The Don-Kuban Union is a country in the middle of Pontic steppe and Northern Caucasus. It borders Russia to the north, Alash Orda to the east, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the south and Ukraine to the west.
Though Cossack subservience to Russia was secured for centuries prior to the Weltkrieg, their ambiguous place in Russia's complex social order afforded them both with many privileges and duties from the Russian state. As a proud "warrior people," the Cossacks were drafted in vast numbers to serve in the Weltkrieg, and suffered correspondingly heavy losses amidst Russia's dismal performance against the Germans, though they won much renown nevertheless in other theatres that gave their famed cavalry more freedom.
The February Revolution that toppled the Tsar was met with surprising support even among the Cossacks, who had likewise grown disillusioned with the Romanovs over the past years. More tangibly, diehard loyalty to the fading monarchy would seriously put their privileges in peril, and so swearing allegiance to the new Russian Republic was an easy choice. The October Revolution, however, was a much harder sell for the Cossacks, who saw in the Bolsheviks an unfettered force for social change in their Host territories, very little of which would be to their benefit.
As a result, the Cossacks formed an integral element of the anti-Bolshevik "White" armies from the onset of the Russian Civil War onwards, albeit with mixed results. Among the Cossack leaders, none was more influential than Ataman Pyotr Krasnov, who had ascended to his post after the suicide of Ataman Kaledin, and who formed a strident voice for cooperation with the Central Powers rather than the Entente in the fight against the Reds. However, while Krasnov was a key figure on paper, the reality he faced in the Armed Forces of Southern Russia was one of a second-class citizen, as the Whites had no desire to entertain the notion of Cossack independence, and so preferred to rely on Cossack manpower divorced from the problematic political opinions of their commanders, Krasnov's chief among them.
Final victory against the Bolsheviks, however, secured Krasnov's place as a clear winner in the Whites' political game, as not even the most radical SRs, let alone Kerensky, were willing to challenge the Cossacks' privileges and autonomy in their weakened state. However, not even the Civil War could stop the mass migration of non-Cossacks into Cossack lands, who by now formed more than 50% of the Don and Kuban Host territory's populations, and dominated the region's cities. Though the Cossacks had long fought against this demographic encroachment by limiting the outsiders' access to land and a political voice, it could only slow the tide rather than stop it, all while fueling bitter, anti-Cossack resentment that lingered on from the Civil War. This, combined with the unapologetically socialist character of the Russian Republic's new government, alienated many Cossacks, particularly among the infamously pro-autonomy Don and Kuban Hosts.
Birth of the Don-Kuban Union
The fateful hour for the fledgling Cossack state came in November of 1924, with the launch of the Kolchak Putsch. Though the Don Krug and Kuban Rada had voiced their support for Kolchak's uprising, on Krasnov's insistence, the deployment of Cossack forces across southern Russia did little to stop the Putsch's eventual, ignominious end. However, unlike Kolchak, Krasnov and his supporters refused to flee beyond Russia's borders, and the possibility of open fighting between loyalist and putschist forces was only averted by the Russian government's own realization of its weakness, as well as a generous helping of German "advice" that the Cossack's autonomy be recognized for the sake of peace.
As such, the year 1925 opened with much of Russia's south, including many non-Cossack areas, now existing as quasi-fiefs of the various Cossack leaders. Though the Astrakhan and Terek Hosts had not initially declared for Kolchak, pro-Krasnov Cossack forces from the Don and Kuban Hosts quickly installed what few independence supporters they could find. As such, while all the various Cossack Hosts were nominally autonomous individuals in the wake of the post-Putsch compromise, in reality, all owed their loyalty to Krasnov in one form or another.
This compromise has left the Don-Kuban Union in an ambiguous place, as while it is formally still recognized as part of Russia, the peace terms in the wake of the Kolchak Putsch were so slanted in the Cossacks' favour that they are de-facto an independent state, dominated by Krasnov's clique in the capital of Novocherkassk. Time will tell if the Cossacks drift further into Germany's orbit, back towards Mother Russia, or strike out on their own fortunes.
- Head of Government: Petr Krasnov
- Minister of Foreign Affairs: Viktor Fausek
- Minister of Finance: Dimitri Grabbe-Nikitin
- Minister of Justice: Alexei Friedmann
- Head of the Brotherhood of Russian Truth: Gleb Krzhizhanovsky
- Minister of War: Razak Hadjiev
- Chief of Army: Panteleimon Ponomarenko
- Chief of Navy: Ignatz Dmyrkin
- Chief of the Air Force: Nikifor Gapon
The Cossack Army is comprised of two infantry divisions, but its most important units are its four cavalry divisions.