My grandfather was a Cossack, and we Cossacks are not so easy to kill!
Cossacks (Ukrainian: Kozaky; Russian: Kazaki; Polish: Kozacy) were originally members of military communities in Ukraine and southern Russia. They are well-known for their hats and horsemanship, and were the closest Europe ever came to Mongol Übermenschen.
Cossacks were a constant vexation to the Russian Empire, as they refused to answer to any nation but themselves. They fought the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russians (especially Bolsheviks), the Turks, the French, and the Tatars.
Although militaristic, Cossacks can be surmised as Ukrainian knights errant. Cossacks captured by the Ottomans were often blinded, and on their return to their native land would become travelling bards, or kobzari. This has contributed to the romantic image of the Cossack as the freedom fighter, among other things. Pyotr Tchaikovsky, a closet Ukrainian, memorialized Hetman Ivan Mazepa in the opera Mazeppa. Cossacks had always suffered discrimination under the Russian Empire, and Ukrainian Cossacks in particular were forced underground after the Soviet Union outlawed Ukrainians and Cossacks.