Knout is Russian for a type of scourge or whip. Often they had multiple rawhide thongs attached to a stout and long handle (like a cat o’ nine tails), but could also be a single, whip body that was less flexible than a bullwhip; these were more like oversized saps. These were used to punish criminals and political offenders until their use was abolished in 1845, and replaced with that of the pletti.

A variation, known as the great knout, consisted of a handle about 60 cm (24 in) long, to which was fastened a flat leather thong about twice the length of the handle, terminating with a large copper or brass ring to which was affixed a strip of hide about 5 cm (2 in) broad at the ring, and terminating at the end of 60 cm (24 in) in a point. This was soaked in milk and dried in the sun to make it harder. some versions replaced the lead shot or iron rings at the ends with fish hooks.

cossack knout

The pletti was a shorter, triple thonged knot that usually had lead balls woven into the ends.


Knout or pletti:   Damage: 1N   Range: 6′   Str: 1   Spd: A

Great knout:   Damage: 1N (1L hooks version)   Range: 10′   Str: 1   Spd: A