A very informative and touching story explaining why Serbs and Russians have historically been so keen on each other and remain so today
Throughout their history, Serbs have been known as “the little Russians from the Balkans” not only because of their common Slavic roots, language, common Orthodox Christian religion and culture, but because they have overwhelmingly been on the "same side" for the last five centuries.
Serbs and Russians were allies in the fight against the Turks from the 17th to the 19th century and in the First and Second World Wars. Russia also supported Serbia during its 90’s fight to preserve its territorial integrity, by not recognizing the Albanian regime in NATO occupied Kosovo.
During the civil war in former Yugoslavia, the West not only armed Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Albanians, together with the help of some Muslim countries (in particular Saudi Arabia and Iran), it has also engaged in anti-Serbian propaganda, demonizing the Serbs in the Western media. Something similar is happening nowadays with the mainstream media propagandistic attitude towards Russia.
Currently, Serbia has a close relationship with Russia, even though it’s a formal candidate for the EU membership. That’s why many EU countries are suspicious of Serbia, seeing it as a potential “Trojan Horse” with a right of veto within EU. Serbs are also not very enthusiastic about joining the EU, and the current pro-EU government knows that Putin is popular with many voters, who still see Orthodox Christian Russia as Serbia's protector.
Russia has given low-interest loans to the cash-strapped Serbian government, and Serbia has been a staunch supporter of (canceled) South Stream, a Gazprom project that would bring Russian gas to Central Europe via the Balkans, against EU opposition. Serbia enjoys a free trade regime with Russia as well with the EU, trying to position itself between east and west. Finally, Russia has established a “humanitarian centre” in the strategically important southern city of Nis. Many EU and US officials fear it could become a Russian military base.
Unfortunately things look very bad for Serbia at this moment. The economy is in a free fall, 95% of remaining companies and banks are in the hands of Western companies/banks, industrial production is close to zero, there is 30% unemployment, a foreign (Western) owned media monopoly, and wide-spread corruption and moral decay.
Fortunately, according to the newest surveys, the vast majority of young Serbian people are increasingly "resistant toward the path to the EU," enforced by the Serbian pro-Western puppet government.