How Russia Lost Bulgaria, 1878-1886: Empire Unguided (Hardback)Mikhail S. Rekun (author)
Hardback 254 Pages / Published: 15/01/2019
- Coming soon
How Russia Lost Bulgaria looks at the rapid breakdown in Russo-Bulgarian relations in the years following the Russian liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Initially, the Russian Empire and the Principality of Bulgaria were close allies, bound together by sentiment, by geopolitical reality, and by strong administrative links - the Bulgarian Minister of War was a Russian general on detached duty from the Imperial Army, to pick just one example. Yet by 1886, only eight years later, relations degenerated to such a point that a Russian-backed coup overthrew the Bulgarian monarch. The two countries would cut diplomatic relations for years. How Russia Lost Bulgaria argues that the behavior of Russian military and diplomatic agents in Bulgaria caused this rapid turnabout. These agents acted in a tactless, obnoxious fashion that offended the pride and sensibilities of both local Bulgarian politicians and of the German-born, Russian-appointed Prince Alexander von Battenberg. Having a Russian Consul-General refer to the leader of Bulgaria's majority party as an "unwashed, uncombed, country bumpkin" did not improve relations, certainly. But to write off Russia's agents in Bulgaria as bunglers and imbeciles is neither accurate nor intellectually satisfying. Underlying their actions is the fact that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a weak and disorganized institution, and it failed to either develop a coherent policy approach to relations with Bulgaria, or to force its agents to carry out an approach once it was developed. Left to their own devices, Russian agents in Bulgaria fell back on their own ideas of how to advance the Russian Empire's position, and in so doing they drove Russia's relationship with a vital client state straight into the ground.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 254
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
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