Hristo Botev

Botev {{circa|1875}} Hristo Botev (, ), born Hristo Botyov Petkov (Христо Ботьов Петков; – ), was a Bulgarian revolutionary and poet. Botev is considered by Bulgarians to be a symbolic historical figure and national hero. His poetry is a prime example of the literature of the Bulgarian National Revival, though he is considered to be ahead of his contemporaries in his political, philosophical, and aesthetic views.

Botev was born in Kalofer, Bulgaria, to Botyo Petkov and Ivanka Boteva. His father was a teacher in Odessa and a significant figure of the late period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Botev attended the local three-class school and later attended a high school in Odessa. He left high school in 1865 and spent two years teaching in Odessa and Bessarabia. Botev tried to send his son to study in the Russian Empire with the help of Nayden Gerov, but was only allowed to attend the Second Grammar School as a volunteer. He found it difficult to fit in and was often absent from lessons and treated teachers with arrogance. In 1864, he left the boarding school and began living independently in various lodgings. Botev spent time in libraries, particularly the Bulgarian library Yuriy Venelin, where he read mainly Russian authors and became acquainted with philologist Victor Grigorovich. He worked on his poem "To My Mother" in the summer of 1864 and sent it to Petko Slaveykov in Constantinople. When it became apparent that Botev was failing the gymnasium's third grade and was expelled for "carelessness," his scholarship was cancelled and he was given a lump sum to travel back to Bulgaria. Botev was sent by his father to Odessa to resume his education. He decided to go to Romania instead, arriving in Giurgiu in September 1867. He met with Bulgarian émigrés and met Vasil Levski, the leader of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee. Botev worked as a teacher in Bessarabia and became editor of the revolutionary emigrant newspaper "Word of the Bulgarian Emigrants". He was imprisoned for months due to his collaboration with Russian revolutionaries.

The Bulgarian revolutionary movement faced danger after the capture of Vasil Levski by Ottoman authorities in 1872. The BCRC split into two factions: Botev and his supporters supported immediate uprising preparations, while moderate revolutionaries, led by Lyuben Karavelov, believed it was too early. In 1876, Bulgarian revolutionary émigrés in Romania believed a general armed uprising against Ottoman occupation was imminent and decided to organize an armed company to cross the Danube. Botev took overall command of the company, which later became the main reason for the Russian-Turkish war and Bulgaria's Liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Military expertise was provided by Nikola Voinovski, a graduate of the Nicholas General Staff Academy. Botev devised a plan to cross into Ottoman territory without immediately alerting Romanian or Ottoman authorities. The rebels boarded the Austro-Hungarian passenger steamship Radetzky and seized control. The Ottoman military machine, including regular army garrisons and irregular bashi-bazouks, was mobilized and patrolled the area. On 20 May 1876, a single bullet hit Botev in the chest, killing him instantly. The cheta suffered a drop in morale and began to disperse, with most members captured, imprisoned, or executed. In total, 130 cheta members were killed, with most evading capture or death. The incident is traditionally commemorated on 2 June. Provided by Wikipedia
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