A Swift Kick: Russian Diplomatic Practice in Bulgaria, 1879-1883

A Swift Kick: Russian Diplomatic Practice in Bulgaria, 1879-1883

Mikhail Sergeyevich Rekun (Independent Researcher, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2650-6.ch003
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This chapter examines the unusually swift downturn in Russo-Bulgarian relations between 1879 and 1883. In 1879, relations between the two countries were unusually good, founded on a basis of mutual sympathy, geopolitical necessity, and strong administrative ties. By 1883, however, a series of lapses in Russian diplomatic practice damaged Russo-Bulgarian relations to the point that all of Bulgaria's political elite was united in opposition to the Russians, and by 1886 diplomatic relations were severed altogether. This chapter examines three incidents in particular – the Titles Controversy of late 1879/early 1880, the Coup of 1881, and the tenure of Generals L. N. Sobolev and A. V. Kaul'bars in 1882-1883. Ultimately, this chapter demonstrates how flawed diplomatic practice may result in undesirable foreign policy outcomes.
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Literature Review And Methodology

A Russian historian, Alfred J. Rieber, stated that “the historiography of Russian foreign policy has never enjoyed much of an intellectual vogue” (cited in Ragsdale & Ponomarev, 1993, p. 360). Rieber offered various reasons for this dearth of coverage, including simple preference for the drama of the Russian Revolution and the difficulty of gaining access to relevant sources, particularly during the Cold War. Still, over the years, many historians have done work on Russian diplomatic history, and of those a few have examined this period of Russo-Bulgarian relations.

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