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“This Battle Started Long Before Our Days …” The Historical and Political Context of the Russo-Turkish War in Russian Popular Publications, 1877–78

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2020

Kati Parppei*
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
*
*Corresponding author. Email: kati.parppei@uef.fi

Abstract

Popular publications produced in Russia on the events in the Balkans in 1877–78 offer a valuable opportunity to examine how the historical and political background of the Russo-Turkish War was conveyed to common readers, some of whom were potentially involved in the military action, or persuaded to support the cause by other means. The conceptions produced and distributed in these booklets were firmly based on pan-Slavistic ideas of Russians’ duty to help their “Slavic brothers.” The publications presented the reader with propagandistic images of Turkish enemies, which were compared to Islamic enemies of the Russian national narrative. The result was persuasive and simplified imagery leaning on dualistic representations of ethnic groups and graphic depictions of violence, effectively justifying Russia’s involvement in the events and taking a stand in the internal issues concerning Muslim minorities, too.

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Article
Copyright
© Association for the Study of Nationalities 2020

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