The man bellow with the medals and the beard is my great great grandfather. He was a Cossack in the Urals, I have been looking for ages but I can not find what Cossack uniform he is wearing. I really want to know because that could help me find out more about him. I know by looking on his medals that he fought for the Russo-Japanese war, and on the back of the photo it says this photo was taken in 1906, so before the Great War and the Revolution.

I just had the photo colorised so it would help more.

enter image description here

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    Concerning the colourisation, from what I understand much can only be guessed at. Do you actually know that the uniform shown in this picture is correctly coloured? This could be critical to its identification. Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 2:47
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    Look at this poster militaryarms.ru/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/g10.jpg The uniform looks very similar, the only thing is that either the poster or your picture has been flipped horizontally. You pic has that "shirt" with buttons shifted slightly to the right, while the poster has the same, but shifted to the left
    – d.k
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 3:32
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    @user907860 - as the man is wearing his wedding ring on the right hand in the picture, i would hazard to say it may be a reverse image, which was common with older cameras.
    – ed.hank
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 22:57
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    Can't comment due to newness of my account, so I'm just adding this as a (non) answer, but it is standard Orthodox Christian practice to wear the wedding band on the right hand, so there is nothing defective about the photo and it is not reversed.
    – EJS
    Commented Mar 12 at 0:42
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    @ed.hank Russian Orthodox tradition is to wear one's wedding ring on the right hand.
    – ach
    Commented Mar 12 at 7:37

2 Answers 2


This is a Russian army uniform from the time of Nicholas II. This section here (in Russian) describes this:

In 1907, based on the experience of the Russian-Japanese war, a field summer uniform of a protective (greenish-gray) color was introduced in the Russian army, which consisted of caps with visors for all ranks, tunics with five buttons with patch pockets on the chest and sides for officers, shirt-tunic made of paper fabric for soldiers and khaki trousers for all branches of the army, except for cavalry and horse artillery (which were left with gray-blue leggings with colored edging) and Cossacks (who were left with blue trousers with stripes in the color of the army) ).

Colored stripes appears to be the mark of a Cossack uniform.


Sorry, but this is not a photo of 1906, but 1914 and later. Нe has four crosses of St. George (a full St. George knight), but in addition he has St. George medals, which began to be issued only in 1913. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D0%B5%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0%B5%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C

Most likely, this photo is more likely from 1917-19. Made after returning from the front of the Great War (WWI). He is not wearing a field uniform, but the usual clothes of the Cossacks. On the shoulder straps there are no monograms denoting his regiment. Possibly (not exactly) made when he was in the White Army during the Russian Civil War in 1918-1920.

His military rank is senior sergeant (starshy uryadnik). https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B0%D1%87%D1%8C%D0%B8_%D1%87%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%8B

It is extremely difficult to identify a Don, Kuban, Amur or Ural Cossack. They were distinguished by the color of the stripes on the trousers and the band of the cap. This is not visible in the black and white photo.

The photo is not reverse, as indicated by the position of his awards: first crosses, then medals. It is right. Edged weapons were carried on the left side (this is a shashka, not a saber). The "wedding ring" is just a defect in the photo.

For comparison: young Cossack (WWI) in a field uniform with his wife http://s42.radikal.ru/i095/1301/a8/73fa709f2fa4.jpg


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