Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 17 March 1878 (Treaty of San Stefano): The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8 (Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)) began slowly, but by early 1878 the Russians had broken through. At the Treaty of San Stefano (Treaty of San Stefano), the Ottoman Empire was forced to recognize the independence of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, as well as the creation of a huge autonomous Bulgaria.