A Russian Cossack, right, watches pedestrians as he patrols a Moscow railway station. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)They've technically been around for centuries, but a small group of Cossacks recently returned to officially patrol the streets of Moscow.
"We're like Chuck Norris!" Cossack patrol leader Igor Gulichev said, comparing his colleagues to the role made famous by Norris in the 1990s TV show "Walker, Texas Ranger."
According to the Russian 2010 census, about 650,000 citizens self-identified as Cossacks but only eight of the patrolmen, originally heralded for their sword-fighting ability, have been selected to walk the streets of Moscow looking for beggars, drunks and illegally parked cars, according to the Associated Press.
While their modern role has shifted, the newly appointed Cossacks are fighting crime in their traditional uniform and fur hat. The AP says the Kremlin hopes the return of the Cossacks will also "promote conservative values and appeal to nationalists."
The political angle leads straight to the top of Russia's government. In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin wasRead More »from Cossacks once again patrolling Moscow streets: ‘We’re like Chuck Norris!’