Cossack Revival After decades of repression under communism, Cossacks are making a comeback! There were more than four million Cossacks in the Russian empire before the Revolution but during the 1920s and 1930s they were effectively destroyed. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 many people were left struggling to live and to create a sense of identity. Everything that was known changed in an instant and life became very uncertain. With a present that has not lived up to expectations and an uncertain future many people have turned to the past to serve as their guide. Estimates of the number of Cossacks are difficult to come by but their growing sense of influence is not going unnoticed especially in the spheres of politics, economy and the military. In the regions where they have strong communities Cossacks have generated a lot of popular support. Whether it is in Russia, the Caucasus or the Ukraine many people look to the Cossacks as defenders of interests of ethnic Russians both within and outside the borders of the Russian Federation. Having survived all the purges, Cossacks have now come to represent a significant force within Russia and other post-communist countries. It is likely that their importance and influence will continue to grow. This project has begun out of a belief that it is important to document the resurgence of the Cossacks as they are our history and once again, they are making history. How their future will develop remains to be seen. Much will depend on Russian President Vladimir Putin, the 'Great Ataman' (Cossack Chieftain) who appears to have adopted the ideological doctrine of Tsar Nicolas I: Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality.