One day after having received an ultimatum from Austria-Hungary Serbia appealed to Russia for help.
Telegram from His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Servia to His Majesty the Emperor of Russia. Belgrade, 24 July 1914.
The Austro-Hungarian Government yesterday evening presented to the Servian Government a note respecting the outrage at Serajevo. Servia, aware of her international obligations, has declared, ever since the horrible crime was committed, that she condemned it, and that she was ready to open an enquiry in Servia if the complicity of certain of her subjects were proved at the trial instituted by the Austro-Hungarian authorities. The demands contained in the Austro-Hungarian note are, however, unnecessarily humiliating for Servia, and incompatible with her dignity as an independent State, for instance, we are peremptorily called upon to insert a declaration by the Government in the “Official Journal,” and for an order from the Sovereign to the army, in which we are to check the spirit of hostility towards Austria and to blame ourselves for criminal weakness as regards our treacherous intrigues.
We are further required to admit Austro-Hungarian officials into Servia to take part with our officials at the trial and to superintend the carrying out of the other conditions laid down in the note. We are required to accept these demands in their entirety within forty-eight hours, failing which the Austro-Hungarian Legation will leave Belgrade. We are prepared to accept those of the Austro-Hungarian conditions which are compatible with the position of an independent State, as well as those to which your Majesty may advise us to agree, and all those persons whose complicity in the crime may be proved will be severely punished by us.
Certain of the demands could not be carried out without changes in our legislation, which would need time. We have been allowed too short a time limit. We may be attacked at the expiration of the time limit by the Austro-Hungarian army which is concentrating upon our frontier. We are unable to defend ourselves and we beg your Majesty to come to our aid as soon as possible. The much appreciated goodwill which your Majesty has so often shown towards us inspires us with the firm belief that once again our appeal to your noble Slav heart will not pass unheeded.
At this critical moment I echo the feelings of the Servia people in praying your Majesty to be pleased to interest yourself in the fate of the Kingdom of Servia.
Source: Russian Orange Book