Since becoming ataman of the Cossacks in November 2023, Vitaly Kuznetsov has charted a new direction for the state-registered movement that replicates the Wagner Group model in some ways. In a December interview, Kuznetsov made clear that one of his main tasks is the unification of the Cossack movements, both state-registered and “public” (or ancestral). Russia’s war against Ukraine is a powerful agent in accomplishing that goal. Kuznetsov stated, “I always said that, on the frontlines, there are no registered and public,” only Cossacks (Kazachestvo.ru, December 18, 2023). The number of BARS (Russian acronym for Combat Reserve Forces) battalions and other units with Cossack affiliations are growing in Ukraine. Kuznetsov made clear that specific criteria for membership is not important, as “in our Cossack units, the doors are open for all who want to defend the Motherland” (Kazachestvo.ru, December 18, 2023). The Kremlin has used the Cossacks, among others, as a means of filling the gaps left by Wagner personnel leaving their positions on the Ukrainian front and as key elements of war propaganda.