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THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR I

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THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR I ALLEGED RUSSIAN CRUELTIES IX BULGARIA. The Simidord correspondent teiegrrnplis :—The English Consul at Isiinge (Slivno) reports that many of the Mos- lern inhabitants of Sistova and Tirnova are scattered a!x>ut his district, whither they have tied to avoid the cruelties of the Russians and Bulgarians. He reports that the Russians press the Bulgarians into their service, furnish them with arms, and take them with them as they advance. Those Bulgarians who do not accompany the Russian troops behave with the greatest barbarity to the Moslem residents in the towns and villages, and to any stray Moslems whom they encounter on the roads. They scoop out the eyes of those whom they murder, and fill up the orbits of the eyes with bread. They insult the Moslem women by tearing off their "yashniash" and "feradjes." and by worse outrages. They also endeavour to force the women to change their religion. The Consul reports that the news of these outrages has created the greatest excitement in his district, the responsibility for which must rest on the Russians. The Times Shutnla correspondent says :—From cross- examination of six wounded female victims of Cossack barbarity near Sistova, I learn that women and children were butchered. I was slow to believe the reports of such senseless barbarisin, but now I find them to be too true. The Paris correspondent of the same paper states :— Count Schouvaloff, struck by the bad impression produced by the recent accounts of Russian atrocities, has sent an urgent telegram to Prince Gortschakoff, begging him to give the principal foreign eorre.spondeuts every facility for visiting the places in Bulgari:), named as the scenes of these excesses, so that the result of their enquiries, with their signatures attached, may be promptly telegraphed to him from the Russian head-quarters, with a view to publi- cation. The Journal d» Sf. Petersburg remarks in reference to the recent question in the English Parliament touching alleged Russian cruelties, that Parliament should at least appeal to the opinion of General Kemball. who has the Turks at his side and the Russians before him. The Sublime Porte has addressed the following telegram to its representatives abroad :—• "Constantinople, July 21. We consider it our duty to bring to your knowledge the exact text of a report, drawn up anil signed at Schumla, by representatives of foreign newspapers, the names of which are Manche-tn- Guardian, Koelnixrhe Z^itnnq, Standard, Frank- furter Zeitiriig, Journal des Debate, Morning Po.,t, Republii/ne Fraueaise, I'cther Lloyd, Wiener Tugblatt, Illustrated London Xewx, Xene Frcie Press, Timet, Morning Adrertiacr, Xcw York Herald, Scotsman, Egyptctersezz, Graphic, Winter Vomtndt Zeitung, Daily Telegraph, and Manchester Exa$$iincr. The Zeitung, Daily Telegraph, and Manchester Exa$$iincr. The undersigned representatives of the toreign press assembled at Schumla consider themselves bound to sum up collectively and support with their signatures the recitals they have separately addressed to their .newspapers on the acts of inhumanity com- mitted against the inoffensive Mussulman population in Bulgaria. They declare having seen with their own eyes, and ¡nterr"at'l, both atRasgrid and Schumla, children, women, and old men who had been wounded with lance and sabre cuts, without mentioning the wounds by firearms, which might be attributed to the chances of legitimate warfare. These victims give horrible accounts of the treatment to which the Russian troops and sometimes the -Bulgarians subject the fugitive Mussulmans. According tu their statement, the Mussulman population of several villages have been all massacred either upon the roads or in the villages which had been given up to pillage Every day more wounded arrive. The undersigned declare that women and children are the most numerous victims, and that their wounds are made by thrusts from the lance. This document acquires great significance and great value from the. quality and character of those who have signed ie, and whose Veracity cannot be placed in doubt." RUSSIAN ACTIVITY IX THE BALTIC. We (ijrtobe) hear from trustworthy sources that extra- ordinary activity is being displayed in increasing the Russian armaments along the Finnish and Baltic coasts. Men are working night and day at the Cronstadt Torpedo Factory preparing submarine torpedoes for the harbours, and last Sunday the steamer Ladoga conveyed 120 sailors to Wiborg, to be employed in preparing the channel there for the reception of them. Further detachments of sailors and workmen were to leave Cronstadt during the week to assist in the defensive preparations at Sveaborg, Hango, and other Finnish ports, to which places also large con- signments of naval stores were to be forwarded. These rvri-Mia/rM.f.ioris are (lne to the renresentations of freneml Todleben, who has reported the Finnish fortresses to be in a weak condition, and has been requested to personally superintend the works undertaken with a view to strengthening them. This sudden outburst of activity in the north is regarded at St. Petersburg as indicating the intention of the Russian Government to push matters to -in extremity, and to be able to sustain a conflict with England in the Baltic should this policy lead to hostilities. The detention of the Mediterranean squadron at Cronstadt, when it has been under sailing orders the last three weeks, is considered to be confirmatory of this opinion. CAPTURE OF THE SCHIPKA PASS. The capture of the Schipka Pass, which was announced on Monday, is a serious blow for the Ottoman cause, but in other respects the tenour of the news from the seat of war, both in Europe and Asia, is somewhat more favour- able to the Turks. The situation, it is stated, is still so critical that a single battle may at any moment decide the issue of the campsrtgn by making the Russians master of the road to Constantinople. GREAT BATTLE BEFORE PLEVNA. There has been a great battle, it seems, near Plevna, where a detachment from Osman Pacha's force, thrown forward from Widdin, has successfully repulsed the Russian ninth army corps, advancing from Nikopolis. Details of the engagement, which seems to have extended over two days, are still wanting but the fighting, it ap- pears. took place before Plevna on Thursday and Friday, July 19 and O, and it was the Turks who assumed the offensive on the first day, and the Russians on the second, At noon on Thursday, according to Osman Pacha's despatch, the Turks commenced a desperate engagement which lasted until evening. The results on that day ap- pear to have been indecisive, but the Turkish ('ommander claims to have inflicted considerable loss upon the Rus- sians, who were forced to abandon the greater part of their positions. In a later despatch, dated the following day, he stated that the Russians in three divisions re- turned to the attack, but that they were repulsed and com- pletely routed, with an innumerable loss in killed, as well as three wagons of ammunition, one train of artillery, and an immense quantity of arms and military equipments, The same news is officially communicated by the Turkish Government in another form, which states that the first day's engagement lasted seven hours, and that after Friday's battle, when the Russians attacked in several columns, they fled in disorder, and left behind them not one, but three artillery trains. Although the proportions of tne conflict rei erred to in these several despatches may be exaggerated, there seems t', I" little room. for doubt that Osman Pacha has achieved a sdhatantinl success over a considerable body of the Rus- siair right wing, and that the western flank of the invading army under the Grand Duke Nicholas is menaced. vVe hacl heard previously of a repulse of another division of the Russian right wing at Lom Palanka, nearer the Danube, and unless the Russians have considerable reserves at Nikopoli, or have constructed a bridge there to bring over fresh forces from Turnu Margurelii, they may lose Niko- poli itself as they lost Plevna, and sundry fortified posi- tions which they had previously captured in Armenia. The loss of Nikopolis, however, would be a minor evil compared with an attack upon their base at Sistova, which would necessitate the recal of the main body from Tirnova, as well of the forces thrown across the Balkans, and might expose them to the danger of being taken between two tires by a simultaneous advance jot the army under Redif Pacha, which covers the Rustchuk Shmnla line. Lonatz, which is situated due south of Plevna, on the river Osma, was captured on Thursday by a detachment of the Wladikawas regiment, after a sharp encounter near Selvi. with, body of C ircassians and Bashi Bazouks, v/ho lost some fifty in killed alone. There appears to have been some exaggeration in the Russian estimate of the prisrsnsrs taken at Nikopolis, which is now stated at 2,000, instead of 0.000. Indeed, Hassan Pacha, the com- mandant there, who is among the prisoners, declares that he never had more than 5,000 under him, instead of lo,000, as represented on paper, and the greater part of these managed to effect their escape before the capitu- lation, which was caused by failure of munitions. Regarding the operations of the Russian left wing, com- prising the 12th and 13th corps, under the Czarewitch, the intelligence is very meagre. Y/e have vague reports of the investment of Rustchuk, preparatory to the siege, but it is scarcely probable that the Russians will be per- mitted to encircle the town until they have fought a de-i cisive battle with the Turkish covering army. According to the latest advices, the advanced guard of the Russian 12th and 1:3th corps have readied Kadikoi, south of Rust- chuk, in the valley of the Lom and Jardinsk, south-west of Rasgrad. This latter position is one of SOllie veril, as it is commanded on three sides by strong Turkish positions -Rasgrad on the north-east, Shumla on the south-east, and Osinan Bazaar on the south-west; but the Russians have no doubt ample supports at hand. The new Turkish commander-in-chief, who succeeds Abdul Kerim, disgraced, is Mehemet Ali, a Prussian by birth, who distinguished .himself in the recent Montenegrin campaign, where he commanded the Eastern column operating by way of Kolaschin. When lie reaches the quadrilateral he will find his work cut out for him, as, in addition to the army of the Czare witch advancingfrom the west, he .will have to oppose that of General Zimmermann which is pouring into the country by way of theDobrudscha. It is stated that all the villages between Rustchuk and Kustendje. which wete evacuated by the lurks, have been pillaged which wete evacuated by the lurks, have been pillaged and sacked by the Bulgarian Christians. A substantial set-off against the repulse of the Russian rhdit wing at Plevna has been achievedby the. Russian inain army, under the Grand Duke .Nicholas, in the' capture of the Sehipka Pass of tne Lallans, where heavy fighting has been going on for some days. The plan of taking the pass in rear from the side or Jvesamyk ,loes not seem to have succeeded, as General GourKiio brigade was driven out of Kesanlyk on Friday by Raouf Pacha after several hours' hard fighting, but the assault from the southern end of the Pass doubtless contributed to the suc- cess of that which was made from the north by the main body of the 8th corps. No details of the capture are yet forthcoming. The Russian despatch merely states that the Pass was taken on the 19th (Thursday last), and occupied bytheOrlawa regiment, w ith two guns. Of the preliminary a<'htin<r all that we are told is that, on the 17th instant' the Orloff regiment, to which the siege of the Pass was entrusted, had an engagement with fourteen tabors of 7 Turkish troops, and lost in killed and wounded a little over 200 men. On the same day General Gourkho, at the southern end of the Pass succeeded in occupying Kesan- Ivk and the village of Sehipka. On the 19th the Orloff regiment resumed the offensive at the northern end of the Pass. when the Turks, who seem to have been quite de- moralised by the previous fighting, fled without making any stand or even firing a shot. They retreated west- wards, leaving behind them three standards, eight guns, and a quantity of arms. The capture of this Pass by the Russians fairly opens the door into Roumelia, as they can now bring through their baggage and artillery, but as i Raouf Pacha holds K'esanlyk, with a force of some 12,000 men, there will have to be a preliminary battle there be- fore the invaders can march oil Adrianople. It is reported that General Gourkho's corps lost 3,000 men in the battle which led to the recapture of Kesanlyk, but these losses will be soon counterbalanced by the arrival of the Orloff dragoons through the Schipka Pass, when the conflict will be renewed, under more qual conditions, and unless Raouf Pasha is promptly and largely reinforced he can offer but slight and ineffectual opposition to the masses of troops which are following in the rear of Orloff s regiment. In fact, the second and strongest line of the Turkish defences is now broken through, and nothing but a brilliant victory or a series of victories by the new Turkish comrnandcr in Bulgaria can stem the tide of invasion or prevent the occu- pation of the capital. THE WAR IX ASIA MINOR. From Asia we have news of further fighting on the Armenian frontier, near Alexandropol, where Mukhtar Pacha and General Loris Melikoff are encamped in view of one another. Under date Kars, 19th instant, Mukhtar Pacha telegraphs that on the previous day the Russians, advancing from their camp at Kiiruk Dara, attempted to turn the Turkish right flank at Chedklak, but were met by a body of regular and irregular cavalry, which, after a three hours' engagement, drove the Russians back to their camp. The latter then sent forward a body of 6,000 Cossacks, who were ^decoyed by the Turkish cavalry within range of the Turkish batteries, which promptly opened upon them with terrible effect, killing 2:")0 of their number, and 0111pelling the rest to retreat, after a vain attempt to capture the guns. On the Turkish side there were 35 killed and 58 wounded besides 80 horses killed. The Russian account of the same engagement, which is described as occurring at Basch Kaduklar, about five miles south of Kinuk Dara, states that the Turks were com- pelled to retreat, and that the Russian losses were only 10 killed and 20 wounded. The Turkish front, it is stated, extends over a line of 20 versts, and is well fortified, their right flank being stationed on the heights of Abaedsha, near the village of Gulubscha. In a cavalry engagement on the same day, near Sabotan, the Wladikowas Russian cavalry regiment is said to have cut it:; way through an overwhelming force of Turkish cavalry, by which it was surrounded, inHicting a loss of one hundred on the enemy. On the Turkish extreme right, near Bayazid, there have been some sharp engagements between the advanced guards at Djelaighedik, but the losses on either side were insig- nificant. In Asia "Minor hostilities have been resumed by the Russians. Having been reinforced, they crossed the frontier near Alexandropol. and on Sunday, the loth July, reached Parget, a few miles north-east of their old en- campment at Zaim. Thence, on Wednesday last, they sent forward a cavalry force to attack the right flank of the Turks, from whom alone any details have yet been received. A severe contest then took place at Yediklere, obstinately maintained for three hours, when the Russians, just as they had commenced a retreat, received a rein- forcement of 6,000 Cossacks, and renewed the fight. It was now the Turkish turn to give ground, which they did, maintaining good order, when suddenly a Turkish battery opened on the Russians, and put an end to the battle. The Russian losses are estimated at 250. The Turks acknowledge a loss of 93 killed and wounded. This is all the actual news received from Asia, though rumours were current of a great battle near Bayazid, compelling a retro- grade movement on the part of Faik Pacha and Ismail Pacha. THE SIEGE OF RUSTCHUK. Rustchuk is now completely surrounded, and we may look to hear of the commencement of the bombardment. It is said to have a garrison of more than 1;0, 000, and to be preparing for a vigorous resistance. The Russians have obtained a firm footing both above and below the town, and between Pyrgos and Parapan, a few miles higher up the river, communications are maintained. The river is said to have been bridged also at Nikopolis. It is not possible at present to form any precise estimate of the re- sult of the contest at Plevna on Thursday and Friday, July 19 and 20 but, making all allowance for possible exaggeration, it seems certain that the Russians have sus- tained there a severe check. From a Schumla telegram of Friday night we learn that the Russian attack commenced aoout lour o clocK on ihursuay afternoon, the obstinate resistance of the Turks, however, proving too much for them so that at nightfall, when the contest ended, the Russians had been driven back beyond their original positions. Reinforced during the night, with morning they advanced once more to the attack, sustaining terrible losses from the Turkish artillery. By mid- day, disheartened and weakened, they began to give way, and the Turks, who had till now stood on the defensive, became the assailants, and after twelve hours' fighting the Russians were compelled to beat a retreat. Osinan Pacha was said, by a telegram on Saturday evening, to be still pursuing the enemy. Higher up the river, at Widdin, the Russians have had an opportunity of testing of what mettle their allies, the Roumanians, are made, and the result appears to have been anything but satisfactory. To relieve the strain upon them, the order was given to the Roumanians to create a diversion by an attempt to cross the river some miles below Kakfat, the Russians supply- ing the boats that had been used at Sistova. The design becoming known to the Turks, they occupied the heights, and brought their guns to bear with such effect that the Roumanians refused to continue the effort. The Rus- sians, impressed with the perfect feasibility of the land- ing, bitterly blame the Roumanians for their cowardice. On Monday, however, some troops of the Fourth Division crossed above Nikopolis, and pushed a reconnaissance as far as Rahova. In the Dobrudscha, where Mehemet Ali, the new Generalissimo, has arrived. the Russians, moving up from Kustendji, are advancing upon Silistria and Bazardjik, while an army corps with In 330guns. including eighty heavy siege ordnance, is making ready for the in vestment of Schumla. Meanwhile the Russians have been pouring through the Balkans, by means of the Sehipka Pass, and it is estimated that now at least 35,000 are south of that line of defence. It is evident that they are exerting themselves to the utmost to push on a force to the gates of Constantinople, and there seems to be no prerly organized force capable of resist- ing them. The greatest alarm is felt in Southern Turkey, where the speedy occupation of Adrianople is looked upon as certain. It may lie that the fears expressed are some- what exaggerated, with the express design of precipitating English action in the matter; but the troops of Raouf Pacha, now at Yeni Saghra, and those of Suleiman Pacha, at Adrianople, will scarcely be able to offer serious oppo- sition. .r" I KA^GKO. In Montenegro a'renewal of the strife appears imminent. Prince Nikitt, at the head of the Montenegrin army—in its entirety, if we except six battalions guarding the Albanian frontier—arrived on Sunday near Nicsics, and it was expected that the bombardment would commence' on Tuondav, The Turkish troops have crossed the frontier with the oljiect of thwarting' this project. Nothing could be more inopportune for Turkey at the present juncture. THE DUTY OF ENGLAND. .Mr. E. A. Freeman, writing to a Manchester paper with reference to the advance of the liberating army in Roumelia, says:—"Now is the time, while there is an instant s breathing space, for her Majesty's Government to make up their minds where and how they will take their stand in the path of an invasion threatening the Dardanelles and, if they have already made up their minds, now is the time to give clear utterance to their convictions. The nation is anxious, but not panic- stricken. Sincerely desirous of peace, the great majority of Englishmen recognise, nevertheless, the obligations of Imperial and international duty." He adds:—"It is thought the course followed by our present Government- through the blindness of one of its members, through the crooked schemes of another—that the work which should have been done by Europe is left to be done by Russia. We had hoped to give the enslaved nations a better alter- native than that of Turk or Russian. If there is no other alternative left it is not our doing, but the doing of Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Derby, and we will not step in to constrain the enslaved nations to the worse alternative of the two." A Central News telegram from Vienna reports that three battles were fought on Sunday and Monday to the south-west of Rustchuk," the slaughter being immense on both sides. On Sunday the Russians were compelled to retire, but the result of Monday's fightincr was unknown. The Daily Neirj correspondent says:—"When the bom- bardment of Rustchuk from the Bulgarian side will begin it is difficult to say. The siege train is on its way, but it crORses at Simnitza, a fearful way round. Supplies are difficult, as the base of the whole force now in Bulgaria is still Simnitza, where there is still but one bridge. An early attempt is expected to drive the Turks now around Rustchuk into their fortified tefences, bnt the investment of the place is not yet imminent, as the progress of the troops destined for that purpose is but slow. The Rus- sian army of Rustchuk has advanced to the line of the Lorn River, touching the Danube at Pyrgos, and is slowly wheeling on that pivot" to invest the fortress. Nearly 40,000 men are now jammed into the angle between the Danube and the Lom. The Turks have abandoned the line of the Lom without fighting, and one part is be- lieved to have retired on Rustchuk and another to have fallen back on Schumla." In an official telegram to St. Petersburg the Russian repulse in an attack on Plevna on the 20th is admitted. A Bucharest telegram as- serts that Raouf Pasbl, the Turkish minister of marine, has teen defeated at Eski Zagltra, with a loss of 15,000 men. This report needs confirmation. The panic at Adrianople has subsided, as the inhabitants have great confidence in the energy and ability of Sulei- man Pasha, between whose well-seasoned troops and the Hussians a battle is shortly expected. A Russian official despatch from Alexandropol reports that a Turkish attack on the left flank of the Russian position at Alchasoff was repulsed. In the same telegram it is admitted that the insurrection in the Terek territory of the Caucasus is again assuming a disquieting character." Although the position in Europe is favourable to Russia, the Czar is ap- parently not indisposed to listen to terms of peace if they are of a reasonable and satisfactory tenor; but that there can be no question as to the direct advance with all due speed on the Turkish capital if the Turks do not avert this movement by suing for terms which will give satisfac- tion to Russia. 0

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