Nationalism, Ideology, and the Formation of the Nation-States Among the Yugoslavs

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A map of the wanted territories of the Balkan states in 1915

There are many talks about nationalism among the peoples from the former Yugoslavia during the last three decades what is quite understandable taking into consideration the post-Cold War conflicts and atrocities, as a continuation of WWII crimes based on certain political ideologies,[i] committed on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia.

Historia est magistra vitae

I want to argue that there is a direct link between contemporary nationalism(s) among the Yugoslavs and their national ideologies, which are developed in the previous decades and even centuries. What happened with the Yugoslavs from 1991 to 1999 and probably to be repeated in the 21st century once again, it cannot be explained and understood without proper knowledge of their national histories, interethnic relations, and above all without familiarity with historical developments of the Yugoslav, South Slavic, and Balkan nationalism(s) in the European context.[ii] Whoever wants fairly to resolve any contemporary problem in the Balkans has to have a profound knowledge of Balkan history. If somewhere the motto Historia est magistra vitae is useful for the settlement of the current problems, it is exactly the Balkans and especially ex-Yugoslavia. Therefore, it should be known that among the Balkan peoples, national history is understood as a long-standing continuation of efforts that are leading to transform the ethnolinguistic group from the status of ethnos into the status (or level) of the nation.[iii] It practically means that the final historical and natural “task” of every Balkan ethnic group is to live in the united nation-state.[iv] This “national sacral task” is to be realized by any means.

Clearly, territory and a common will to live together are the crucial elements in the definition of nation in the case of the Yugoslav and the Balkan peoples (and many others as well).[v] There is no nation without definitely marked borders of the territory where the nation is living. The members of a nation have a consciousness of the exact borders of the territorial distribution of their ethnic compatriots.[vi] Consequently, ethnographic borders should be transformed into nation-state borders; i.e. state’s borders should follow current ethnolinguistic dispersion of people, but as well as to the great extent and historical borders of the “national” state. No more – no less! Historical consequence, however, was (and is) that there was more blood than available land for satisfaction of every single national claim in the ex-Yugoslavia and the Balkans.[vii]  

Migrations and the national rights

The Yugoslav nationalism(s) is composed of seven main elements: I) territory; II) state; III) language and alphabet; IV) history and collective memory; V) religion; VI) people; and VII) tradition and customs. The essence is that according to the national(istic) perceptions, a single culturally and linguistically homogenous ethnic group (people) had been living in the past on its own ethnographic space. However, due to historical circumstances like foreign occupations, wars, famines, etc. (for example, the Ottoman occupation, German conquest, Hungarian and Italian rule, permanent shortage of food in Montenegro and Herzegovina), one bigger or smaller part of the national community left its own genuine (national) soil and went to diaspora settling itself on the territories of the “others” (for instance, Serbs from Kosovo-Metohija, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia proper to South Hungary, Slavonia, Srem, Croatia, and Dalmatia in 1690 and 1737).[viii]

However, in the meantime, the “abandoned” national soil was resettled with “newcomers” of different ethnolinguistic background in comparison with the “genuine owners” of this soil, for instance, Albanian migrants to Kosovo’s plain from North Albania’s mountains after the First Serbian Great Migration from that region in 1690. Nevertheless, according to the “historical rights”, the nation of the “genuine ownership” of the soil in question has a legitimate right to resettle itself once again to the disputed territory and, even more, to include this territory, which historically belongs to the “genuine ownership-nation”, into a united national state like, for instance, the territory of “Srpska Krajina” in Croatia, Kosovo, “Turkish Croatia”[ix] in Bosnia, West Macedonia, etc.).

Furthermore, according to the “ethnic rights” of a nation, certain territories where the nation is in majority and living there for a long period (regardless that these territories are not belonging to the nation according to the “historic rights”) had to be included into the nation-state, too. For instance, Serbs claim the territory of “Srpska Krajina” in the Republic of Croatia according to Serbian “ethnic rights” (and morality because of the genocide, i.e. ethnocide, that was committed on Serbs in this region by the Nazi Ustashi Government of Croatia during WWII), but at the same time, the Serbian demand upon Kosovo-Metochia is mainly based on their “historic rights” regarding this particular region. A totally complicated situation emerged when the Croats claim the territory of “Srpska Krajina” according to the Croatian “historic rights”, and the Albanians are demanding Kosovo-Metochia according to their “ethnic rights”.[x] Unfortunately, the way out from such stalemate situation of overlapping of different rights of several nations over the same territories is found in forced deportations, expulsions, ethnic cleansing and genocide/ethnocide committed at the moment by politically and military stronger ethnolinguistic community over the weaker one(s) with help by some of the international Great Powers (like the present-day ethnic cleansing of the Serbs and other non-Albanians by local Albanians in South Serbia’s autonomous province of Kosovo-Metochia with direct support by the US, NATO, and EU administrations).[xi]

The “ethnic” society is usually preferred instead of “civil” society among the Yugoslavs.[xii] Probably, the main reason for this preference is the fact that a person is usually identifying himself with a nation, i.e. with national belonging; but a nation can be “realized” only in its own national state. I agree with the opinion that the strongest and the best loyalty is loyalty towards a nation-state. National culture can be as well as better preserved and further developed within the nation-state borders. Surely, one of the crucial preconditions for freedom all over the globe (or at least in the Balkans) is a strengthening of the nation-states.[xiii] However, there are no real nation-states without clearly fixed national borders.           

If one would compare the size of present-day independent states in the Balkans with their size from the previous centuries when they first became autonomous and later independent (Montenegro in 1516/1878; Serbia in 1829/1878; Greece in 1829/1830; Bulgaria in 1878/1908; Romania in 1859/1878) she/he will notice that these states in the time of achieving autonomous status and independence included no more than a half of the territory ruled by them nowadays. All of them obtained their autonomy and independence by the secession from the declining Ottoman Empire (the “Sick Man on the Bosporus”) and later enlarged their national territories by the irredentist policy of conquering still “non-liberated” national soil. The purpose of such a policy of irredentism was to overlap nation-state borders with the ethnographic borders of their national ethnic dispersion. This process is not finished until today. This irredentist attitude led all Balkan countries to the serious ethnic conflicts during the last two centuries because of the mixed population on many territories (for instance, “Srpska Krajina” in Croatia, Kosovo-Metochia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vojvodina, West Thrace, Epirus, etc.) and the lack of clear national awareness in these lands (for instance, the Slavic population in the 19th-century Macedonia).

According to Robert Hislope, there are four factors of ethnic conflicts, either among the Yugoslavs or elsewhere: 1) the primary source of contention; 2) cleavage lines; 3) the role of culture; and 4) the role of elite.[xiv]

The results of ethnic conflicts between the Yugoslavs are:

  1. Two hundred years of animosities and warfare.
  2. Assimilation of the minorities.
  3. Repression of the minorities.
  4. Ethnic cleansing.
  5. Promotion of historical revisionism.

Greater nation-states

The national dreams of the creation of united, enlarged, and greater national states, however, are only partially realized by the Yugoslavs and other South-East European peoples in several historical occasions (as results of either struggle against the foreign rule or inter-ethnic conflicts). It can be seen from the list below:

List № 1. Realization of the greater (partly or almost united) national-states in South-East Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries:

A Greater Bulgaria in 1878 (“San Stefano Bulgaria”)

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Bulgaria proper (from Danube River to the Balkan Range and from Timok River to the Black Sea), East Rumelia (from the Balkan Range to Adrianople/Edirne including upper and middle stream of Maritza River with Philippopel/Plovdiv and Burgas on the littoral of the Black Sea), the whole portion of Vardar Macedonia (present-day independent state of North Macedonia including Bitola and Ohrid), part of Aegean Macedonia including Kastoria, Kavala, and Seres in present-day Greece to Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki Peninsula, south-east part of present-day Albania including Koritza, parts of present-day South-East Serbia including Vranje, Pirot, Caribrod, and Bosiljgrad, South Dobrodgea (Dobrudscha) including Mangalia, and part of present-day European Turkey up to Midia on the Black Sea littoral.

A Greater Romania in 1918−1940

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Romania proper (Wallachia and Moldavia-from the Danube, the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvanian Alps to the River of Prut), the whole portion of Dobrodgea (including South Dobrodgea with Silistria), Bessarabia, Bucovina, Transylvania, Eastern Banat, Crisana, and Maramures.

A Greater Serbia in 1913−1915

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Serbia proper (from the River of Danube to the lower stream of the River of South Morava and the River of Ibar and from the River of Drina to the River of Timok), South-East Serbia (with the cities of Vranje, Nish, Leskovac, and Pirot and the region of Toplica), North Sanjak (with the cities of Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Prijepolje, Nova Varosh, and Priboj), East Kosovo, and Vardar Macedonia (present-day the Republic of North Macedonia).

A Greater Croatia in 1943−1945 (an “Independent State of Croatia”)

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Croatia proper (from the River of Drava to Senj and from the River of Sutla to the River of Korana including the cities of Zagreb, Karlovac, Varazdin, Sisak, and Petrinja), Slavonia (from the River of Drava to the River of Sava), the whole portion of Srem (between the Rivers of Danube and Sava), whole Dalmatia, the region of Dubrovnik, the Adriatic Islands, the whole portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and whole Istrian Peninsula.

A Greater Slovenia since 1945

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Slovenia proper (Carniola or Krain or Kranjska), South Styria or Steiermark or Shtajerska, South Karinthia or Kärnten or Korushka, Slovenian littoral with the cities of Koper, Portoroz, Izola, and Piran, Prekomurije with the city of Murska Sobota, and West Medjumurje.    

A Greater Albania in 1941−1944

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Albania proper (from the city of Scodra or Skutari or Skadar and the Prokletije Range to the Devoll and the upper stream of the River of Vjosë, and from the River of Drim and Ohrid Lake to the Adriatic littoral), Kosovo with Metochia including Prishtina, Pec/Peja, Gusinje, and Gnjilane (but without the town of Mitrovica), East Montenegro including Ulcinj (but without Bar) and North-West Macedonia including Struga, Kichevo, Debar, Tetovo, Gostivar (but without Ohrid).   

A Greater Hungary in 1938−1944

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Hungary proper (present-day Hungary, i.e. Hungary around the Alföld Plain), South Slovakia, Ruthenia, North Transylvania, Prekomurje, Medjumurje, South Baranja, and Bachka.

A Greater Montenegro 1913−1916

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Montenegro proper or “Ancient Montenegro” (from Mt. Lovcen to the River of Zeta and from Pusti lisac to Sutorman including Cetinje, Rijeka Crnojevica, Virpazar and Kchevo), Rudine, Vasojevici, Shavnik, Podgorica region, the littoral from Skadar Lake to Bar, Ulcinj and the River of Bojana, Nikshic, Durmitor, Kolashin, Sinjajevina, the land around the River of Piva, South Sanjak with Pljevlja, Shahovici, Bijelo Polje, Mojkovac, Berane, Rozaje, Gusinje, Plav and the River of Ceotina, West Kosovo, which is called Metochia including Djakovica, Pec, and Istok and the area around the central portion of Skadar Lake.

A Greater Greece 1919−1922

Territories included into the national-state borders:

Greece proper (Morea, Livadia, and Attica), the Ionian Islands, western part of the Aegean Islands (the Cyclades and the Sporades), Thessaly with Larissa and Gulf of Volos, South Epirus with Ioannina, Aegean Macedonia with Thessaloniki, the Chalkidiki Peninsula and Kavala, the Island of Crete, the rest of the Aegean Islands, West Thrace with the littoral and Smyrna region in Asia Minor.

Nevertheless, the national-territorial aspirations would be totally realized only when the entire ethnic and historical lands are included into the borders of nation-states. Therefore, a final national aim is to achieve a total national unification by the creation of a “united” nation-state. The list below shows the “ideal solutions of national questions” at the Balkans from a territorial point of view:

List № 2. The territorial realization of totally united nation-states in South-East Europe in the future:[xv]

United Bulgaria

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Bulgaria, Vardar Macedonia (present-day independent North Macedonia), whole Dobrodgea, Aegean Macedonia with Thessaloniki, Kavala and the Chalkidiki Peninsula, a south-east portion of present-day Albania (around the Lakes of Ohrid and Prespa including the city of Koritza), the eastern part of present-day Serbia (from the River of Grand Morava to the Bulgarian border), and the European part of present-day Turkey (East Thrace).

United Romania

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Romania, historical Bessarabia (present-day independent Moldova and the Black Sea littoral from the River of the Dniester to the River of Prut), whole Banat, Crisana (eastern part of present-day Hungary from the River of Tisa to Transylvania), Maramures, whole Bucovina, and whole Dobrodgea.

United Serbia

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Serbia and Montenegro (including Serbia’s autonomous provinces of Kosovo-Metochia and Vojvodina), the territory of present-day North Macedonia (or Vardar Serbia), whole Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik, South and Central Dalmatia, the territory of former “Republika Srpska Krajina” (1991−1995), and North Albania with Durres.

United Croatia

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Croatia, whole Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro (or “Red Croatia”), Slovenia (or “Alpine Croatia”), East Srem, and Bachka.

United Slovenia

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Slovenia, the city and region of Trieste, part of Italy to the west from the River of Socha, North Carniola with Villach (or in Slovenian Beljak) and Klagenfurt (or in Slovenian Celovec), and part of Austrian Styria.

United Albania

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Albania, whole Kosovo-Metochia, whole West Macedonia including Ohrid, Prespa, Veles, Kumanovo, and Skopje (up to the River of Vardar), East Montenegro including Podgorica, Bar, and Ulcinj, South-East Serbia including Medvedja, Bujanovac, Vranje, and Preshevo, and South Epirus with Ioannina (today North-West Greece).

United Hungary

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Hungary, whole Transylvania, South Slovakia, Medjumurje, Prekomurje, South Baranja, Srem, whole Banat, and Bachka.

United Montenegro

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Montenegro, Metochia (Western Kosovo), North Sanjak, South Dalmatia with Dubrovnik (from Kotor to the River of Neretva), whole Herzegovina, and part of North Albania with Scutari.

United Greece

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day Greece, North Epirus (or South Albania), Smyrna region in Asia Minor, part of Vardar Macedonia, whole Cyprus, and European portion of Turkey with Constantinople/Istanbul.

United Bosnia-Herzegovina

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

The territory of present-day (“Dayton”) Bosnia-Herzegovina (“Republika Srpska” and “Federation of B-H”), whole Sanjak, part of West Serbia (districts of Jadar and Radjevina), and part of Dalmatia.

United Macedonia

Territories which should be included to united nation-state:

Territories of present-day North Macedonia (Vardar Macedonia), Aegean Macedonia (the Greek Macedonia) and Pirin Macedonia (the Bulgarian Macedonia) – from Mt. Olympus to Mt. Shara and from Mt. Pindus to Mt. Rhodopes.

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2020

Endnotes:

[i] That the war of dissolution and destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in 1991−1999 was understood by many Yugoslavs as a direct continuation of, or retaliation for, the mass atrocities committed during WWII, especially against the Serbs on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia, confirm many interviews with the local inhabitants (see, for instance [BBC documentary movie: Death of Yugoslavia; Guskova J., Istorija jugoslovenske krize, I, Beograd: IGA “M”, 2003, 311]). Regarding a Nazi Croat-run ethnocide committed on the local Serb civilians within the territory of the Independent State of Croatia, which included Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as West Serbia’s province of Srem, from 1941 to 1945 see in [Bulajić M., The Role of the Vatican in the Break-up of the Yugoslav State, Belgrade: The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Serbia, 1993; Ривели М. А., Надбискуп геноцида. Монсињор Степинац, Ватикан и усташка диктатура у Хрватској, 1941−1945, Никшић: Јасен, 1999; НД Хрватска. Држава геноцида, Двери српске. Часопис за националну културу и друштвена питања, год. XIII, бр. 47−50, Београд, 2011; Novak V., Magnum Crimen: Pola vijeka klerikalizma u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb, 1948 (reprint Beograd: BIGZ, 1986); Сотировић Б. В., Огледи из Југославологије, Виљнус: Штампарија Литванског едуколошког универзитета „Едукологија“, 2013, 201−207].

The Independent State of Croatia had totally free and independent policy regarding its own internal affairs what finally resulted in the killings on the most brutal way around at least 700.000 of the Serbs. Regarding the Croat claims on the question of population losses during WWII on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia, see [Žerjavić V., Population Losses in Yugoslavia 1941−1945, Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest, 1997]. The German experts and military institutions were estimating that around 750,000 men have been killed by the Croats and Muslims on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia, while the Government of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina found the number of around 700,000 killed (mainly Serbs) only in the death-camp of Jasenovac on the River of Sava [Екмечић М., Дуго кретање између клања и орања. Историја Срба у новом веку (1492−1992), Београд: Evro−Giunti, 2010, 451].   

[ii] Regarding genesis and development of European nationalism(s) see in [Wilson T. M., Border Identities: Nation and State at International Frontiers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998; Silvert K. H., Exceptant Peoples: Nationalism and Development, New York: Random House, 1963; Nationalism, London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, Frank Cass, 1963; Diamond L. J., Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Democracy, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994; Hobsbawm E. J., Nations and Nationalism since 1780. Programme, Myth, Reality, Cambridge: Canto, Cambridge University Press, 1992]. Regarding genesis and development of Serbian and Croatian nationalism(s) in the 19th century see in Bukowski J., “Yugoslavism and the Croatian National Party in 1867”, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, Vol. 3, № 1, 1975, 70−88; Đorđević M., Srpska nacija u građanskom društvu, Beograd: Narodna knjiga, 1979; MacKenzie D., “Serbian Nationalist and Military Organizations, 1844−1914”, East European Quarterly, 16, 1982, 323−344; MacKenzie D., The Serbs and Russian Pan-Slavism 1875−1878, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967; Meriage L. P., “The First Serbian Uprising (1804−1813): National Revival or a Search for Regional Security”, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, Vol 4, № 1, 1977, 87−205; Mirković M.,  Janjić D. (eds.), Postanak i razvoj srpske nacije, Beograd: Narodna knjiga, 1979; Perović R., “Oko Načertanija iz 1844 godine”, Istorijski glasnik, № 1, 1963, 71−94; Gale S., “The Absence of Nationalism in Serbian Politics Before 1844”, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, Vol. 4, № 2, 1976, 77−90; Boban Lj., “Misija Jancikovića u inozemstvo”, Časopis za suvremenu povijest, XII, № 1, 1980, 27−74; Bogdanov V., Historija političkih stranaka u Hrvatskoj od prvih stranačkih grupiranja do 1918, Zagreb: Novinarsko izdavačko poduzeće, 1958; Ciliga V., Slom politike Narodne stranke (1865−1880), Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1970; Despalatović E. M., Ljudevit Gaj and the Illyrian Movement, New York−London: Boulder, East European Monographs, 1975; Dizdar Z., “Ljubljanski ‘Jugoslavenski kongres’ 1870 u najnovijoj literaturi”, Historijski zbornik, 27−28, 1974−75, 331−341; Gross M., “Einfluss der sozialen Struktur auf den Charakter der Nationalbewegung in den Kroatischen Ländern im 19. Jahrhundert”, Schieder Th. (ed.), Sozialstruktur und Organisation Europäischer Nationalbewegungen, Münich−Oldenbourg, 1971, 67−92; Gross M., Povijest pravaške ideologije, Zagreb: Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Institut za Hrvatsku povjest, 1973; Hrvatski narodni preporod u Dalmaciji i Istri, Zagreb: Matica hrvatska, 1969; Jelavich Ch., “The Croatian Problem in the Habsburg Empire in the 19th Century”, Austrian History Yearbook, 3, 1967, 83−115; Pavličević D., Narodni pokret 1883 u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb: Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Institut za hrvatsku povjest, 1980; Petrović R., Nacionalno pitanje u Dalmaciji u XIX stoljeću: Narodna stranka i nacionalno pitanje 1860−1880, Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1968; Pribić B., “Srpsko pitanje pred Hrvatskim saborom godine 1861”, Časopis za suvremenu povjest, Vol. 12, № 1, 1980, 75−96; Stančić N., Hrvatska nacionalna ideologija preporodnog pokreta u Dalmacuji: Mihovil Pavlinović i njegov krug do 1869, Zagreb: Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Centar za povjesne znanosti, Odjel za hrvatsku povjest, 1980; Vuchinich W., “Croatian Illyrism: Its Background and Genesis”, Winters S. B., Held J. (eds.), Intelectual and Social Developments in the Habsbourg Empire from Maria Theresa to World War I: Essays Dedicated to Robert Kann, Boulder−New York: East European Monographs, 1975, 55–113.

[iii] Regarding the politics of history education in the Balkan societies at the beginning of the 21st century, see in [Koulouri Ch. (ed.), Clio in the Balkans. The Politics of History Education, Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, Thessaloniki: Petros Th. Ballidis & Co., 2002].

[iv] Anthony Smith claims that this national historical “task” is accepted by every nation. See [Smith A., The Ethnic Origins of Nations, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1986].

[v] Dumont L., Religion, Politics and History in India, Paris: Mouton, 1970, 70.

[vi] Mauss M., “La nation”, L’ Annèe Sociologique, 3e sèrie, 16–17. See [Smith A., National Identity, Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1991; Smith A., The Ethnic Origins of Nations, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986; Weber E., Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1976; Edwards J., Language, Society, and Identity, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985; Connor W., “A Nation Is a Nation, Is a State, Is an Ethnic Group, Is a…”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 1, №. 4, 1978, 377–400.

[vii] See [Köksal Y., “Rethinking Nationalism: State Projects and Community Networks in 19th-Century Ottoman Empire”, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 51, № 10, 2008, 1498−1515]. 

[viii] See [Cvijić J., Metanastazička kretanja, njihovi uzroci i posledice, Beograd: Srpska kraljevska akademija, 1922; Чакић С., Велика сеоба Срба 1689/90 и патријарх Арсеније III Црнојевић, Нови Сад: Добра вест, 1990]. About immigration and emigration from a historical perspective, see in more details in [Isaacs K. A. (ed.), Immigration and Emigration in Historical Perspective, Pisa: Pisa University Press, 2007].

[ix] From the time when the Ottomans transformed Bosnia-Herzegovina into Bosnian pashalik in 1580, “Croatia Turcica” became the term to mark the last conquered part of historic Croatia by the Ottomans that was, according to the Croat historiography, the land between the Rivers of Vrbas and Una. The rest of the historic Croatia, known as Reliquiae reliquiarum became part of the Habsburg Monarchy on January 1st, 1527. The Croatian “Reconquista” started in 1699, by Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci) Peace Treaty, followed by the Treaty of Passarowitz (Požarevac) in 1718 and by the Treaty of Svishtov in 1791. Subsequently, present-day borders of the Republic of Croatia are mainly products of these treaties. Finally, in 1954, when the Trieste crisis became resolved between Italy and Yugoslavia the main part of the Istrian Peninsula (which never was part of the Croatian state before) became part of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. Borders between Hungary and Croatia on the River of Drava and Croatia and Slovenia nearby Zagreb are ones of the oldest in Europe. 

[x] A similar situation was with the “Macedonian Question” from 1870 to 1912 as disputed land between Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, and Greek nationalistic and territorial claims. See [Sotirović B. V., “Macedonia between Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian and Serbian national aspirations”, Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies, Vol. 23, № 1, 2009 (2011), 12−40]. 

[xi] See the Canadian documentary movie Kosovo, Can You Imagine? directed by Boris Malagurski in 2009 on YouTube.  

[xii] While the French Revolution of 1789–1794 declared the “Right of Man”, the German philosophy of Romanticist nationalism declared the “Right of Nation”. The Yugoslavs like many others followed the latter option.

[xiii] Smith A., Theories of Nationalism, London: Duckworth, 1983, 21.

[xiv] Hislope R., “Can evolutionary theory explain nationalist violence?”, Nations and Nationalism, ASEN, Vol. 4, 1998, 474−477.

[xv] The most extreme territorial claims are not represented in the list.


Originally published at OrientalReview.org website.

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Ustashi propaganda map of a Greater Croatia

 
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The Anti-Russian Warmongering
I graduated from the exact same PHD Program at Harvard that produced Kissinger and Brzezinski before me. They gave me Kissinger’s old office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. I also went through the exact same Soviet/Russian Studies Program at Harvard that produced Brzezinski before me, and passed my PHD Oral/General Examinations in Soviet Politics and Russian History under Adam Ulam and Ned Keenan, respectively. R.I.P. Obama was behind me at Harvard Law School. Brzezinski has been Obama’s mentor and foreign policy guru since Obama’s student days at Columbia. Zbig ran Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on foreign affairs and defense, and ...
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For 68 Years NATO Failing to Create a Peaceful World
It is unreasonable to ask taxpayers to pay billions more dollars for NATO’s budget because they get less and less peace, security and stability, says Jan Oberg, director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc’s security spending would see its biggest increase since 2014, by 4.3 per cent in 2017. This is a response to US President Donald Trump‘s criticism of NATO countries failing to increase military budgets. Stoltenberg also said the alliance has combat-ready forces along Russia’s border. “NATO’s four multinational battle groups in the Baltic countries and Poland are now fully operational, ...
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Kosovo History – Fifth Part
The main church of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate in Kosovo in PećThe series of long-scale Christian national movements in the Balkans, triggered off by 1804 Serbian revolution, decided more than in the earlier centuries, the fate of Serbs and made ethnic Albanians (about 70% of whom were Muslims) the main guardians of Turkish order in the European provinces of Ottoman Empire. At a time when the Eastern question was again being raised, particularly in the final quarter of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th century, Islamic Albanians were the chief instrument of Turkey’s policy in crushing the ...
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French Documentary Exposes Ukraine’s Far-Right: “Ukraine – The Masks of the Revolution”
The activities of aggressive nationalist and neo-Nazi armed movements in present-day Ukraine are the focal point of Moreira’s documentary.  Their existence is not denied by any of his leading critics in France — even as they try to find excuses to justify their actions. On Wednesday, 3 February, as I was about to start assembling this article on the very important documentary about the Maidan broadcast by the French independent television channel Canal + on Monday evening, 1 February, I was headed off by breaking news on Russia Insider, carrying links to the first half of the documentary in English voice-over ...
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Mainstream News and USA’s Heroics in Vietnam: Why the Silence about the 7 Million Dead?
The amount of bombs dropped by Americans on the innocent citizens of tiny French Indochina was more than twice the amount of bombs dropped in Europe, Africa and Asia during the Second World War, and this includes bombs  dropped on the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong by American hero Senator John McCain, who proudly ran for president on his military record in spite of Nuremberg Counsel for Prosecution General Telford Taylor having said he would have been proud to have prosecuted US flyers shot down while bombing in Vietnam.[3]  What mastery of fake news, blacked out news, selected news and outrageously ...
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The 6 Reasons China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military
Why the Gap In Military Superiority Is Closing? China and Russia are still behind the U.S. militarily. But they are both showing surprising breakthroughs that – sometime down the road in the future – could threaten U.S. hegemony. The Washington Times reported last month: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday warned Russia and China are quickly closing the military technology gap with the U.S. as inconsistent military budgets and slower innovation threaten America’s lead in the military world. *** “It’s evident that nations like Russia and China have been pursuing military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States,” he continued. “They’re ...
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100 Years Ago US Troops Attacked Russia’s Pacific Coast and Committed Atrocities
Four men, accused of being partisans, are alleged to have been buried alive. The wife of a partisan is said to have been “pierced by bayonets and drowned in a garbage pit” [искололи тело штыками и утопили в помойной яме].The author (who is unnamed) states that his own elderly father was taken as a hostage by Allied forces from the town of Kharitonovka [Харитоновка]. He was returned home alive but in a bloodied condition. He is said to have died a few days later, after asking “Why did they torture me…”? [За что меня замучили]. The man is said to ...
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Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
Preface Kosovo is today one of the most disputed territories in Europe and a real Balkan powder keg which can explode again at any time. It is a province within the Republic of Serbia, recognized as such by both Serbia’s constitution and the Resolution 1244 by the Security Council of the United Nations (the UNSC Resolution 1244, June 10th, 1999). However, Kosovo parliament with a clear Albanian majority proclaimed the independence of Kosovo (without a referendum) in February 2008 that was recognized by the majority of the Western countries followed by their puppet clients all over the world (in reality, today ...
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The U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Nazi-Fascists
The Nation  published an outstanding article on March 9th, by James Carden, which described the remarkable extent to which the Obama government (and virtually all of the Washington Establishment) are supporting (financially and otherwise) fascists who want to destroy Russia.  One such example was a recent event in Washington. According to Carden: It featured the deputy speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament, Andriy Parubiy. According to the program bio, Parubiy served as the “commandant” of the Euromaidan (why did an ostensibly peaceful protest require a “commandant” anyway?) and, later, as secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. The bio provided to attendees might fairly be described as selective. ...
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The Simulation of Democracy
One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn’t exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can’t even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you’ve imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about “defending democracy” ...
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An Albanian family around 1910
The topic to be addressed in this text is the basic misconception on the question of the Balkan Albanian ethnogenesis and national identity that was framed by extremely geo-politically coloured German-based “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnic and cultural origin. This (quasi)theory, unfortunately, has very deep and negative regional political-security consequences. The implementation of the “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis was accepted firstly by the Rilindja, (the Renaissance) – the Albanian nationalistic and chauvinistic political movement in 1878–1913 for the sake to create the ethnically pure Greater Albania as a national state of all Balkan Albanians composed by self-interpreted ...
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Demonizing Russian Media
One of the West’s top points in condemning Vladimir Putin’s “regime” since 2007 has been his alleged suppression of democratic institutions, including an assault on media freedom and imposition of government-directed propaganda. This week, the accusation was repeated in a resolution of the European Parliament calling for stronger counter-measures in defense of European values against “information warfare” from Moscow.The charges — that Russian media are only an instrument of state propaganda directed at the domestic population to keep Russian citizens in line and at foreign audiences to sow dissent among Russia’s neighbors and within the European Union — are taken ...
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The United States as Destroyer of Nations
In the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 – an invasion which many Iraqis believe left their country in the worst condition it has been since the Mongol invasion of 1258 — there was much discussion in the media about the Bush Administration’s goal for “nation-building” in that country.   Of course, if there ever were such a goal, it was quickly abandoned, and one hardly ever hears the term “nation-building” discussed as a U.S. foreign policy objective anymore. The stark truth is that the U.S. really has no intentions of helping to build strong states in the Middle ...
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The “Kaunas Garage Massacre” in 1941: The Lithuanians are Clubbing Lithuania’s Jewish (Litvakai) to Death (Photos)
In June and July 1941, detachments of German Einsatzgruppen, together with Lithuanian auxiliaries, began murdering the Jews of Lithuania. Groups of partisans, civil units of nationalist-rightist anti-Soviet affiliation, initiated contact with the Germans as soon as they entered the Lithuanian territories. A rogue unit of insurgents headed by Algirdas Klimaitis and encouraged by Germans from the Sicherheitspolizei and Sicherheitsdienst, started anti-Jewish pogroms in Kaunas (Polish: Kovno) on the night of 25–27 June 1941. Over a thousand Jews perished over the next few days in what was the first pogrom in Nazi-occupied Lithuania. The most infamous incident occurred in what was ...
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Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
The Israeli historian Benny Morris has been very vocal of late in denying that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of Arabs in order for the “Jewish state” of Israel to be established. In a series of articles in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Morris has debated the question with several of his critics who contend that ethnic cleansing is precisely what occurred. Not so, argues Morris. So who’s right?It’s worth noting at the outset that, while such a debate exists in the Israeli media, the US media remains, as ever, absolutely silent on the matter. Americans who get their information about the ...
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Syria, the United Nations, and the  Slobodan Milosevic Treatment
It’s long been obvious the United Nations is a rubber stamp lapdog of the United States. It set the stage for a decade of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and piled sanctions of Libya that resulted in the US and NATO (another lapdog) taking military action that killed around 30,000 Libyans. Now that supposedly august body has signaled it will investigate war crimes in Syria. The Associated Press reports the “resolution adopted by the assembly said the body, known as the ‘International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism,’ would help collect and analyze evidence of violations of human rights and international ...
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Fragility of Belarussian National Identity
Belarus is a land known also as Belorussia (White Russia, Weißrussland) in East Europe which was for centuries occupied by a Polish-Lithuanian common state until it became included in Tsarist Russia in the late 18th century.[1] Belarus is facing many identity problems but the most important is the ethnolinguistic challenge to a separate Belarussian[2] national feature.National identityA common national identity is a focal element for the creation of a national state as without a common identity that is based on a fundamental element of group’s identity a psychological sense of common solidarity cannot be developed. However, such solidarity is a ...
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Post-Maidan Ukrainian Anti-Semitism: Tragic “Blowback” Resulting from U.S. Interventionist Foreign Policy?
The foreign policy of the United States in the post-Cold War era, driven by a doctrine of Exceptionalism and managed by a neoconservative strategy, has been responsible for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Nato’s war on Libya in 2011 and the covert war waged in Syria using Islamist proxies. It was also at the root of its involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014. But the geopolitical advantage intended in each enterprise has brought the proverbial blowback.The results are plain to see. Libya is now certifiably a failed state. Accompanying the destruction of ...
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Why America is a Dictatorship
British Colonials Starved to Death 60 Million-Plus Indians
The Anti-Russian Warmongering
For 68 Years NATO Failing to Create a Peaceful World
Kosovo History – Fifth Part
French Documentary Exposes Ukraine’s Far-Right: “Ukraine – The Masks of the Revolution”
Mainstream News and USA’s Heroics in Vietnam: Why the Silence about the 7 Million Dead?
The 6 Reasons China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military
100 Years Ago US Troops Attacked Russia’s Pacific Coast and Committed Atrocities
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
The U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Nazi-Fascists
The Simulation of Democracy
Albanian Ethnogenesis and Kosovo-Metochia
Demonizing Russian Media
The United States as Destroyer of Nations
The “Kaunas Garage Massacre” in 1941: The Lithuanians are Clubbing Lithuania’s Jewish (Litvakai) to Death (Photos)
Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Syria, the United Nations, and the Slobodan Milosevic Treatment
Fragility of Belarussian National Identity
Post-Maidan Ukrainian Anti-Semitism: Tragic “Blowback” Resulting from U.S. Interventionist Foreign Policy?

Written by Policraticus

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