Ukrainian military figure, a Kosh Otoman of the Zaporozhian Sich and last military judge of the Zaporozhian Cossack Host. He is often confused with his younger brother, the leader of the Zaporozahian Host's successor the Black Sea Cossack Host Antin Holovaty.


A Plastun or plastoon (Ukrainian, Russian: пластун) was a Cossack foot scouting and sentry military unit. Originally they were part of the Black Sea Cossack Host and then later in the 19th and 20th centuries Kuban Cossack Host.

Sydir Bily

Sidor Bely or Sydir Bily (1716 — 20 July 1788) — Kosh ataman of the Black Sea Cossack Host.

Taman, Russia

Taman (Russian: Тамань) is a rural locality (a stanitsa) in Temryuksky District of Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the coast of the Taman Bay. Population: 10,027 (2010 Census); 9,297 (2002 Census).

Ukrainians in Kuban

The Ukrainians in Kuban in southern Russia constitute a national minority. The region as a whole shares many linguistic, cultural and historic ties with Ukraine.

Ukrainians first settled in the Kuban region in 1792. Until the mid-twentieth century the majority of the population there identified themselves as Little Russians or Ukrainians. Due to adverse Russian and Soviet national policies, including the Holodomor, most of the population came to self-identify as Russian, and the percentage of those who identified themselves as Ukrainians dropped from an official 55% (1926) to 0.9% (2002).

Zakhary Chepiha

Zakhary (Kharyton or Kharko) Oleksiyovych Chepiha (Ukrainian: Захарій (Харитон / Харко) Олексійович Чепіга), sometimes transliterated Chepiga, alternative surname: Kulish (Ukrainian: Куліш) (1725 – 14 January 1797) was, after Sydir Bily, the second Kosh ataman of the Black Sea Cossack Host.

Chepiha was born in Chernihiv Oblast. He arrived at the Zaporozhian Sich in 1740 and at its demise in 1775 was a Cossack polkovnyk. He retired with the title of Captain. In 1783 he made an unsuccessful attempt at organizing a cohort of volunteer cossacks from the Zaporozhia.

After meeting up with Catherine II in 1787, he was one of the cossacks to convince the Empress in allowing the formation of the Host of the Loyal Zaporozhians, later known as the Black Sea Cossack Host.

Soon afterwards the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) broke out, and the new cossack host received its battle christening on the Southern Bug river during the Battle of Ochakov.

During a campaign in 1788, Chepiha was wounded by a bullet to the shoulder. After Sydor Bily's death, he was proclaimed the Host's ataman. He took part in the storming of Izmail in 1790 and the battle of Babodah in 1791. For his efforts, Chepiha received the rank of the Order of St. George. In 1792 he took part in the resettlement of the Black Sea Cossacks to the Kuban. He died in 1797 and was buried in Yekaterinodar.

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