30 May Independence Day marks Croatia. History This state, like the history of the whole former Yugoslavia as a whole, is a good example of the separation and mutual oppression of the Slavic peoples. In the context of the tragedy experienced by Ukraine today, the relevance of this problem can hardly be ignored.
As is known, most of the former Yugoslavia, with the exception of Slovenia and Macedonia, as well as the Kosovo Albanian state that has been separated from Serbia with the support of the United States and NATO, speaks in fact a single language - Serbo-Croatian. The main division between Serbs, Croats, Bosnians is not on ethnic, but on religious grounds. It was the confessional affiliation that ultimately formed the different cultural types of these peoples. Serbs - part of the Orthodox world, which grew up on the Byzantine cultural tradition. Bosnians are Muslims and because of this, they are not the Slavs, but the Turks, with whom they have cooperated for centuries. Well, the Croats - Catholics. And their membership in the Vatican flock largely explains the historical dislike of the Serbs and the Orthodox world as a whole.
The historic homeland of the Croats - Prikarpatye, including the land of the southern part of Galicia. One of the Croatian branches - red Croats - to the VII century AD. moved to the Balkans - in Dalmatia. The Black Croats subsequently joined the Czech nation, and the White Croats who remained in the Carpathian region became one of the key components of the formation of the Ruthenian nationality. The first Croatian state in the Balkan Peninsula appeared in the 9th century and is associated with the name of Trpimir, which gave rise to the Trpimirovich dynasty. Almost from the earliest years of its existence, the Croatian state, despite the existing relations of the Croats with other southern Slavs who were in orbit of Byzantine influence, was oriented toward the Catholic West. During the reign of King Tomislav I Church councils in Split ruled in favor of the priority of the Latin language of the Slavonic liturgy in the church.
Further “Latinization” of the Croats continued with the integration of Central Europe into the German-Hungarian world. In 1102, Croatia entered a dynastic union with Hungary, and in 1526, in an effort to protect the country from the threat of Turkish conquest, the Croatian parliament handed the crown to the Austrian emperor Ferdinand Habsburg. From then until the end of 1918, for almost four centuries, Croatian lands were part of Austria-Hungary. In an effort to minimize the influence of Russia and Orthodoxy in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary supported the part of the Slavs who professed Catholicism and focused on the Central European civilization cluster. The Croats treated them primarily because they were viewed as a counterweight to the neighboring Serbs, known for their pro-Russian sentiments.
As part of Austria-Hungary, the Croats were subordinate to the Hungarian government, since the Habsburgs tried to respect the historical traditions of the subordination of the Croatian lands to the Hungarians, going back to the union of the Croatian and Hungarian monarchies from 1102. The Croatian ruler, who bore the title "ban", was appointed by the emperor of Austria-Hungary on the proposal of the Hungarian government. In turn, the Croatian nobility preferred not to quarrel with the Habsburgs and, unlike the Hungarians, who hatched the separation plans, showed political loyalty. Thus, the Croatian ban Josip Jelacic was one of the leaders of the suppression of the Hungarian revolution 1848 of the year.
At the same time, from the middle of the 19th century in Croatia, among a part of the national intelligentsia, illirism spreads. This cultural-political concept called for the unification of all South Slavic ethnic groups living in the territory of the ancient Illyria, in a single Yugoslav state. According to the advocates of the concept of Illyrism, there is a much greater historical, cultural, linguistic community between Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, than between Croats and Hungarians or Germans.
The Yugoslav peoples, in the opinion of the adherents of Illyrism, were to create their own autonomy within the Hungarian kingdom, and in the future - an independent state that would include not only the Austro-Hungarian Slavs, but also the Yugoslavs living in the Ottoman Empire. It is noteworthy that while Illyrian movement even enjoyed the support of the Austrian leadership, which saw in the Croatian national movement is possible weakening of the Hungarian government. In turn, the Hungarians supported the “Magyaron” movement, another part of the Croatian intelligentsia, which denied the need for Yugoslavian unification and insisted on the further and tighter integration of Croats into Hungarian society.
The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First World War led to the emergence in the Balkans of a new state formation - the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. After his speedy unification with Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the long-awaited dream of Illyrism about Yugoslav unification came true. However, it turned out that it is very, very difficult to get along with the peoples that have existed for centuries in different civilizational planes and close mainly only in linguistic terms. Croats and Slovenes accused the Serbs of usurping real power in the new state, which was headed by Serbian kings from the Karageorgievich dynasty.
The negative reaction of Croatian society to the rule of the Serbian kings resulted in the formation of ultranationalist organizations. In 1929, the day after the dictatorship was established by King Alexander I Karageorgiyevich, the Croatian revolutionary movement was founded by Croatian nationalists, led by Ante Pavelic, who came from the rights of the party. insurgents. Advocate Ante Pavelic, who called himself an Ustaša colonel, participated in the nationalist movement from early youth, managed to visit both the secretary of the Croatian Law Party and the leader of the radical wing of the Croatian Peasant Party before deciding to create the Croatian revolutionary movement.
Serious assistance to the Croatian nationalists was provided by neighboring Italy, whose interests included the fragmentation of Yugoslavia as a single state and the restoration of Italian influence on the Adriatic coast of the country. In addition, the Ustashe ideologically, as the ultra-right organizations have been close in power in Italy, the Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini. The Ustahi quickly switched to armed resistance, primarily involving terrorist acts against the central government. Together with the Macedonian nationalists from VMRO they realized 9 1934 October, the murder of the King of Yugoslavia Alexander I of Yugoslavia.
Hitler's Germany’s attack on Yugoslavia in April 1941 led to the creation, under the auspices of the Nazis and their Italian allies, of a new political entity, the Independent State of Croatia, in which de facto power fell into the hands of the Ustasha. Formally, Croatia became a monarchy headed by King Tomislav II. It did not matter that Tomislav was actually called Aimone di Torino and he was not a Croat by nationality, but an Italian — the prince of the House of Savoy and Duke of Aostia. With this, the Croats emphasized loyalty to the Italian state, while at the same time leaving the real power in the territory of the newly proclaimed state in the hands of the “messenger” Ustaša Ante Pavelic. Especially that "Croatian king" because during the years of his rule, and did not bother to visit the "subject" of his territory of the Independent State of Croatia.
During the years of Hitler’s occupation of Yugoslavia, the Croatian Ustashi became famous for its incredible cruelty and abuse of the non-Croatian civilians. Since the basis of the partisan anti-Hitler resistance was the Serbs, the German command, skillfully playing on the many years of hostility of the Croatian and Serbian nationalists, turned the Ustaša state into an important tool to counter the Serbian resistance.
In an effort to conform to the Nazi standard - Hitler's Germany - Ustashian Croatia reached for the adoption of completely absurd laws, such as the 30 Citizenship Act of April 1941 of April, which affirmed the “Aryan identity” of the Croats and prohibited non-Aryan citizenship of the Independent State of Croatia.
Ustashi military units took part in the aggression of Hitler’s Germany against the Soviet Union, and in the territory of Yugoslavia proper, the Ustashi carried out a real genocide against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. The 369 st reinforced infantry regiment, recruited from the Croats and Bosnian Muslims and better known as the Croatian Legion, or the Devilish Division, was destroyed near Stalingrad. 4465 of Croatian soldiers who went to the Eastern Front to fight against the Soviet Union, killing more than 90%.
Unlike many other German satellites, including Italy, the Croatian state be faithful to Hitler until the end of the Second World War. After the defeat of Nazism, the “messenger” Ante Pavelic fled to Franco Spain. At home, he was sentenced in absentia to death and, apparently, tried to carry out the sentence - in 1957, Pavelic was assassinated, but he survived and died only two years later from the consequences of his injuries.
The creation of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia) after the end of the Second World War failed to “quench” the separatist and nationalist sentiments among the Croats. Even the fact that the Yugoslav leader himself, Josip Broz Tito, was a Croat by father and Slovenian by mother, i.e. representative of the "western" part of the Yugoslavs, did not affect the desire of the Croatian nationalists to disconnect. It was emphasized that Serbia and the rest of Yugoslavia allegedly parasitize on Croatia with its developed foreign trade. Also, the figures of the "Croatian Spring" - the mass Croatian nationalist movement 70-s. The twentieth century., - drew attention to the alleged imposition of the "Serbian norms" Serbian-Croatian language.
Beginning with the end of the 1980's. the process of the disintegration of Yugoslavia in many ways resembled similar events in the Soviet Union. The Western press wrote sympathetically about Croatian and Slovenian nationalists, calling them supporters of European traditions and democratic government, unlike the Serbs, who were accused of striving for dictatorship and an inability to establish democracy. The way the “Ukrainians” and the Ukrainians in Ukraine today are contrasted with a direct analogy with the Yugoslav scenario, even the lexical tools of European politicians remain virtually unchanged - the “good” and “democratic” Kiev regime oriented to the West and the “quilted jackets” and “Colorado” East, "immature to democracy" and therefore worthy of, if not death, then at least the deprivation of civil rights, including the right to self-determination.
From March 1991 to January 1995, for four years, there was a bloody war in the territory of Croatia. The Serbian population, which appeared after the collapse of Yugoslavia, on the territory of the newly formed Croatian state, did not want to live in one country with the descendants of the Ustashi, especially considering the coming to power of nationalist forces. Despite the fact that even in sovereign Croatia, Serbs made up 12%, they were deprived of real political power and representation. Moreover, Croatian neo-Nazis went to the systematic commission of crimes against the Serb population, including such acts as attacks on churches and Orthodox priests. This Serbs - the people are very religious and honoring Orthodox shrines - could not tolerate.
The response was the creation of the Republika Srpska Krajina. Between the Serbian and Croatian troops launched hostilities. At the same time, the majority of Western states, including the USA and European countries, practically did not hide their sympathies towards the Croats. On the side of the Croats were also Bosnian Muslims, who were also historical opponents of the Serbs since the Ottoman Empire (since they were on the side of the co-religionists, including the police in the occupied territories).
The Serb-Croat war was accompanied by enormous human losses and the economic ruin of the once thriving Yugoslavia. The war killed from the Croatian side - no less than 13,5 thousand people (according to Croatian data), from the Serbian side - more than 7,5 thousand people (according to Serbian data). More than 500 thousands of people from both sides have become refugees. Although official Croatia and the moderate leaders of the Croatian Serbs today, twenty years after the war, speak of the normalization of relations between the Croatian and Serbian population of the country, this can be hardly believed. Croatian nationalists brought too much grief to the Serbian people - both during the Second World War and during the Serbian-Croatian war of the 1991-1995.
If we analyze the consequences of the war and the creation of an independent Croatia, we can definitely say that the losing side is ... no, not Serbia, but the southern Slavs and the Slavic world in general. By setting Croats against Serbs, cultivating anti-Serb and anti-Orthodox sentiments in Croatian society, based on the imaginary identification of Croats with the Western European world (although it is very doubtful that Anglo-Saxon would allow Croats to be equal with him), the main goal of the USA and Great Britain was to separate the South Slavs , weakening of Russian influence in the region.
Croats, like Poles, Czechs, other “Western-oriented” Slavs, are told that they belong to the Western world and their strategic interests are in the plane of cooperation with the United States and the European Union. Exactly the same strategy is used today in Ukraine in relation to the “westernized” part of Ukrainians - not only Galicians, but also the Ukrainians of Central Ukraine who fell under the “zapadenskoe” ideological influence.
Today, the former Yugoslavia, to which neighbors listened and which was not inferior to many other European countries economically and culturally, is a few small and weak states that are actually incapable of independent foreign and domestic policy. However, the long-suffering Balkans more than once found themselves in a similar difficult situation. But, as history shows, whenever Russia strengthened, its political and military power increased, including its influence in Eastern Europe, and the position of the southern Slavs - Serbs, Montenegrins, and Bulgarians improved.
As for the Croats, they have so firmly associated themselves with the “Western” world that it is hardly possible in the foreseeable future to talk about the possibility of their returning to the “roots”, normalizing relations with their close relatives - Orthodox Serbs and Montenegrins. The task of Russia in this situation remains, like a century earlier, the restoration of Russian influence in the Orthodox countries of the Balkan Peninsula and the obstruction of the Westernization of the same Serbs or Montenegrins according to the Ukrainian scenario.