The conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) and the Congress of Berlin 1878 left Bulgaria divided into two sections. The area north of the Balkan Mountains and Sofia became an autonomous principality. Eastern Rumelia between the Balkan and Rhodope mountains gained semi-autonomous status with an Ottoman appointed Christian governor. The Bulgarian Assembly chose Prince Alexander Battenberg as their ruler and continued to press for the reunification of their country. Political changes in 1883 caused a cooling in relations between Bulgaria and their protector Russia, who now opposed reunification. In September 1885 a rebellion broke out in Eastern Rumelia. Alexander was placed in a difficult position. Russian opposition if he supported the revolt, or the loss of his throne unless he retained leadership of the Bulgarian national movement. He decided to keep his throne. In response the Russians recalled all their officers which left the Bulgarian army virtually leaderless above the rank of Captain.
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