Kharakternik (in Russian and Ukrainian: Характерник) was a half-sorcerer and half warrior Cossack, a soldier, healer and diviner. These Shamanic Cossacks, who were apparently only found among the Zaporozhians, were feared and respected for their practice of magic and esotericism.
In reality, kharakterniks, for the benefit of extrasensory or non-extrasensory abilities, had a real social and, above all, medical function. They treated the wounded on the return of the expeditions, and also cared for the spirits by becoming psychotherapists to cheer up the men. In addition to their spiritual functions, they were guardians of traditions and collective memory.