A shashka (Kabardian-Circassian Seshkhue) is a cold edged weapon for cutting and thrusting (in the foreign literature it is considered a type of the sword) with a slightly curved blade, and a hilt with a simple handguard or without it. The most popular is Russian Cossack officer and drafts.
The main structural advantage of the shashka was favorable weight proportions. Due to the light hilt the center of gravity, and consequently the blow point were located closer the end of the blade as if, the weapon were longer. Often, those who fought in Caucasus and armed with sabres Cossacks got elbow stricken with shashka before they could reach their enemies with seemed to be long sabre. Because of a small blade curve of the shashka, it was possible to make fast and cutting blows to either side.
The main difference between the shashka and the sabre is that shashka's sheaths were close-fitted with leather, when in the XIX and the Beginning of the XX centuries sabres normally had all-metal sheaths. A shashka was hung with its blade backwards, so that the ring for fastening a waist-belt was on the arched side of a sheath. A sabre's sheath had the rings on the curved side. Besides, shashka was rather worn on shoulder-belts, unlike sabres that were worn on waist-belts.