sociopolitical and philanthropic organizations in Russia of the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.
The Slavic committees came into being after the Crimean War of 1853-56 and were intended to render varied aid to Slavic peoples under the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian yokes. Ideologically linked with Pan-Slavism, they initially enjoyed the support of the tsarist government.
The Moscow Slavic Committee was the first to be established, in 1858; its St. Petersburg division followed in 1868. The Kiev and Odessa committees were established in 1869 and 1870, respectively. The Slavophiles collaborated with the Slavic committees.
The Slavic committees participated in the Slavic congresses, especially the Moscow Congress of 1867. They criticized official foreign policy and attempted to act independently of the tsarist government during the Eastern Crisis of the 1870’s. As a result, the Moscow Slavic Committee was abolished; the activities of the other committees were restricted, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs intensifed surveillance over their work. By the end of the 19th century, the activity and influence of the Slavic committees sharply declined.