All of the greatest, most famous and most distinguished 20th century journalists from around the world became renowned authors only when they engaged in wars, warfare and suffering, and, of course, war correspondence. Such authors were John Reed, who came from America to Lenin in 1917, an Austro-Hungarian adventurer Egon Erwin Kisch who dashed off to the other side of the world to ride alongside Pancho Villa, and let’s not forget about Oriana Fallaci, an Italian who travelled to Vietnam, or Ernest Hemingway and his trip to Italy during the First World War and Spain during the Civil War, which even earned him a Nobel Prize. All of them rushed to those battlefronts because they knew, or at least they felt, that at very core of war actually lies that chaotic sequence of events – triumphal and tragic – which interplay at dramatic speed, that everything can change in a manner of days, or even hours – from country borders to the death toll statistics… and that in the battle aftermath, all misery and the importance of human existence on Earth becomes clear as day.
Following in their footsteps, while sticking to completely unpaved and unfamiliar paths, this volunteer from Central Europe went to civil war in Donbas, in Ukraine. We say “unpaved paths” because the war in the east of Ukraine and the far west of Russia presents the first Cossack war effort of the modern age. The author of this book, Seryoga Vladimirov, couldn’t resist this challenge so he decided to go to the homeland of Little Russian Cossacks and fight alongside them and other volunteers from Ukraine, Russia and Germany for their freedom and goals, as well as his own, ready to put his life on the line for those ideals. He was a warrior on the front lines of that horrible conflict and that’s why his book isn’t filled with any geopolitical or strategic approaches and theories about this war, rather, it represents an astute, lucid account “at first hand”, i.e. from the most protruded positions. That’s why “I am a Cossack” is Seryoga Vladimirov’s autobiographical novel, honest and painful, simultaneously light-hearted and tragic – like wars themselves are – which makes it a real page-turner.
In his review of “I am a Cossack” from S. Vladimirov, a well-known Russian war correspondent Oleg Potapov wrote “When I first met him on the battlefront, he didn’t even speak Russian, and now he is publishing a book about our fight in English!”
Seryoga Vladimirov is a man from Central Europe who went to Ukrainian war without any knowledge of Russian language and spent nearly two years in Cossack Army where he fought alongside the Russians, Chechens, Tartars, Yakuts, Uzbeks …. He served in the best Cossacks assault unit “group U” and under the command of the legendary “Uzbek” participated in all the most significant battles in the Lugansk People’s Republic