May 30, 2023
The revival of the Cossacks in Australia owes much to the enthusiasm of Semyon Boykov

The revival of the Cossacks in Australia owes much to the enthusiasm of Semyon Boykov

Photo: Personal archive

To my question, can I represent him in the note as a hereditary Cossack, the Australian Semyon Boykov laughs:

– For our liberal audience, such a definition causes only laughter and doubts. Pfft, Australian Cossack! What is it?!

Many, indeed, will have a similar question: where did the Cossacks come from in the land of kangaroos and koalas. And for a moment, in Australia there are about 10-20 thousand! But let’s go in order.


The first detachments of Cossacks arrived on the green continent after the Civil War. The pioneers were the detachment of the ataman of the Ural Cossack army Vladimir Tolstov. When in 1922 there was no hope of preserving the tsarist empire, they went first to China, and then to Australia.

The Russians settled in the suburbs of Brisbane. Bought a tiny plot of land could not feed everyone, so it was decided to go to work.

“The most difficult, perhaps, is for the Russians who have settled in North Queensland. The only way to get a job is on the plantations, cutting sugar cane. The work is terribly exhausting and requires great strength and endurance, ”wrote Stukov, a journalist for the Harbin newspaper Rubezh, at that time.

In 1930, the first Australian general Cossack village appeared in Kordalba (300 km from Brisbane). By that time, Transbaikal Cossacks, Don Cossacks, Kuban Cossacks already lived on the continent. They all wanted to keep their own.

Semyon Boikov’s ancestors moved to Australia from China in the early 1960s. His father, Orthodox priest Mikhail Boikov, was already born on the green continent.

– The upbringing was strict, military-patriotic. When I was 14, I used the first money I earned – $ 70 – to buy a gilded frame into which I inserted a portrait of Nicholas II, says Semyon, who was born in the coastal city of Geelong. – The family always spoke Russian, so when I went to school there were problems, I had to learn English from scratch.

Today, according to Semyon, one can find more sympathy for Russia among Australians than among most descendants of Russian emigrants.

Today, according to Semyon, one can find more sympathy for Russia among Australians than among most descendants of Russian emigrants.

Photo: Personal archive


The revival of the Cossacks in Australia owes much to the enthusiasm of Semyon Boykov. In 2011, upon his return from Russia, where the young man studied at the seminary and traveled all over Transbaikalia, studying the villages where his ancestors lived, he decided to found a Cossack society. The traditions of the Cossacks were still glimmering, those New Australian Russians who were born in the 80-90s still remembered the old people who talked about life in the Chinese Three Rivers (the area where white emigrants settled) and sang old Cossack songs.

At first, the Australian authorities looked closely at the Cossack society and treated favorably, they say, culture, songs, dances, national costumes. coloring! But, when in 2014, the Cossacks suddenly came out on the side of the Donbass and supported the annexation of Crimea, the attitude changed dramatically. The authorities did not like the propaganda pro-Russian videos, and the actions at which the flags of the LDNR were full of flags, and the demonstrations against Navalny (recognized as a foreign agent and an extremist).

Photo: Personal archive


World fame came to Semyon Boykov with the light hand of the English tabloid Daily Mail. After the crash of the Malaysian Boeing MH17 in eastern Ukraine, the publication published an article about Semyon, where they called him Aussie cossack (“Australian Cossack”) and posted a photo montage – an Australian on a horse with a saber in his hands flaunts on the wreckage of the Boeing, and below is the comment: “ Has this Australian Cossack shot down a Boeing now in Ukraine?!”

The harassment Boykov suffered afterward led him to sue five British tabloids to protect his good name. Themis was on the side of the Cossack.

New persecution of Russian Australians began during the coronavirus pandemic. The government has introduced some of the toughest quarantine measures in the world. “People hated the authorities at that moment, they needed a national hero,” recalls Semyon. Then the army of supporters of Boikov and the Russian Cossacks grew significantly. The authorities, who set the police on Semyon (almost 60 searches were carried out at his place in two years), only provoked the growth of the popularity of the Aussie kossak YouTube channel. The Russian Cossack decided to run for the Australian Parliament.

Photo: Personal archive


With the beginning of the NWO, Boykov’s life changed dramatically. The Australian authorities announced a hunt for him. The reason was a video in which Semyon named the name of the alleged pedophile. The police considered that the law on non-disclosure of personal data was violated. Well, as a general intimidation, Boikov was sent to prison for 10 months for this, declaring it a threat to national security and giving the classification “a particularly dangerous criminal.” But while the Cossack was serving his sentence in one of the strictest prisons in Australia, Moscow was worried about his fate. Thanks to the support of lawyers and the Russian Foreign Ministry, Semyon was released early, but, as it turned out, not for long.

In mid-December, on the eve of a trip to Russia, Boikov became an accidental witness to a rally in support of Ukraine. Yellow-black flags, red-black banners of the “Right Sector” (banned in Russia) fluttered over the gathering.

“I couldn’t stand it, I went to disperse them, turned on a live broadcast on my channel,” Semyon admits. Suddenly, an elderly man grabbed his hand, and when the Cossack tried to pull his hand away, the stranger began to spectacularly fall to the ground, shouting “Police! He hit me.”

Photo: Personal archive

“They started provoking me, women ran up, knocked the phone out of their hands, broke the screen,” Boykov continues. – 40 policemen immediately arrived. No one in the police station listened that it was self-defense, they refused to watch the video. They demanded to hand over my passport, although I asked to leave it, but I had to fly out the next day.

But the next morning, an Australian “funnel” arrived for Semyon. But the Cossack was not at home. That night, he decided not to spend the night at his place, and after learning about the impending arrest, he went straight to the Russian consulate in Sydney.

– I thought, since the Russian state fought so fiercely for me, then if I go to the consulate, I will have a chance to sort out the situation and protect myself, but in prison there will be no such opportunity.


Now Boikov sadly notes that many Russian emigrants in Australia, and even some descendants of the Cossacks, are trying to distance themselves from Russia as much as possible. Even the male Orthodox Russian choir, which for many years performed pre-revolutionary and Soviet songs, suddenly removed from their social networks some compositions of the war years, the Russian anthem and “God Save the Tsar”.

Australian Cossack Semyon Boykov applied for Russian citizenship

Australian Cossack Semyon Boykov applied for Russian citizenship

Photo: Personal archive

Today, according to Semyon, one can find more sympathy for Russia among Australians than among most descendants of Russian emigrants. He is sure that thanks to the activities of the Cossacks, it was possible to make the Australians think first of all about their country, and not distant Ukraine.

– We put a lot of pressure on the authorities, changed public opinion. Now Australia no longer gives weapons to Ukraine, says Semyon. – I always put the question like this: “What do you care about Ukraine, Russia. Let’s think about Australia. There will be a nuclear war, missiles will fly, Australia should not be on this list. When you say that, people begin to think about their homeland.

PS Semyon has been living on the territory of the Russian consulate for half a year now.

– I applied for Russian citizenship. It is possible that after receiving a Russian passport, the Australian authorities may deprive me of citizenship, ”he explains and turns to the Australian authorities. – Let me go to Russia, I’ll leave.

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