Russian émigré officers and their families at leisure - Serbia 1922.

 

Wars are less about destructive hardware or other imaginative ways of extermination – they're all about destroying the fabric of society and family ties. The Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Civil War literally cast overboard several generations of educated people, and those who made it to safer havens were considered lucky to survive.

While Dr Zhivago's characters were fictitious, the real victims were millions – there were to be found on Turkish islands, on the pavements of the Balkan cities, in the libraries of Prague and European universities, most of them cherishing their dreams of reaching France, yet slowly dissolving into the societies of their new host countries. Hundreds of thousands of Russian émigrés settled down in 1919-1920 in Serbia and Bulgaria. In late 1921, in a few days only, 9330 Russian émigrés disembarked from 4 ships in the Bulgarian ports of Varna and Burgas.

Moscow's new rulers ruthlessly obliterated even the memories of their own educated exiles, shunning any reference of them that differed from the 'class enemy'. Few visual memories of the 'White Russians' have survived, mainly outside Russia and Ukraine.

Published in Red Square

Bosnian Serbs celebrate St. George's Day. Mount  Romanija, near Sarajevo - May 1991.

In the intoxicating atmosphere of gunfire, nationalist euphoria, Balkan grill in the forest, a prayer and a blessing.

Indicted war-criminals Radovan Karadzic and Vojislav Šešelj with a group of Chetniks. Vojislav Šešelj announces his 'Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica' line.

It's a hypothetical boundary often used to describe the western extent of Serbian aspirations. Vojislav Šešelj often claimed that all of the population of these areas are in fact 'ethnic Serbs, of Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Muslim faith.'

Amateur footage, Bosnian Serb collection. 

Published in Balkans