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Greece: independence with the help of Russia

3 February 1830 year in London, Russia, England and France signed a protocol recognizing the independence of Greece.

In modern times, the ideas of pan-Hellenism, reanimated by the Russian Empress Catherine II, to some extent coincided with the aspirations of the Greeks to get rid of the Turkish-Muslim dependence and the restoration of the Byzantine Empire.

In the Orthodox Russian autocrat the Greeks saw the main assistant in the struggle against the Turkish sultan. In turn, St. Petersburg considered the Greeks and other Christian peoples of the Balkans and the Caucasus to be the backbone in the war with the Porte. During the first Catherine's war with Turkey, in the Mediterranean theater of military operations, on the Greek islands, the Greeks repeatedly came to the aid of Russian sailors, delaying the Ottomans themselves.

During the second Catherine's war, after the cancellation of the planned expedition of the squadron of Admiral Greig, the Greeks had to continue fighting with the Turks independently. After the arrival of Napoleon in power in France, the geopolitical situation changed, now Russia, in alliance with Turkey, was at war with France.

During the Mediterranean campaign of Admiral Ushakov from the French invaders the Ionian islands were liberated, for the first time since the fall of Constantinople and the remains of the Byzantine Empire - Morea, Trebizond and Theodoro, however, for a short period, from 1800 to 1815, a form of Greek statehood was established under the Russian protectorate.

During the Russian-Turkish war of 1806-1812, the Russian government once again tried to find allies in the Greeks in the struggle against the Turks; in the Morea, leaflets distributed as follows: "The day has come that the arm of the autocratic Russian monarch will tear the fetters imposed on you and take revenge for the persecution done to you. "

However, when in 1821 in the same More than the anti-Turkish insurrection broke out, Alexander I did not come to the aid of the Greeks. Also, there was no response to the ensuing genocide of Orthodox Greeks - massacres on the island of Chios and Constantinople, during which Patriarch Gregory V. was killed.

In these years the Greeks fought for their independence without the help of Russia, the rebels liberated part of the Peloponnese and some islands, and in January 1822 the first National Assembly in the town of Piadu proclaimed the Greek State.

Russia returned to the Greek question already under the new emperor Nicholas I. A document was drawn up according to which Greece forms a special state that is the supreme suzerain of Turkey, while Greece should have its own government and laws. With the plan of Russia, England agreed, having signed the St. Petersburg Protocol in 1826, but Turkey did not agree. The Greeks were threatened with another wave of genocide, and only the firm position of Nicholas I and Russian diplomacy prevented it.

To help the Greeks were sent Russian, French and British squadrons, but even after the defeat in the Battle of Navarino, the Turks continued to persist. The closure for the Russian ships of the Bosphorus was the last impetus that led to the beginning of the war in 1828. The European public was on the side of the Greeks, thanks to people like Byron who took part in the Greek uprising, the Europeans knew about the atrocities being perpetrated by the Turks.

In the Mediterranean Sea was a squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Logyn Heyden, during this campaign we were convinced that the Russian influence in the Greek archipelago, established in previous years, is still alive in the hearts of those peoples whose historical destiny was associated with the Russian fleet.

Heyden, based on the island of Paros, in addition to military tasks, and political: took an active part in the life of the Greek state institutions.

As the eyewitness notes, the Greeks of Corfu treated the Russian sailors with great respect, "some even kissed the hands of the sailors and considered it a special happiness if they managed to touch the officers' clothes", and did not want to take money from them when they made the necessary purchases on the island.

The war ended with the signing of 14 September 1829 the Treaty of Adrianople, one of whose points reported that Turkey agrees with the representation of the autonomy of Greece. 3 February 1830, already in London, representatives of Russia, Britain and France signed a protocol on the recognition of the independence of Greece.

Between Turkey and Greece, borders were drawn, Western politicians, as usual, cut back on the achievements of the Greek rebels, and compared to the liberated territory, they minimized the borders of Greece.

Greece did not receive the status of a republic, it established a constitutional monarchy, whose head was appointed from Germany. Nevertheless, independent Greece was recognized by the world community and a huge role in this achievement was played by Russia and the Russian fleet.

A source: Russian Planet

Author: Cyril Bragin

Tags: Greece, History, Independence, United Kingdom, Russia, War, France, Turkey