Don Cossacks - historically constituted community, a part of a multi-ethnic population of the Rostov region that has distinctive traditions and culture.
The Charter of the Rostov region not only determined the Cossacks as the subject of social and political life, but also provided with authority to engage Cossack communities in management at the regional and municipal levels.
In the Rostov region there are 9 of 14 districts of the Cossack army society "Great Don Army" included into the State Register of Cossack societies. Its functioning is regulated by Presidential Cossack Department.
The total number of the Cossacks that belong to Don Cossacks, excluding their families, is about 170 thousand people.
Within authorized power Cossacks successfully self-govern such areas as public safety, cultural heritage, significant infrastructure area, fisheries, hunter service.
Cossack brigades are formed in almost all municipalities of the region. Cossacks are deployed along with the police, help solve crimes and detain suspects.
Due to support of the Government of the Rostov region and interaction of the Cossacks with representative government bodies of municipalities, there is a restoration of the traditional Cossack self-government and land use in areas that are heavily populated by Cossacks.
"Don regional fund revival of the Cossacks" is operating successfully. With its support a special program is launched. It is targeted to Cossack communities - agricultural producers. Reconstruction of historical monuments is being performed also. Cossack holidays, equestrian events, children's folk festivals and competitions are held regularly.
Regional ecological Cossack brigade operates at the present moment. Protection of forests and fish conservation is performed.
More than 30 thousand hectares of land has been transferred to the target land fund in order to provide Cossack societies with land.
Cossacks of the “Great Don Army” serve at large landing ships "Azov" and "Novocherkassk" of the Black Sea Fleet. They also serve at the units of the Presidential Regiment of commandant of the Moscow Kremlin of the Russian Federal Security Service.
Particular attention is paid to education of the Cossack youth, support of disadvantaged children, the prevention of juvenile delinquency, and education. Currently, in the Rostov region there are 6 Cossack cadet schools.