Russia History Romanov War Russo-Turkish War (1877–78)

Russo-Turkish War (1877–78)

In 1877, Russia declared war against Turkey in support of the Balkan nations, who were fighting for their independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Russian forces crossed the River Danube and quickly advanced into Romania and Bulgaria, where they were greeted as liberators by the local population.

In December 1877, Count Joseph Gurko captured Pleven after a bitter siege. He marched his army across the frozen Balkan Mountain passes and occupied Sofia.

After winning control of the Shipka Pass, the Russians opened up the road to Istanbul. But the resistance of the enemy stiffened and, with the start of winter, the army began to suffer heavy losses.

In January 1878, General Mikhail Skobelev’s forces reached San Stefano, only a few miles from Istanbul. Russia accepted the Turkish peace terms, which included outright independence for the Balkan nations, although these freedoms were later curtailed at the Congress of Berlin.

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