The pre-eminent native sword of Russia is known as a "shashka," a slightly-curved, single-edged blade wielded in one hand and suitable for thrusting but ideally used as a cutting weapon. Similar to a Western saber, the shashka was a favored weapon among Russia's fearsome Cossack cavalry.
In comparison with a Western saber, which is also a curved blade optimized for slashing and favored by cavalry, two major differences about the shashka become evident. The first is the relatively subtle curve, which improves the shashka's versatility. The other is the lack of crossguard or other hand protection, necessitating a large, curved pommel for grip and counterweight.