Meanwhile, Balkan images of Russia create more of a multi-layered structure subordinated to Balkan cultural perception while also conducting a dialogue with Russia and its legacy. Developing from the Byzantine tradition, the Balkans and Russia essentially form a space of mutual ties that goes far beyond the cliché of liberator and liberated.
Opening up to influences coming from South-Eastern Europe in times when the Ottoman threat was increasing, Russia in a way repaid its “debt” incurred in the early 18th century by sending teachers and books to the Habsburg town of Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci, Karlovatz). (…)
Thus everything came full circle: having taken in refugees from South-Eastern Europe, Russia (…) returned to Turkish Europe, to the Balkans, as a player but also an ideologue, wanting to liberate but also to decide. The only thing is, contrary to the European powers, Russia was a part of that world, which is why its role in the Balkans was different, and this is what the present volume sets out to show.