Andreas Kappeler - the Historian of Russian and Ukrainian  Cossacks (to the 75th Anniversary of His Birth)

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Abstract. Andreas Kappeler, one of the leading contemporary historians of Russia, whose 75th birthday coincides with this year, has chosen the history of Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks as one of his main research topics. In his studies, he touched upon the most important issues in the Russian and Ukrainian history. His concept of Cossack history highlights several periods in which the position of the Cossacks and their role in the events and phenomena have qualitative differences. The first period he distinguishes is the free Cossacks from the end of the XV century to the reign of Peter the Great. The second period refers to the Cossacks in the Russian Empire and lasted until the fall of autocracy. During this period, the government made the Cossacks an instrument of its foreign and domestic policy. The next period, from the revolution of 1917 to the end of World War II, was a time of historical tragedy of the Cossacks and the termination of their existence. This was followed by a “memorial” period when Cossacks were preserved only in historical memory and cultural phenomena. As a result of the movement for the revival of the Cossacks, A. Kappeler considered the neo-Cossacks to be of no real relevance to the historical Cossacks. A. Kappeler raised a number of issues that are essential for the justification of the historical place of the Cossacks and the characteristics of its culture. These are gender studies, the issue of Cossack ethnicity and Cossacks as a culturalhistorical myth.

Keywords: A. Kappeler, history of Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks, foreign historiography of the Cossacks.

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