Alexander Kotov 1
  • 1 Saint-Petersburg institute of education in the sphere of humanities and social sciences, 4 Liflyandskaja Street, Saint-Petersburg, 190020, Russia

«There is no chance to understand what Russia wants»: slavophile press and Serbia in 1880s

2012, vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 27–40 [issue contents]

The article investigates the Russian-Serbian relations at the end of 19th century as represented in the periodical press and in the correspondence of Russian and Serbian public figures. There was no Parliament in Russia in 1860s so the periodical press was both the arena for public discussion and was used to consolidate the different political movements. Sometimes the society used it to influence the government’s decisions. Russian publicists knew about the Balkan Slavs periodical press interest in the Russian press and tried to convince the Slavs to follow the Russian strategy. Serbian question was discussed at the pages of different Russian journals, both socialist and conservative. The ambiguity of Russian-Serbian relations was confirmed even by Slavophiles, who noted various miscalculation of the Russian state and public figures on the Balkans. Sometimes this criticism was connected with ideological differences between Russian publicists. However, all of them considered St.Petersburg’s bureaucracy the main source of Russian problems. But sometimes the problem was incompatibility between Russian and Serbian interests. Russian conservativs  found allies in Serbian radicals. The Slavophiles’s democratism was represented in the texts of P.A. Kulakovsky, I.S. Aksakov, and N.P. Gilyarov-Platonov. In general, the Slavic question in Russia was connected with domestic Russian politics. The development of democratization of Russian society was objectively connected with increasing nationalism making the Serbian question a part of the quest of national ideology. Slavophiles were not so much interested in the Slavic population per se, but rather how to use them as an instrument of national consolidation. 

Citation: Kotov Alexander (2012) «Net nikakoi vozmozhnosti uznat', chego zhelaet Rossiia»: slavianofil'skaia pechat' i Serbiia v 1880-e gody [«There is no chance to understand what Russia wants»: slavophile press and Serbia in 1880s] The Russian Sociological Review, 2, pp. 27-40 (in Russian)
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