Over 100 Cossacks are sent to Republika Srpska (RS) ahead of the Bosnian elections
On October 2, 2014, a memo released by the Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced the entry of 144 Russian men dressed in Cossack uniform in Republika Srpska (RS). Photographs revealed that among the Russian nationals was Nikolai Djakonov, who led a paramilitary Cossack unit in Crimea a few months prior. The troupe arrived during a tense period, just weeks before a Bosnian election in which nationalist, pro-Russian RS leader Milorad Dodik declared his intent to hold a secession referendum for territorial independence from Bosnia if elected. Bellingcat notes that the behavior of the Cossack troupe reflected that of the “polite people” who arrived in Crimea weeks before the annexation.