Best Defense

Were the Cossacks the Sioux of Eurasia?

"The Gunpowder Age" makes me think so.



The Gunpowder Age makes me think so.

That is, the Cossacks got firearms before other people in the neighborhood, and, as the Sioux did when similarly advantaged, used that to swiftly build an empire. “The musket was the essential arm of the Cossacks, who, firing it in volleys, made their way inexorably eastward across Siberia to the Pacific,” writes Tonio Andrade. “Their foes fled, died, or agreed to pay exorbitant tributes in sable and fox furs.”

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at @tomricks1
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