With his army fatigues, long greying beard and black kippah, Cherkassky looked halfway between a combat soldier and a rabbi. He could just as well have been a captain in the Israel Defense Forces. But he is not; Cherkassky, yarmulke and all, is a Ukrainian patriot who has been fighting with Right Sector, the very nationalist militia [Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been denouncing for anti-Semitism.
Every Jew of European heritage has heard of the Cossacks. Tuvia Tenenbom went to Ukraine in search of the feared figures of his childhood nightmares — but found something very unexpected.