Bogdan Trifunovic - SERBIA

Bogdan Trifunović

Interdisciplinary Institute "Artes Liberales"

University of Warsaw

THE IMAGE OF RUSSIA AND PAN-SLAVISM IN SERBIA BETWEEN THE `NEVESINJE RIFLE` AND SLIVNITSA (1875-1885)

This paper examines the image of Russia and, subsequently, late XIX century Pan-Slavism idea, created in the Serbian newspapers and journals which had been published in-between two significant events for the modern history of the Balkans: the Uprising of Serbs in Hercegovina in 1875, which triggered the Great Eastern Crisis, and the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885. It will show the general public attitude in Serbia towards Russia and its Balkan policy in these turmoil years, expressed through the writings of journalists, well-known intellectuals and public figures.

Our interests span two aspects of the image of Russia: the first one is connected with the huge expectations in Belgrade that Russia, as "brother" Slav and Orthodox state, will clearly support, without reserves, Serbia's pretensions in the Balkans, namely territorial claims over Bosnia and Hercegovina and Macedonia; the other concentrates on the disillusioned but more realistic image of the Russia, which emerged after the creation of San-Stefano Bulgaria and, in slightly different form, after the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Particular attention will be on how Serbian authors and public opinion in Serbia perceived the fact that Russia backed up Bulgaria in the struggle over the Macedonian Question and how that affect the reception of Pan-Slavism after 1878 in Serbia.

Key words: Serbia, Russia, Balkans, Pan-Slavism, Great Eastern Crisis, Macedonian Question.