Konstantin Nikiforov
Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia


On the formation of the image of another most strongly affects the mass contacts. In the twentieth century the Serbs and the Russians have contacted several times. About 40 thousand Russian refugees went to Yugoslavia after 1917. In the autumn of 1944 the Red Army soldiers who participated in the liberation of the north-eastern Serbia joined these emigrants. Yugoslavia has been also affected by the so-called “marriage wave” of emigration. This wave of migration has to do mostly with the Russian women married to the Serbs working in Russia. Finally, several hundred volunteers and thousands of peacekeepers from Russia arrived in the former Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav crisis. According to recent reports in Serbia today live more than 2,5 thousand Russians.

Russians has been always met in Serbia very warmly. But then there was a meeting of two completely different cultures: the Russians were mainly urban citizens while the  Serb came from the countryside, the Balkans. There was also a fruitful interaction between the Russian and Serbian cultures. At household level, Russia and the Russians are constantly present in the Serbian mentality. Russians remain an integral part of Serbian life, a mandatory topic of conversation and memories.