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As the don Cossacks became the main military force of the Russian Empire?

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Approval, to put it mildly, controversial... Why don Cossacks, and since when they suddenly became the main military force is the Russian Empire? Yes, the Cossacks have always been quoted as a light cavalry. They are often used for intelligence and search in the rear of the enemy, but in battles the main striking force, if we talk about the cavalry, were rather cuirassiers - heavy cavalry, the equivalent of a modern tank troops, and Dragoons - the main type of cavalry in Russian Imperial army. Cossacks - don, Ural, Kuban and others, simply could not be the main military force of the Russian army because of their relative scarcity. They never accounted for more than 10 percent of the total army. The main military force of the Russian Empire - the numerous infantry.
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