Written by Vladimir Moss



On April 24, 1877 Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire… There had been many wars between Russia and Turkey in the last few centuries, as Russia slowly but steadily expanded south, first towards the northern coast of the Black Sea, and then on towards the Straits and Constantinople herself. But the aim of this war was not expansionist: its aim was to rescue the Orthodox Christians of the Balkans, who were suffering persecution at the hands of their Turkish overlords.

The conflict really began in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where, as Andrew Wheatcroft writes, “a series of disconnected incidents, beginning with strident Muslim resistance to the plan that a new Orthodox cathedral being built in Sarajevo would tower over the sixteenth-century Begova mosque, sparked violence. From 1872 onwards there was resistance to Ottoman tax-gatherers, with peasants arming themselves and taking refuge in nearby Montenegro. The local authorities responded, as they usually did, with a knee-jerk brutality: by 1876 hundreds of villages had been burned and more than 5,000 Bosnian peasants killed. Soon the contagion of rebellion began to seep into the Bulgarian provinces. The threat of a general uprising seemed imminent.

“Every piece of revolutionary propaganda and each intelligence report read served to bolster the fear. Was the government in Constantinople to disregard the terrorist threats made by the Bulgarian revolutionaries? The insurgents wrote: ‘Herzegovina is fighting; Montenegro is spreading over the mountains and coming with help; Serbia is ready to put its forces on the move; Greece is about to declare war; Rumania will not remain neutral. Is there any doubt that death is hanging over Turkey?’ In July 1875, at Nevesinje in Herzegovina, the clan chiefs had met and thrown down a challenge to the Turks. One declared: ‘Ever since the damned day of Kosovo [Polje, in 1389] the Turk robs us of our life and liberty. Is it not a shame, a shame before all the world, that we bear the arms of heroes and yet are called Turkish subjects? All Christendom waits for us to rise on behalf of our treasured freedom… Today is our opportunity to rebel and to engage in bloody fight.’ This guerilla war, in Harold Temperley’s view, led directly to the revolt in Bulgaria and all that followed. It was a cruel war on both sides. The first things that the British Consul Holmes [in Sarajevo] saw as he entered Nevesinje were a Turkish boy’s head blackening in the sun, and a bloody froth bubbling from the slit throat of a young Turkish girl…”[1]

The Turks replied in kind. When the Bulgars rebelled in the town of Panagyurishte the Turkish irregulars known as “Bashi Bazouks” unleashed a savage wave of reprisals that left about 12,000 dead. Many of the slain were martyred precisely because they refused to renounce their Orthodox faith for Islam.

For example, early in May, 1876, the Turks came to the village of Batak, and said to the second priest, Fr. Peter: “We’d like to say a couple of words to you, priest. If you carry them out, priest, we shall not kill you. Will you become a Turk [the word actually means: ‘become a Muslim’], priest?” Fr. Peter boldly replied: “I will give up my head, but I will not give up my faith!” Then the Turks beheaded him.[2] The other priest of the village, Fr. Nyech, saw all of his seven daughters beheaded. “And each time he was asked: ‘The turban or the axe?’ The hieromartyr replied with silence. His last child having been put to death, the torturers plucked out the Priest’s beard, pulled out his teeth, gouged out his eyes, cut off his ears, and chopped his body, already lifeless, into pieces…”[3]

In July, 1876 Serbia and Montenegro declared war on the Turks… “’This time we have to avenge Kosovo!’ said Montenegro’s Prince Nikola. ‘Under Murad I the Serbian empire was destroyed – now during the reign of Murad V it has to rise again.’”[4]

Public opinion was also demanding action in Russia. As Sir Geoffrey Hosking writes, “Army officers, society ladies and merchants formed Slavic Benevolent Committees which called meetings, collected money, and began to send volunteers to fight for the Serbian army. Dostoevskii… preached war against the Turks as a means of achieving ‘eternal peace’. The authorities decided they could not condemn these efforts out of hand, and allowed Russian officers and men to take leave and volunteer for the Serbian army: among them was Fadeyev’s friend, General Mikhail Cherniaev, who soon became an emblematic hero for the Panslavs.”[5]

But Cherniaev’s support was not enough to save the Serbs from defeat by the Turks.[6] In two months’ fighting, the Serbs lost 5000 dead, 9,500 wounded and 200,000 wounded, and the road to Belgrade was left wide open… Only Russian threats to the Porte saved Serbia: in February an armistice was signed returning the situation to the status quo ante.[7]

The Russians were now faced with a dilemma. Either they committed themselves officially to war with Turkey, or the cause of the liberation of their brothers under the Turkish yoke, for which every Russian peasant prayed in his daily prayers, would be lost. In November, 1876 the Tsar spoke of the need to defend the Slavs. And his foreign minister Gorchakov wrote that “national and Christian sentiment in Russia… impose on the Emperor duties which His Majesty cannot disregard”.

Ivan Aksakov then took up the Tsar’s words, invoking the doctrine of Moscow the Third Rome: “The historical conscience of all Russia spoke from the lips of the Tsar. On that memorable day, he spoke as the descendant of Ivan III, who received from the Paleologi the Byzantine arms and combined them with the arms of Moscow, as the descendant of Catherine and of Peter… From these words there can be no drawing back… The slumbering east is now awakened, and not only the Slavs' Turkish war, he said, was “a historical necessity“ and added that “the people had never viewed any war with such conscious sympathy”.

“There was indeed considerable support for the war among peasants, who regarded it as a struggle on behalf of suffering Orthodox brethren against the cruel and rapacious infidel. A peasant elder from Smolensk province told many years later how the people of his village had been puzzled as to ‘Why our Father-Tsar lets his people suffer from the infidel Turks?’, and had viewed Russia’s entry into the war with relief and satisfaction.”[8]

However, the Russians had to reckon, not only with the Turks, but also with the western great powers, and especially Britain… “British interests in the Balkans,” writes Roman Golicz, “derived from wider economic interests in India via the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1858 the British Government had taken direct control over Indian affairs. Since 1869 the Suez Canal had provided it with a direct route to India. Britain needed to secure the shipping routes which passed through areas, like Suez, that were nominally Turkish.”[9]

Or rather, that was the theory. In fact, Russia presented no threat to British interests in India. Rather, the real cause of British hostility to Russian expansion was simply visceral jealousy – the jealousy of the world’s greatest maritime empire in relation to the world’s greatest land-based empire. And it was expressed in a fierce, “jingoistic” spirit. As Selischev writes: “If Palmerston unleashed the Crimean war, then Disraeli was ready to unleash war with Russia in 1877-78, in order, as he wrote to Queen Victoria, to save the Ottoman state and ‘cleanse Central Asia from the Muscovites and throw them into the Caspian sea.’”[10] Palmerston himself commented once that “these half-civilized governments such as those of China, Portugal, Spanish America require a Dressing every eight or ten years to keep them in order”. “And no one who knew his views on Russia,” writes Dominic Lieven, “could doubt his sense that she too deserved to belong to this category.”[11]

Western governments at first dismissed reports of atrocities against the Orthodox populations, preferring to believe their ambassadors and consuls rather than The Daily Telegraph. Disraeli dismissed public concern about the Bulgarian atrocities as “coffee-house babble”. And when a conference was convened in Constantinople by the Great Powers, it failed to put any significant pressure on the Turks.

Opposition to Disraeli’s policy of inaction was now mounting. In September, 1876 Gladstone, his great rival, published The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East: “Let the Turks now carry off their abuses in the only possible manner, namely by carrying off themselves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mindirs, their Bimbashis and their Yuzbachis, their Kaimakams and their Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage, shall I hope to clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned.”

Disraeli, on the other hand, ascribed the violence to the activities of the secret societies, which he said were on the side of Serbia. “Serbia declared war on Turkey, that is to say, the secret societies of Europe declared war on Turkey, societies which have regular agents everywhere, which countenance assassination and which, if necessary, could produce massacre.” Then Disraeli and his cabinet, supported by Queen Victoria, decided that if the Russians succeeded in taking Constantinople, this would be a casus belli

In the spring of 1877 the Russian armies crossed the River Prut into the Romanian Principalities. Then they crossed the Danube, scaled the Balkans and after a ferocious campaign with great losses on both sides conquered Bulgaria. Finally, they seized Adrianople (Edirne), only a short march from Constantinople.

In January, 1878 Serb and Bulgarian volunteers flocked to the Russian camp. The Russians were now in a similar position to where they had been in the war of 1829-31, when Tsar Nicholas I had reached Adrianople but held back from conquering Constantinople because he did not have the support of the Concert of Europe. Now, however, the Concert no longer existed in 1878, and the commander-in-chief of the Russian armies and brother of the Tsar, Grand Duke Nikolas, wrote to the Tsar: “We must go to the centre, to Tsargrad, and there finish the holy cause you have assumed.”

He was not the only one who clamoured for the final, killer blow: “’Constantinople must be ours,’ wrote Dostoyevsky, who saw its conquest by the Russian armies as nothing less than God’s own resolution of the Eastern Question and as the fulfilment of Russia’s destiny to liberate Orthodox Christianity.

“’It is not only the magnificent port, not only the access to the seas and oceans, that binds Russia as closely to the resolution… of the this fateful question, nor is it even the unification and regeneration of the Slavs. Our goal is more profound, immeasurably more profound. We, Russia, are truly essential and unavoidable both for the whole of Eastern Christendom and for the whole fate of future Orthodoxy on the earth, for its unity. This is what our people and their rulers have always understood. In short, this terrible Eastern Question is virtually our entire fate for years to come. It contains, as it were, all our goals and, mainly, our only way to move out into the fullness of history.’”[12]

However, there were powerful reasons that made the Russians hesitate on the eve of what would have been their greatest victory. First, and most obviously, there was the fierce opposition of the western great powers, and especially Britain. The entire British Mediterranean Squadron was steaming towards the Dardanelles, despatched by Disraeli as British public opinion turned “jingoistic”:

We don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do,

We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, and we’ve got the money too;

We’ve fought the bear before, and while we’re Britons true,

The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

But there was another consideration, less tangible and certainly less immediately threatening, but one that nevertheless probably played a part in the Russian decision: Russia was now on course to liberate, not only the Balkan Slavs, but also the Greeks both of Constantinople and of the Free State of Greece. This, one would have thought, would have been welcomed by the Greeks, but the paradoxical fact was that there were influential Greek elites who opposed it. Thus many Greeks in the Free State of Greece were all for liberating Constantinople – but they wanted to do it themselves, as part of their “great idea” of resurrecting the Byzantine Empire. They distrusted the movement in Russian society for the liberation of the Southern Slavs. Whereas earlier generations would have welcomed any incursion of Russia into the Balkans, hoping that the Tsar would liberate Constantinople and give it to them, the modern, more nationalist-minded Greeks rejected any such interference. For in Free Greece Russia was no longer seen as the liberator of the Balkans for the sake of the Orthodoxy that the Russian and Balkan peoples shared, but as the potential enslaver of the Balkans for the sake of Russian so-called “Pan-Slavism”. More specifically, the Greeks suspected that Russia wanted to help Bulgaria take the ancient Greek lands of Thrace and Macedonia in which there was now a large Slav population. Again, the leading Greek merchant families of Constantinople, the “Phanariots”, who led what was in many ways a comfortable and privileged life under the Ottomans, were in no hurry to be “liberated” – whether by their fellow countrymen in Free Greece or by the Russian Tsar. In fact, as Philip Mansel writes, “the bishops, aware of the tsars’ cavalier treatment of the Russian Orthodox Church, feared that ‘protection’ would mean ‘slavery’. They told a Russian diplomat: ‘We are now rich and strong. Nine million souls in the hands of the Patriarch, his synod and seventy bishops. You with the right of protectorate will deprive us of everything.’”[13]

Thus the Greeks opposed so-called Pan-Slavism because it was seen as the great threat to Pan-Hellenism…

There were many Greeks, especially among the poor peasants, who had more charitable views of the Russians. Nevertheless, the views of the Greek nationalists were gaining ground… A sign of the times was the court case that took place on Mount Athos in 1874-1875 between the Russian and Greek monks of the monastery of St. Panteleimon with regard to the rights of the Russian monks to stay there. As Professor A.P. Lopukhin wrote, “the case divided the whole of Athos into two opposing camps: the Greek monks and the Russian monks. Only a few of the Greeks had the courage to support the Russians. Thanks to the energy and insistence with which the Russian monks defended their rights to the monastery, with documents in their hands and with the strong support of the Russian consul at the Porte, the case ended with victory for the Russians.”[14]

The idea of Russia pursuing a Pan-Slavist agenda was to a large extent mythical. [15] While there was some talk in Russia – for example, by Michael Katkov at the ethnographic exhibition in Moscow in 1867 – of bringing all the Slavs together into a single polity under Russia just as the German lands were being brought together under Prussia, this was never a serious political proposition and never entertained by any of the Tsars. It existed more in the minds of the Greeks than in reality.

In spite of the existence of one or two true Pan-Slavists like Danilevsky, Mark Almond is right in asserting that “Pan-Slavism remained a minority taste in Alexander II’s Russia. Although it attracted interest among journalists and academics as well as curious politicians wondering whether it might serve imperial interests abroad or undermine stability at home, even the Slavic Congress founded in 1858 or the high profile Slavic Congress in Moscow in 1867 attracted little more than interest. Cash to support the idea of Pan-Slavism was in short supply. The Slavic Committee made do with 1700 rubles a year even in 1867, at the height of public interest before the war a decade later.”[16]

Even the Pan-Slavism of a man like General Fadeyev can be called this only with major qualifications. Thus consider his Opinion on the Eastern Question of 1876: “The liberated East of Europe, if it be liberated at all, will require: a durable bond of union, a common head with a common council, the transaction of international affairs and the military command in the hands of that head, the Tsar of Russia, the natural chief of all the Slavs and Orthodox… Every Russian, as well as every Slav and every Orthodox Christian, should desire to see chiefly the Russian reigning House cover the liberated soil of Eastern Europe with its branches, under the supremacy and lead of the Tsar of Russia, long recognized, in the expectation of the people, as the direct heir of Constantine the Great.”[17] The ideology expressed here is not Pan-Slavism, but that of Russia the Third Rome, the idea – which goes a long way back, before the age of nationalism – that Russia, as the successor of Rome and Byzantium, is the natural protector of all Orthodox Christians.Hence the reference to “all the Slavs and Orthodox”, and “every Slav and every Orthodox Christian”, and to Constantine the Great – who, needless to say, was not a Slav.

For what in fact united all the Slavs as opposed to the Orthodox Slavic nations? Less than one might expect. Russia herself was far from being a purely Slavic empire; her aristocracy had been accepting Tatar and German and Georgian nobles into its ranks for centuries. With the next largest Slavic nation, Poland, she was in a state of constant friction, as the Roman Catholic Poles did everything in their power to undermine Orthodox Russian power. With the Catholic and Protestant Slavs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, Slovenes – she was on more friendly terms. But it was not in her interests to foment revolution on ethnic lines in Austria, and as recently as 1848 Russian armies had acted to bolster Austrian power against the Magyars. With the Serbs and the Bulgars Russia had both blood and Orthodox Christianity in common. But a political union with these nations – even if they wanted it, which most did not – would have required absorbing non-Slavic Romania as well.

Nor was it in Russia’s interests to support individual Slavic nationalisms. As Tom Gallacher points out, “as a multi-national empire in its own right, Russia was hostile to the pretensions of European small state nationalism.”[18] For to support, say, Bulgarian pretensions to a Greater Bulgaria – as opposed to simply protecting them from Turkish cruelty – would have created conflicts with the Greeks, the Romanians and the Serbs; whereas it was in Russia’s interests to see unity among all the Orthodox nations.

Even supposing that Russia in the name of some mythical Pan-Slavist ideal had been willing and able to conquer the whole of the Balkans and take Constantinople, she could not have held on to her gains for long. First, the western powers, including the new rising power of Germany, would have been stirred up to launch another crusade against her. Secondly, to drive the Turks out of Constantinople would not have meant their final defeat, and further operations deep into Asia would have been necessary. But thirdly and most importantly, the union between the Tsar of Russia and the Patriarch of Constantinople, upon which the whole of the Orthodox commonwealth was based, would have been shattered. For what then would have been the position of the Patriarch within the Russian empire? Still the first hierarch of Orthodoxy, or de facto subordinate to the Russian Synod? How would the Greeks (not to mention the Southern Slavs) react to exchanging one form of foreign dominion for another, albeit Orthodox?

In any case, the Russians did not have long to ponder all these possibilities - the British were getting closer… So, under the influence of this threat, the Russians agreed not to send troops into Constantinople if no British troops were landed on either side of the Straits… Then, on March 3, at the village of San Stefano, just outside Constantinople, they signed a treaty with the Turks, whereby the latter recognized the full independence of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro.

“The Treaty also constituted Bulgaria as a tributary principality of Russia; it required a heavy financial indemnity from Turkey; it gave to Russia the right to select a port on the Black Sea; it opened up the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus at all times to Russian vessels; it obtained full rights for all Christians remaining under Turkish rule; and it gave Bessarabia to Russia in exchange for the corner of Bulgaria known as Dobruja.”[19] In little more than 20 years the Russian defeat in the Crimean war had been avenged. It was a great victory for the Orthodox armies…

However, the Great Powers were determined to rob Russia of the fruits of her victory by diplomatic means. As Disraeli demanded that the Russians surrendered their gains, Bismarck convened a congress in Berlin in June, 1878. It was agreed that all troops should be withdrawn from the area of Constantinople, and Greater Bulgaria was cut down to two smaller, non-contiguous areas, the smaller of which, Eastern Rumelia, remained under Turkish suzerainty while the larger, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, was autonomous rather than fully independent. Meanwhile, Britain added Cyprus to her dominions; Serbia, Montenegro and Romania were recognised as independent States (on condition that they gave full rights to the Jews); the Greeks won Thessaly; and Serbia gained Pirot and Niš. But in general the Orthodox nations were deeply unhappy…

The western powers’ diktat imposed on the Orthodox at Berlin even succeeded in setting the Orthodox against each other. Thus southern Bessarabia was given to Russia as a kind of consolation prize, which angered the Romanians, who regarded it as theirs. Then the Romanians were given northern Dobrudja, which the Bulgarians regarded as theirs…

Still more importantly, writes Archpriest Lev Lebedev, “Bosnia and Herzegovina [and the Panzhak] were for some reason handed over to Austria for her ‘temporary’ use in order to establish ‘normal government’. In this way a mine was laid which,according to the plan of the Masons, was meant to explode later in a new Balkan war with the aim of ravaging and destroying Russia. At the congress Bismarck called himself an ‘honest broker’. But that was not how he was viewed in Russia. Here the disturbance at his behaviour was so great that Bismarck considered it necessary secretly (in case of war with Russia) to conclude with Austria, and later with Italy, the famous ‘Triple Union’…”[20]

Disraeli, the Jewish leader of the Western Christian world, had triumphed; he had succeeded in keeping the Orthodox Christians of the Balkans in bondage to the Muslim Turks, although that yoke was now weaker… And then the Jews proceeded to punish Russia again. “In 1877-1878 the House of Rothschild, by agreement with Disraeli, first bought up, and then threw out onto the market in Berlin a large quantity of Russian securities, which elicited a sharp fall in their rate.”[21]

Russia’s failure to conquer Constantinople and unite the Orthodox peoples under the Tsar was a great blow to the Slavophiles. “At a Slavic Benevolent Society banquet in June 1878 Ivan Aksakov furiously denounced the Berlin Congress as ‘an open conspiracy against the Russian people, [conducted] with the participation of the representatives of Russia herself!’”[22]

Dostoyevsky was also disillusioned. But his disillusionment was not the product of the failure of his “Pan-Slavist” dreams, as some have made out. For Dostoyevsky’s dreams were not “Pan-Slavist”, but “Pan-Human”, genuinely universalist. His dream was the conversion of the whole world to Christ, and thereby to real fraternity – that fraternity which the revolutionaries had promised, but had not delivered, and would never be able to deliver. A major step on the road to this dream was to be the liberation and unification of the Orthodox peoples of the East under the Russian tsar through the planting of the Cross on the dome of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople by the Russian armies.

Dostoyevsky found real brotherhood only in the Orthodox Church, and in that Orthodox nation which, he believed, had most thoroughly incarnated the ideals of the Gospel – Russia. “The moral idea is Christ. In the West, Christ has been distorted and diminished. It is the kingdom of the Antichrist. We have Orthodoxy. As a consequence, we are the bearers of a clearer understanding of Christ and a new idea for the resurrection of the world… There the disintegration, atheism, began earlier: with us, later, but it will begin certainly with the entrenchment of atheism… The whole matter lies in the question: can one, being civilized, that is, a European, that is, believe absolutely in the Divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ? (for all faith consists in this)… You see: either everything is contained in faith or nothing is: we recognize the importance of the world through Orthodoxy. And the whole question is, can one believe in Orthodoxy? If one can, then everything is saved: if not, then, better to burn… But if Orthodoxy is impossible for the enlightened man, then… all this is hocus-pocus and Russia’s whole strength is provisional… It is possible to believe seriously and in earnest. Here is everything, the burden of life for the Russian people and their entire mission and existence to come…”[23]

It was for the sake of Orthodoxy, the true brotherhood, that the Russian armies had sacrificed, and would continue to sacrifice themselves, for the freedom of the Greek, Slav and Romanian peoples. “I am speaking of the unquenchable, inherent thirst in the Russian people for great, universal, brotherly fellowship in the name of Christ.”[24] Russia, Dostoyevsky believed, had only temporarily been checked at the Gates of Constantinople, and would one day conquer it and hand it back to the Greeks, even if took a hundred years and more. Nor was this universalist love confined to Russia’s brothers in the faith: it extended even to her enemies in Western Europe – that “graveyard of holy miracles”. The lost half of Europe, immersed in Catholicism and its child, Protestantism, and its grandchild, atheism, would be converted from Russia: “Light will shine forth from the East!”[25]

Vladimir Moss.

April 19 / May 2, 2012.


[1] Wheatcroft, Infidels, London: Penguin Books, 2004, p. 260. As Noel Malcolm writes, “the basic cause of popular discontent was agrarian; but this discontent was harnessed in some parts of Bosnia by members of the Orthodox population who had been in contact with Serbia, and who now publicly declared their loyalty to the Serbian state. Volunteers from Serbia, Slavonia, Croatia, Slovenia and even Russia (plus some Italian Garibaldists, and a Dutch adventuress called Johanna Paulus) were flooding into the country, convinced that the great awakening of the South Slavs was at hand. The Bosnian governor assembled an army in Hercegovina, which acted with ineffective brutality during the autumn and harsh winter of 1875-6. The fiercer begs raised their own ‘bashi-bazooks’ (irregular troops) and, fearing a general overthrow in Bosnia, began terrorizing the peasant population. During 1876, hundreds of villages were burnt down and at least 5000 peasants killed; by the end of the year, the number of refugees from Bosnia was probably 100,000 at least, and possibly 250,000.” (Bosnia: A Short History, London: Papermac, 1996, p. 132)

[2] “Proslavlenie khristian iz Bataka, muchenicheski postradavshikh za sv. Pravoslavnuiu veru v 1876 godu” (Glorification of the Christians from Batak who suffered martyrically for the holy Orthodox faith in 1876), .

[3] Rassophore Monk Euthymius, “The New Martyrs of Batak”, Orthodox Life, no. 2, March-April, 2007, p. 8.

[4] Tim Judah, The Serbs, London and New York: Yale University Press, third edition, 2009, pp. 66, 67.

[5] Hosking, Russia: People & Empire, London: HarperCollins, 1997, p. 371.

[6] According to Judah, Cherniaev’s troops were “often drunk and had little or no military experience” (op. cit., p. 66).

[7] Misha Glenny, The Balkans, 1804-1999, London: Granta Books, 2000, p. 132.

[8] Hosking, op. cit.

[9] Golicz, “The Russians shall not have Constantinople”, History Today, September, 2003, p. 40.

[10] Selischev, “Chto neset Pravoslaviu proekt ‘Velikoj Albanii’?” (What will the project of a ‘Greater Albania’ bring for Orthodoxy), Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia), 2 (1787), January 15/28, 2005, p. 10.

[11] Lieven, Empire, London: John Murray, 2000, p. 213.

[12] Dostoyevsky, in Orlando Figes, Crimea, London: Allen Lane, 2010, p. 462.

[13] Mansel, Constantinople, City of the World’s Desire, 1453-1924, London: Penguin, 1997, p. 269.

[14] Lopukhin, Istoria Khristianskoj Tserkvi v XIX veke (A History of the Christian Church in the 19th Century),St. Petersburg, 1901, vol. II, pp. 136-137.

[15] The famous Serbian Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) was inclined to deny the very existence of Pan-Slavism, saying that it was invented by the Germans: “Who thought up Pan-Slavism and spoke about it to the world? The Pan-Germanists! Yes, it was precisely the Pan-Germanists who thought up Pan-Slavism and sounded out about it to the whole world. Man always judges about others from himself. If Pan-Germanism exists, then why should Pan-Slavism not exist? However, this analogy, however much it may appear to represent the rule, is inaccurate in this case. Pan-Germanism existed and exists, while Pan-Slavism was not and is not now. Everybody knows that there is a Pan-German party in both Germany and Austria. We know that there exists Pan-German journalism, and pan-German clubs, and German literature, and pan-German organizations, and German banks. But in the Slavic world, by contrast, there exists nothing of the kind. As a Slav, I would have known about it, and as a free man I would have spoken about it all openly. However, in the Slavic world there exists something which is somewhat different from the Pan-Slavic spectre – a feeling, only a feeling, which is to be found more often in literature than in politics – Slavophilism. This is the same feeling of blood kinship and sympathy that exists in Italy towards the French, which is far from political Pan-Romanism, or the same feeling of kinship that exists in the United State towards the English and in England towards the Americans, although here also it is far from any kind of fantastic Pan-Anglicanism. It is a sentimental striving for kin, a nostalgia of the blood, a certain organic fear of being separated from one’s own. And if in this Slavophilism the penetrating note of love is just a little more audible than in Romanophilism or Anglophilism (and I think that it is audible), then this is completely natural and comprehensible. People who suffer are closer to each other than people who are lords. We Slavs, first of all as Slavs, and secondly as oppressed slaves, love and strive towards those who suffer from the same injustice, from the same arrogant pride, from the same disdain. Who can understand a slave better than a slave? And who is more likely to help a sufferer than a sufferer?...” (Dusha Serbii (The Soul of Serbia), Moscow, 2007, pp. 572-573).

[16] Almond, Europe’s Backyard War, London: Mandarin, 1994, p. 105.

[17] A.N. Wilson, The Victorians, London: Arrow Books, 2002, p. 395.

[18] Gallagher, “Folly & Failure in the Balkans”, History Today, September, 1999, p. 48. As Hosking points out, “the official Foreign Office view was that Russia should cooperate with Germany and Austria to reaffirm the legitimist monarchical principle in Eastern Europe, to counteract revolutionary movements there, whether nationalist or not, and to promote a stable balance of power. Panslavism could never be consistently espoused by the Russian government, for it was a policy which would inevitably lead to war against the Ottomans and Habsburgs, if not against the European powers in general. Besides, it was in essence a revolutionary strategy, directed against legitimate sovereign states. For the Russian empire to promote the principle of insurrectionary nationalism was, to say the least, double-edged.”(op. cit., pp. 370-371)

[19] Golicz, op. cit., p. 44.

[20] Lebedev, Velikorossia (Great Russia), St. Petersburg, 1997, p. 349.

[21] V. Zombardt, in O.A. Platonov, Ternovij Venets Rossii (Russia’s Crown of Thorns), Moscow, 1998, p. 275.

[22] Hosking, op. cit., pp. 372-373.

[23] Dostoyevsky, in K. Mochulsky, Dostoyevsky: His Life and Work, Princeton, 1967.

[24] Dostoyevsky, The Diary of a Writer, January, 1881.

[25] V. Weidle writes: “’Europe is a mother to us, as is Russia, she is our second mother; we have taken much from her and shall do so again, and we do not wish to be ungrateful to her.’ No Westernizer said this; it is beyond Westerners, as it is beyond Slavophiles. Dostoyevsky wrote it at the height of his wisdom, on the threshold of death… His last hope was Messianism, but a Messianism which was essentially European, which developed out of his perception of Russia as a sort of better Europe, which was called upon to save and renew Europe” (The Task of Russia, New York, 1956, pp. 47-60; in Fr. Alexander Schmemann, The Historical Path of Eastern Orthodoxy, Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, 1963, p. 338).

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