Interesantan clanak o Sarajevskom Atentatu..
As will be seen in greater detail below, the seeds of war between Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary were planted in the mid-1880s. By the time of the Bosnian crisis of 1908-09, they had bloomed into armed skirmishing between proxy armies. The first round of this contest for the Balkans was a humiliating slap-down of Russia's south Slavic allies, Bulgaria and Serbia, by Turkish forces backed by Austria-Hungary and Germany. This did not long deter the ambitions of the southern trans-Slavs. In March 1912 a secret treaty was signed between Bulgaria and Serbia, stipulating that in the event of a war with Turkey, the Czar would mediate any disagreement between the two over the contested territory of Turkish Macedonia. When French President Poincare learned of the pact five months later, he exclaimed to the Russian Foreign Minister, "To tell you the truth, it is a convention for war. Moreover, the treaty contains the germ not only of a war against Turkey, but of a war against Austria"(E. Taylor (1963): 193-4). Such a war, as he knew, would inevitably involve Russia, and its ally of convenience, France, against Germany.
The first Balkan war erupted in October of that year, which spread to include a Serbo-Bulgarian coalition with Greece and Montenegro. The victors soon fell to fighting among themselves over captured Turkish land, at which point the Austrians, as announced, interceded on the side of the Turks, threatening direct military action to block Serbia's annexation of the newly-independent Albania, established under Austrian protection. The success of Russia's allies in the Balkans then prompted Germany to send military advisors to reorganize the Turkish Army. The Czar, sensing a threat to Russian access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles straits, convened an imperial crown council in St. Petersburg on February 21, 1914, which concluded that the "historic aims" of the Russian Empire could be had only by way of a general European War. The Czar's war council, however, found that it would be at least two to three years before adequate war preparations could be made, and prescribed a course of diplomatic moderation until Russia was ready to move on Austria-Hungary and Germany. (See, A.J.P.Taylor, (1954) 509).
In apparent disregard of the Czar's policy of caution, the Czar's Ambassador to Belgrade, N. H. de Hartwig, and his military attaches, Colonel Victor Artamanov and Captain Alexander Werchovski, moved forward with an aggressive strategy of provocation. These three officials funneled arms and money to the Serbian "Black Hand" terrorist organization, also known as Union or Death. The direct liaison for Russian aid to the Serbian terrorists was Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, code-name "Apis", head of the military intelligence section of the Serbian Army.
In Edmond Taylor's account, Captain Werchovski is identified as the Russian intelligence operations officer who controlled Dimiitrijevic's Black Hand organization during the crucial weeks leading up to the assassination. His superior, Colonel Artmananov, claims to have been on a prolonged vacation in Switzerland starting in June, while it is thought that Ambassador Hartwig may not have known the details of the murder plot in advance. Furthermore, the assassination proceeded despite the foreknowledge of the Serbian government. Altogether, it is certain that the assassination was not the isolated doing of a single gunman, or even of a small circle of young Serbian fanatics. According to Taylor:
The Serbian government, that is Apis' enemy, Prime Minister Pasic, learned of the assassination plot through a secret informer planted inside the Black Hand, and actually took official steps to block its execution. . . The warning could not expose the role of the Black Hand or give any details that would enable the Austrians to arrest the killers before they could strike – otherwise Pasic and the Serbian Minister would have been signing their own death warrants. Accidentally or not, the Serbian Minister (in Vienna) sabotaged Belgrade's instructions, by the vague and bumbling way in which he delivered the warning . . . Austrian red tape and schlamperei did the rest . . ." (Taylor, E., Ibid., p. 200)
For his own part in the crime, Dimitrijevic was executed later in 1914 before a Serbian Army firing squad later. Artmananov survived both World Wars and retired in Yugoslavia. Werchovski, remarkably, went on to be War Minister in Kerensky's government, and eventually to a high command in the Red Army.