Rusploitation in Yugoslav Pop

Despite the reductive and strangely common view in the West that Yugoslavia was yet another Soviet Communist country, the relationship between SFRY and the USSR was a complex one, especially after 1948, when Tito was thrown out of the Comintern by Stalin. The USSR was undeniably key in the WWII liberation of Yugoslavia and victory of the Partisans, however Yugoslavia, since 1948, very much saw … Continue reading Rusploitation in Yugoslav Pop

Finding Count Vronsky in Serbia

In 1878 Leo Tolstoy somewhat abruptly ended the story of desperate and broken Count Vronsky in Anna Karenina by sending him to Serbia to fight in the Serbo-Turkish War of 1876-1878, where he sought adventure, or even death, as penance for his famously ill-fated affair. A century and a bit later, this slightly inelegant end to the story of one of the protagonists of this … Continue reading Finding Count Vronsky in Serbia

The Refugees Who Built Modern Belgrade

A century ago, twin revolutions enveloped Imperial Russia, already weakened by participation in World War I. The February Revolution dismantled the centuries-old autocratic system by ousting the Tsar, while the October Revolution marked the rise of the Bolsheviks who were to emerge victorious from a five-year civil war against the remaining royalists and other opponents, and ultimately proclaim the Soviet Union. This turmoil, which set … Continue reading The Refugees Who Built Modern Belgrade

Hidden Belgrade (19): Doppelgängers

Cities like to show their friendship by sharing the same monuments. New York and Paris share the Statue of Liberty (although the one in Paris is considerably smaller), while copies of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid are everywhere from Romania to Korea. Belgrade is no exception and there are (at least) four monuments which tie it to other places. Their stories feature old friendships, sunken ships and … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (19): Doppelgängers