Near the end of September 1944 an important meeting between the Yugoslav Partizan leader, Josip Broz Tito, and Stalin took place.  It was not precisely easy for Tito to get to the meeting – he, his dog Tigar, and several advisors had flown to the Soviet lines in Romania before being transferred to Soviet aircraft …

  • March 17, 2021
  • Comments Off on Enter the Red Army

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The leadership of the Yugoslav Communist Party is carrying out a policy unfriendly toward the Soviet Union and to the All-Union Communist Party. In Yugoslavia an unworthy policy of belittling Soviet military experts and discrediting the Soviet Army has been permitted. Soviet civilian specialists in Yugoslavia have been subjected to a special regime, on the …

  • March 15, 2021
  • History
  • Comments Off on The Satellite Gone Rogue

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Jelena of Serbia, described as “plain”, but also quiet and amiable by the nanny of the Romanov children whose friendship she shared, was not what the rest of Europe’s nobility pictured when told of someone demanding the release of the Tsar and his family.  And yet, Jelena was the only member of the Royal Family …

  • March 12, 2021
  • Comments Off on The Story of a Balkan Princess

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The history of the Balkans is rife with the arguments of other nations playing out amongst the Slavic nations of south-west Europe.  Nowhere is this illustrated better than through the events of the 1800s.   As Russia became increasingly able to turn away from the endless wars of the Caucasus, the Balkans of the retreating …

  • March 10, 2021
  • Culture
  • Comments Off on A Fence Around the Russian Advance

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The best way to explain a thing tends to be the simplest – and the rise of memes have presented history with an unprecedented opportunity to get to the “truthiness” of historical situations.   Thus we can explain the four hundred+ year rivalry between Austria and Russia in the Balkans this way: Of course, the …

  • March 8, 2021
  • Interesting
  • Comments Off on The Non-Balkan Nations Who Wanted the Balkans

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The Balkans has always been a point of contention between the East and the West, and although the various incarnations of Hungary, Austria, and Austria-Hungary tended to dominate next to the advancing Ottoman Army, Russia was always nipping at the edges and creating leverage with the large number of Orthodox Slavs in Central Europe.  That …

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The last thousand years of Balkan history is a tale of three powers pulling on the limbs of an infant, as in the Biblical parable of Solomon’s wisdom.  The Balkan baby is yanked first toward Austria, then toward Russia, and all the while the Ottoman Empire is pulling steadily on its legs.  The arguments between …

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When the pre-eminent Russian poet Alexander Pushkin died on 10 February 1837, it was in a tragic echo of an incident of the life of his great-grandfather, Avram Petrovich Gannibal (also written as Hannibal). Pushkin was killed by his brother-in-law in a duel over Pushkin’s wife Natalya, a parallel to the first marriage of Gannibal, …

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