This game was released in 2001. The platforms that the game was designed for are Windows 95 and 98. Windows 8 features backward compatibility up to Windows XP only. Due to the architecture and CPU operation, Windows 8 will not be able to run this not because of the way it's built, but the way installers work on Windows 95/98.
In conclusion, Cossacks: European Wars is not compatible with Windows 8, but it is said that it will work if you manage to pass over the installer by setting the compatibility to Windows XP. If that does not work, you can switch the compatibility mode to Windows 7.