The Cossacks were a group of Slavic people that controlled Ukraine and Southern Russia from roughly the 15th century through the Russian Civil War when they served as border guards on the Russian armies furthest borders. And pretty much any democratic traditions in Ukraine can be traced to The Cossacks. Throughout Ukraine Cossack warriors are memorialized in many public squares and here are some of the Cossacks I have known.
We begin with Kharko the Cossack warrior who founded Kharkiv...he's a founding father in the sense of Uncle Sam as he apparently never actually existed.
And a closer look:
Now onto Kiev where Cossacks are front and center. This is what you see when you come up from the subway in Independence Square in the heart of Kiev.
I'm currently trying to grow a mustache like his Cossack!
Another statue across town:
This time a lovely copper one:
Yet another statue...this Cossack warrior is holding a bulawa which is a ceremonial club and is the official symbol of the President of Ukraine.