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Death of a Russian Consul: Macedonia 1903

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image of Russian History

On Saturday, 8 August 1903 (n.s.), Aleksandr Arkadievich Rostkovskii was shot and killed on the outskirts of Bitola, in west central Macedonia. Rostkovskii was the Imperial Russian consul posted to that city; his assailant was one Halim, an Ottoman soldier of Albanian origin. The Russian government demanded swift satisfaction. The sultan and his ministers made strenuous efforts to show their sincere grief over the murder and offered substantial reparations. Russia expressed displeasure with the Ottoman response and threateningly dispatched part of its Black Sea fleet to Ottoman waters immediately. Specific demands, including a reform program for Macedonia, were made. With little hesitation the sultan accepted them, and the crisis passed. This contribution examines the events surrounding the Rostkovskii affair and analyzes Russia's behavior during that crisis.

Affiliations: 1: (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., U.S.A.


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