Balkan region is often called the "powder keg" of Europe.And it is no accident.In the twentieth century here and then we broke out the war and conflicts of all sizes.And the First World War started here, after Sarajevo was assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.In the early 90s the Balkan countries have experienced another serious shock - the disintegration of Yugoslavia.This event significantly reshape the political map of the European Region.
Balkan region and its geography
On a relatively small area of 505 thousand square kilometers are located all Balkan countries.The geography of the peninsula is very diverse.Its coastline is heavily dissected and washed by the seas of six.The Balkans mostly mountainous and heavily dissected by deep canyons.However, the highest point of the peninsula - Mount Musala - nedotyagivaet and up to 3,000 meters in height.
Two natural features are characteristic for the region: it is the large number of small islands off the coastline (especially in
name of the peninsula comes from the Turkish word balkan, which means "large and wooded ridge."The northern border of the Balkans is generally carried out through the rivers Danube and Sava.
Balkan countries: the list
Today in the Balkans there are ten public entities (among them - 9 of sovereign states and one - partially recognized).Below is a list of them, including the capital of the Balkan countries:
- Slovenia (capital - Ljubljana).
- Greece (Athens).
- Bulgaria (Sofia).
- Romania (Bucharest).
- Macedonia (Skopje).
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo).
- Serbia (Belgrade).
- Montenegro (Podgorica).
- Croatia (Zagreb).
- Republic of Kosovo (partially recognized state with its capital in Pristina).
should be noted that in some regional classifications to the Balkan countries also rank and Moldova.
Balkan countries on the path of independent development
In the second half of the XIX century, all Balkan peoples were under the yoke of Turkish and Austro-Hungarian Empire, which could contribute to their national and cultural development.In the 60-70s of the last century in the Balkans enhanced national liberation aspirations.Balkan countries, one after another, trying to get back on the path of independent development.
first was Bulgaria.In 1876 there began a rebellion, which, however, was brutally suppressed by the Turks.Angered by such bloody actions, which killed about 30 thousand Orthodox Bulgarians, Russia declared war on the Turks.In the end, Turkey was forced to recognize the independence of Bulgaria.
In 1912, following the example of the Bulgarians achieved independence and Albania.At the same time, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece, creating the so-called "Balkan Union" in order to finally break free from the Turkish yoke.Soon after the Turks were driven out from the peninsula.Under their authority was only a small piece of land from the city of Constantinople.
However, after his victory over the common enemy of the Balkan countries are beginning to fight among themselves.Thus, Bulgaria, with the support of Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia and Greece.The latter, in turn, has provided military support to Romania.
finally a large "powder keg" The Balkans have turned 28 June 1914, when Sarajevo was killed Serb principle heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Prince Ferdinand.Since the First World War, which was drawn almost all of Europe, as well as some countries in Asia, Africa and even Central America.
breakup of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia was created in 1918, immediately after the liquidation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The process of its disintegration, which began in 1991, significantly reshaped existing at the time the political map of Europe.
first from Yugoslavia, as a result of the so-called 10-day war, went to Slovenia.It was followed by Croatia, but the military conflict between Croats and Serbs lasted 4.5 years and took at least 20 thousand lives.At the same time continued Bosnian War, which resulted in the recognition of the new state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
One of the last stages of the disintegration of Yugoslavia has become a referendum on Montenegro's independence, which was held in 2006.According to the results, 55.5% of Montenegrins voted for secession from Serbia.
shaky independence of Kosovo
February 17, 2008 The Republic of Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence.The reaction of the international community to this event was extremely ambiguous.Today Kosovo as an independent state, recognized only the 108 th country (out of 193 UN members).Among them - the United States and Canada, Japan, Australia, the majority of EU countries, as well as some countries in Africa and Latin America.
However, the republic's independence is not recognized by Russia and China (which are part of the UN Security Council), which does not allow Kosovo to become a full member of the main international organization of the world.
In conclusion ...
Modern Balkan countries have begun their journey to independence in the late XIX century.However, the formation of borders in the Balkans is still not completed.
Today within the Balkan region stands out ten countries.This is Slovenia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and partly recognized state of Kosovo.