Russian Scholars Blame Vatican for Unleashing Crimean Waw
- 2005.08.31 Moscow News:
Russian Scholars Blame Vatican for Unleashing Crimean War
Created: 31.08.2005 17:07 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 17:07 MSK, 6 hours
32 minutes ago
As Russia prepared to mark the 150th anniversary of the heroic
defense of its southern port of Sevastopol, Russian historians
released sensational archive data refuting the traditional
interpretation of the reasons and outcome of the Crimean War
(1853-1856), RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.
"Our national task is to reconstruct that page in our history,"
prominent historian Vitaly Sheremet told a news conference at the
Center of the National Glory of Russia.
"The Eastern war was begun by the Vatican, as it set out against the
rapid reinforcement of the East-Christian world," the scholar is
convinced. Sheremet has based his conclusions on unique documents of
Arab, Turkish and Kurdish origin, the testimonies of captives, and
Scholars have discovered sensational documents at the Foreign
Ministry's archives of the Russian Empire, Sheremet's colleague,
historian-orientalist Mikhail Yakushev added. Those papers shed light
on the conflict between Pope Pius IX and Napoleon III, on the one
hand, and the Orthodox clerics of the Jerusalem Church and Emperor
Nicholas I, on the other.
"It was that inter-clerical strife concerning the Holy places in
Jerusalem and Bethlehem, that flared up in the year 1850 had
triggered the Crimean war," Yakushev said.
Archive data show that the Greek hierarch, being aware of the Sultan
Abdul Mejid plan to sacrifice the interests of his subjects -
Orthodox believers in favour of foreigners (Catholics) - urged Russia
to protect the Orthodox Church.
Those data give us a chance to look at the Crimean War from a
different angle, the scholars say. "That was not a war for the
'selfish ends of the Tsar', but a 'holy war' for Christian sanctuary,
for the keys to the Temple of the Holy Sepulcher and the Temple of
Bethlehem, the war against discrimination of Orthodox communities in
Jerusalem and the Orient," Alexander Melnik, head of the Center of
the National Glory of Russia, said.
The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia in 1853 upon enlisting
support from England and France.
Commenting on the outcome of the Crimean War, Yakushev said: "The
status quo of the holy places was preserved with the blood of Rusisan
soldiers, as a result of the uncompromising position of Russia in the
cause of defending the priority right of the Orthodox Church of
Jerusalem in Palestine in accordance with the state of affairs that
had existed since the times of the Byzantine Empire."
Next year the Russian historian plans to publish a work on the issue
as part of a 30-volume series entitled The Military History of the