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 Political science

2013-11-25

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West-Rus'ism and the politics of memory in today's Belarus

by Andrzej Tichomirow

Does politics of memory exist in Belarus? On one hand, it is rather difficult to call the political activity exhibited by various government organs in the field of past memory an actual ”politics of memory” in the western sense. First of all, because the authority does not use this concept to actualize these or other actions. Yet, when we turn our attention to the practical side of actions, they do have all the features of active “politics of memory”.

A very limited period of history is being actualized – mainly that of the 20th century, associated almost exclusively with the Soviet past. The main event, around which a collective consciousness is being built, is the Great Patriotic War. This concept is practically repeating those ideas about the war that took shape in 1960-1980s, in a somewhat modernized form.

In such a limited form other periods of Belarus’ history appear as only auxiliary elements for actualization of the current policy. The early medieval Polack, Tura?-Pinsk and other duchies, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, or the Russian Empire period are usually being used in a very limited fashion or in cases of some anniversary dates, very often only on a regional or even local level. Such a situation is sufficiently understandable. For actualizing memory of the past on a state level it is simpler to use events not very remote in time, first of all because there are witnesses of those events. The availability of real (or even falsified) testimonies of an event makes such actualization – by means of mass media – more probable and understandable for most of the population. Such testimonies (properly prepared) may be very well utilized for showing an ”objective” image of history, that is then ”canonized” in school textbooks. Accordingly, alternative versions of these events, other testimonies at a certain moment can be called ”fantastic,” ”incorrect,” or ”hostile”.

The actualization of the ”West-Rus’ism” ideology in today’s Belarus took place in the middle of 1990s. The idea was characteristic for the Russian Empire period and represented essentially a form of a ”hybrid” self-consciousness of a part of clergy, officialdom, and partially of Orthodox farmers. The fact that it gained its “second” life is sufficiently unexpected phenomenon for a country in this part of Europe. At the end of 20th century this type of idea was considered at least absolutely archaic and contradicted the processes of awakened nationalism in all neighboring countries.

During the Soviet period the ”West-Rus’ism” was on one hand an unacceptable ideology. Monarchism, a strong actualization of the Orthodox religiosity and the resistance to the “idea of progress”  fully contradicted the communist ideology and could not be used. In addition, most advocates of ”West-Rus’ism” were  wiped out or had to emigrate. However, the idea of the exclusive unity of Belarusians and Ukrainians with Russians, the anti-westernization component in the form of anti-Catholicism and negative attitudes toward the Polishness, and tendencies toward isolationism were actually included in the new image of Belarus’ history on the wave of political repressions of the 1930s. All these features also very strongly affected the general concept of the past that took shape after the Second World War.

The gradual revision of these notions, that began since the 1960s (to a certain degree it was influenced by publishing activities of the Belarusian diaspora in the West), prepared a change of the historical narrative that took place at the end of 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. Such a change, labeled the “national-state concept”, was accepted by a certain part of historians. However, the radical change of the country’s political course since the middle of 1990s oriented toward integration with Russia and other CIS countries also elicited a demand for a completely different historical concept.

A first possible version was the return to the old communist vision, well known by most of the ruling elites; such a transformation did not demand any extra efforts. Initially precisely this was being utilized. The form of the communist memory centered on the “Great Patriotic War” became dominant again. Utilizing the Soviet holidays, changing the state symbols, introduction of the official bilingualism in 1995, as well as the course for integration with Russia, were the elements of the ”new” culture of memory.

The political, economic and cultural orientation on Russia under completely changed circumstances required, however, not only stressing the common Soviet past. Such a political turn demanded simultaneous attention to earlier periods of history that would legitimize it to a greater degree. The imperial idea of the unity of eastern Slavs, rebirth of the Orthodox church, the cult of strong power were elements that could  be used by the ”West-Rus’ism.

Former advocates of the communist ideology and of Marxism-Leninism have sufficiently quickly stopped criticizing the religiosity, and began paying more attention to the period of the Russian empire, as well as criticizing political and social movements of leftist directions. Such symbiosis was gradually transformed into a distinct project of Ideology of the Belarusian state, officially institutionalized in 2003.

Introducing in the institutions of higher education of the Ideology of the Belarusian state as a separate educational discipline took place sufficiently fast. However, the possibility of teaching essentially quite different ideological components resulted in this course becoming very eclectic, combining both communist and ”West-Rus’ian” elements. In one ”state ideology” textbook one can find extensive reflections about the ethnic connection and actual common identity of Belarusians with Russians, and a few pages later – about the  ”West-Rus’ian” ideology not corresponding to needs of the Belarusian state. The coexistence of such incompatible statements points out not only to the eclectic character of the educational discipline, but also to the self-consciousness of the author of this text.

For present advocates of ”West-Rus’ism” in its initial 19th-20th century version the ”state ideology” contains too many unacceptable elements, primarily of the Soviet origin. The combination of the Orthodox religiosity and tolerance of the communist ideology is sufficiently problematic for this group of people. However, it’s worthwhile noting that in the ”state ideology” they may be combined quite well.

The generation change of active humanities scholars who influence the authorities’ policies took place approximately at the end of 1990s –  beginning of 2000s. Most advocates of the Soviet Marxism were replaced by the younger generation, oriented mainly on fast career growth; precisely for them the newly actualized ”West-Rus’ism ” became a very attractive idea. Complete orientation on today’s Russia, on the Russian culture, strong elements of the ethnic nationalism and anti-western rhetoric became fundamental elements of the texts published by these authors. Basic topics of historiography works by these authors are events attributed to the Russian Empire period. They are mainly events, connected with liquidation of the Uniate church (1839), anti-Russian uprisings of 1830-1831 and 1863-1864, and the Russification policy. In focus of these works there appears a very intensive ”deconstruction” of the Belarusian national historical narrative, described as ”unnatural,” ”anti-popular,” and ”mendacious”. Recently the main focus of such ”deconstruction” was the uprising of 1863-1864 and its leader on Belarusian lands – Kastu? Kalino?ski. Additionally the very concept of Russification is subject to criticism, and some of the authors consider it unscholarly. By utilizing certain elements of western constructivist theories of nation and nationalism, today’s ”West-Rus’ians” strive to prove that  Belarusians have no tradition of armed struggle against Russia or, at least, that such attempts were characteristic of the Polish population in Belarusian lands. Most active authors of such direction are concentrated around the scholarly-enlightening project Zapadnaya Rus, that is formally not registered with the state, but is informally supported by the Orthodox Church in Belarus and by a part of governmental structures. This organization conducted in last few years several scholarly conferences, is maintaining its own Web-site, and attempts to engage in ”ideological”  control of historical policies.  Zapadnaya Rus actively directs appeals to various governmental institutions (among others – Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus). Such appeals demanded calling the French-Russian war of 1812 the ”Patriotic War of 1812,” –  complying with the term officially accepted by the Russian and Soviet historiography ( this postulate was actually supported), to restore  in Minsk the monument to the Russian emperor Alexander II, demolished during the Bolshevik dictatorship, and also to call the 1863-1864 uprising in Belarus as ”exclusively Polish”.

It is worth noting that in addition to such publicist activeness latest editions of history textbooks, now used in schools also contain many elements of ”West-Rus’ism”, especially while describing events from Russian Empire period. A particular place among them belongs to the textbook edited by Jaka? Traš?anok; here one may additionally find special anti-Polish rhetoric and justifications of Stalinist repressions in the Soviet Union.

An important element of such activeness is the actual non-acceptance of using the Belarusian language in the public space. The minimal presence of Belarusian elicits accusations of ”discrimination” of the Russian language. A special example of these efforts can be the discussion on the additional usage of Belarusian-language signs in the Minsk Metro in the classic Belarusian Latin alphabet – lacinka. The introduction of such additional signs outraged the advocates of ”West-Rus’ism.” Their basic argument was the fact that signs were transliterated not from Russian, but from Belarusian; also that the signs were using diacritical signs, characteristic for the Belarusian lacinka. The ”West-Rus’ians” saw it as a ”polonization” of the Belarusian language, and expressed arguments that most foreigners, ”used to reading English,” won’t be able to read such transliteration. This type of criticisms did not result in changing signs; it resulted in additional explanations by philologists on the signs being in the Belarusian tradition and corresponding to the official legislature.

Such attempts of ”ideological control” by the ”West-Rus’ians” are being treated as some marginal phenomena. However, under proper conditions they can lead to realizing their postulates. Here the example of school textbooks is very characteristic, and rather dangerous for educating the young generation in the spirit of freedom and tolerance (especially toward ethnic and religious minorities).

Corresponding criticisms and requests directed to local authorities do concern not only names of historical events, but also their memorialization. The monument of the Grand Duke  Alhierd in Viciebsk,  prepared for installation  was actually postponed as result of written requests by the local ”Russian community” and ”West-Rus’ian” activists. At the same time it is worth noting that so far these activists did not very actively affect the policies of memorialization and creating new ”places of memory.”

One may characterize the Belarusian project of politics of memory as very controversial. On one hand, it is directed in support of society’s unity and avoiding various ethnic, religious and social controversial moments. Yet, the logic of a political regime demands also the availability of some group of adversaries, who appear as domestic and external Others. A full renewal and utilization of the old Soviet ideology in quite new circumstances was nearly impossible. The concept of the ”Great Patriotic War” and memory of the victory over Nazism were supplemented by the authorities by various elements of ”West-Rus’ism.” A more attentive attitude toward religiosity (Orthodox, first of all), exclusion from the memory of the events, recalling confrontations with Russia in the past, propagation of thesis about the actual ethnic unity of Belarusians and Russians – these are the dominant theses, adopted from the ”West-Rus’ian” rhetoric.

This article appeared in Belarusian Review, Vol. 25, No. 4.
© 2013 The_Point Journal/Belarusian Review

Keywords: West-Rus'ism in Belarus, West-Russianism in Belarus, Belarusian national revival, Belarusian national identity, Russian language in Belarus, Ideology of the Belarusian state
 

 

 

 

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2013-03-20

No Easy Way Forward: a personal note on Poland's Belarusian minority

According to the 2002 census in Poland, which inquired about ethnic afilliation and language spoken at home for the first time in post-war Poland, some 47,600 people declared their Belarusian ethnicity. The overwhelmingmajority of Poland’s Belarusians (97%) lived in 2002 in Podlachian Province, in the north-easternpart of the country. Another census, held in Poland in 2011, attested that there were 47,000 Belarusians in the country. The drop in their number over the past nine years was rather insignificant and amounted to 1.2% nationwide. However, the number of Belarusians in their ethnic area, i.e. Podlachian Province, decreased by 17.4% – from 46,400 in 2002 to 38,300 in 2011. The decline in the number of Belarusians in Podlachian Province is especially puzzling if we take into account that the number of Ukrainians in the same region increased by 57% – from 1,400 in 2002 to 2,200 in 2011. What were the reasons behind this dramatic Belarusian regression?

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2013-03-14

Grigory Ioffe’s misunderstood Belarus

Recently Professor Grigory Ioffe along with the Jamestown Foundation president Glen E. Howard and two more influential US political scientists, Vladimir Socor and Janusz Bugajski, participated in a meeting with the Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The very fact of this event has focused attention on the state of analyses of Belarus’ political and social situation produced by western experts. Recalling that for Ioffe it was not the first meeting with Lukashenka, the question is whether his regular expertise at the EDM or elsewhere could really qualitatively influence the coverage and analysis of Belarus-related events in the West? In terms of Ioffe’s works it may be rephrased as whether Ioffe’s viewpoint would be able to contribute to understanding Belarus in the West?

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2013-02-28

Uladzimir Baradach: Returning our people to historical values

Analyzing the activities of various oppositional political forces in Belarus  is not likely to produce much optimism concerning their ability to win over  the potential of protesting electorate. In his interview for the Belarusian Review Uladzimir Baradach,  chairman of the Organizing Committee of the "Council for National Revival," expresses his own view on the present situation in Belarus.

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2013-02-16

Understanding Kalinoŭski

Today there are many disputes concerning the person of Kastuś Kalinoŭski. Intelectuals engaged in the national discourse  are disturbed by the fact that  some ”court historians” do not consider the leader  of the 1863 anti-tsarist uprising in Belarus  a  national hero. However, it is not sufficient to point out the absurd views on Belarusian history, held by persons strongly pro-Russian. It is important that Belarusians themselves understand Kalino?ski. And to understand him means to understand 19th century Belarus’ history, i.e. becoming a patriot of Belarus. Yet, in order to understand him and his era, one has to look at that distant past through our hero’s eyes.

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2013-02-15

Minsk-Tbilisi: Reciprocal Diplomatic Assistance

Belarus’ foreign affairs chief Uladzimir Makei had taken part in the second foreign ministers’ meeting of the informal Eastern Partnership dialogue in Tbilisi. The meeting, which among others bade welcome to high-level EU officials Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid, was intended to serve as one of preparatory moves ahead of the Eastern Partnership summit scheduled to take place in Vilnius in November of this year.

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2013-02-03

David Marples on political scientists’ meeting with Lukashenka: Analysts cannot be advocates

The recent meeting of Aliaksandr Lukashenka and a group of US political scientists has triggered controversial reactions both in Belarus and abroad.  David Marples, one of the best known Western experts on Belarus, offers his vision of the situation in an interview with Pavol Demeš, a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s office in Bratislava.

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2012-12-03

Belarusian Minority in Poland: what kind does official Minsk need?

The recent  refusals to issue entry visas to Belarus to active public figures of Poland’s Belarusian minority - Alena Hlahoŭskaja and Jaŭhien Vapa - are of a seemingly trivial significance, since every country has the right to independently decide, who may enter its territory. However, in the broader context of the policies of Belarusian authorities concerning  the compatriots abroad, and the situation of the Belarusian minority in Poland, these refusals are of essential importance.

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2012-11-16

The vicious circle of radicalism: on persecution of historical publications in Belarus

Recent events about the historical publication ARCHE, and also about Hrodnazna?stva, actually reflect the fight between  two views - what kind of country should Belarus be? Intellectuals, clustered in non-governmental civic structures, present a European Belarus, while the head of state and his entourage see Belarus as a Eurasian country.

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2012-10-26

Misha's Dream: Do Georgian Elections Really Change It All?

The newly elected Georgian parliament convened for its first session on 21 October. Thus, the majority in the parliament that was won by the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition, led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, has been legitimised into power. A transition period is now beginning, and it will last until 2013, when constitutional amendments that cede most of the presidential powers to the prime minister will enter into force. At that time, incumbent president Mikheil Saakashvili will step down, having served two terms in office. This transition promises to be complicated.

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2012-09-26

Belarus: Beginnings of Renaissance

Prior to being nominated by President George H. W. Bush in early 1992 as the first U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Belarus, I had several times been in what by then was the former Soviet Union. My first exposure to the so-called Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic occurred in June, 1972, when my family and I drove to Moscow from our previous assignment in Germany. We passed through the breadth of Belarus from Brest in the west to Orsha in the east.  At that time the Brest-Minsk-Orsha-Moscow highway was one of the few roads from western Europe open to travel by foreigners.

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2012-09-10

Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict: Autumn Aggravation

The unexpected August continuation of six years old events caused a genuine cyber war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Let us look at everything in proper sequence.

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2012-08-30

Poles in Belarus: the story of an unnecessary conflict

The 4th Congress of Polish Diaspora held in Pultusk on August 24-26, 2012, adopted a resolution expressing its “strong protest against violation of human rights and discrimination of the Union of Poles in Belarus”. This statement implies that the rights of Belarusian Poles are being violated which results in discrimination of this group on ground of ethnicity. But is this statement mature enough to produce such apparently far-reaching conclusions?

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2012-08-26

Uladzimir Baradač: In Belarus there Exists Enormous Potential for Protest

The recent events in Belarus and its surrounding area result in many varied, often contradictory assessments.  In his interview with Belarusian Review, Uladzimir Baradač, chairman of the organizational committee of the ”Council for National Revival”, describes his view on the current situation in Belarus and further development of events in the country.

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2012-08-20

Lukashenka needs a soldier not a diplomat

Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s decision to appoint Uladzimir Makei Minister of Foreign Affairs marks a change in Minsk’s general foreign policy strategy in the international arena, particularly regarding the West. Despite Makei’s diplomatic education and experience, he is first and foremost an administrator and a reliable executor of Lukashenka’s orders, a personality that triggered expansion of administrative and political control in Belarus. There is nothing special about it; otherwise he could not have survived in the “political Olympus” of Belarus.

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2012-08-03

Belarus - Georgia: Unexpected Allies

Belarus and Georgia are scarcely ever placed into one basket for analysis. It is rather Belarus' neighbour Ukraine that has been consistently paired up with Georgia in post-Soviet space politics. First wave of colour revolutions that hit the region and swimmingly overthrown corrupt regimes; knife-edge relations with Russia; to name just a few domains where Kiev and Tbilisi were for the most times referred to cheek by jowl. To be sure, Belarus is no stranger when it comes to hurdle in relations with Russia, however, this is not the only resemblance in Belarus-Georgia nexus which steadily develops.

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2012-05-09

Stefan Liebich: Opening Gates for Belarusians from the German Side Would Help Enormously

The Belarus-EU relations reached their lowest point ever by the end of February 2012, when the EU countries  have recalled their ambassadors from Minsk. The very development of this situation made it clear that the previous EU strategy towards Belarus has failed and requires serious reframing. The fact is that the EU has to deal with an authoritarian regime led by Lukašenka who despite considerable economic hardships in the country still enjoys a high degree of popularity among Belarus’ citizens. Expanding the black lists of Belarus’ officials and tycoons banned from entering the EU, targeted economic sanctions and future perspectives of the Belarus-EU dialogue elicited different opinions both within the Belarusian society and among foreign politicians and analysts. Belarusian Review asked Stefan Liebich who represents  the  Left Party (Die Linke) in the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs to provide his view on the current developments of Belarus-EU relations and Germany’s role in it.

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2012-04-25

Church and Politics in Belarus

One of more widespread statements by representatives of both the Orthodox as well as the Catholic churches is the following: "church is beyond politics and is not engaged in politics.” Of course, this attitude is by far not always realized in practice.  Yet, even if the Church always and everywhere follows this given principle, it does not at all mean that the ruling elite will stop using the Church for political objectives; especially, if the Church happens to exist in conditions of an authoritarian regime, where any social institution may function only when it submits, or in the best case scenario, does not oppose the interests of the ruling power.   Essentially, even the Church’s silence concerning politically significant issues or events is politics. If there are political prisoners in a country,  human rights are violated, and the Church is protected by its silence —  that means that it, despite its own statements on non-intervention in politics, remains lenient toward these violations and is already involved in politics.

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2012-03-18

Belarus in the Post-Soviet Collective Security System

The sudden demise of the Soviet Union presented a problem in terms of security provision for the the newly independent states. For decades, a closely integrated system of security had been constructed in the Union especially influenced by the developments of the Cold War and mostly targeted against the West. However, with the end of the confrontation in 1989 and the subsequent implosion of the Union in 1991 some important aspects of  security have changed. Thus, states like Belarus and the Central Asian states not to mention those in the Caucasus, where by the early 1990s violent conflicts were underway, found themselves dealing with the difficult task of providing for their own security without proper political and military structures in place.

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2012-03-04

Alaksandr Łahviniec: the Kremlin needs a manageable and predictable client in Belarus

The results of the presidential elections in Russia were more than predictable. Vladimir Putin’s return to the president office after four years was rather a sort of bureaucratic formality. From now on, the most influential Russian politician during Dmitry Medvedev’s office term becomes the old-new president of Russia.

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2012-02-29

Pavel Usov: if the EAU is established, Belarus for at least a few more years will be deprived of any opportunity to become a democratic European state

Russia’s presidential elections in any case affect Belarusian state and society. Close economic and political ties between two countries resemble a sort of misalliance. Recently we can observe the growing Russia’s influence in Belarus both politically (considering strained relations of Belarus with the West) and economically (ever increasing and direct expansion of the Russian business in Belarus). Even though the results of the Russian elections are quite predictable, within the contexts of the Vladimir Putin’s electoral rhetoric one can say that the Kremlin will adopt the course on further facilitation of the integration on the post-Soviet area. Implementation of such policies directly concerns Belarus and its interests.

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2012-01-24

Eastern Partnership deadlock: is there a solution?

The second EaP summit was to take place in a situation in which, on one hand the EaP had never become a priority for the EU politics, and on the other hand, we could still hardly speak about a common EU Foreign policy. The EaP was fostered by those countries whose geopolitical interests lay with the EaP area whereas the EU countries with different strategic priorities were not willing to equally contribute to the EaP development.

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2012-01-10

Czech-Belarusian relations: last 20 years

20 years after the Velvet Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union have been characterized by significant changes in the regions of Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic separated from Slovakia, changing from the former Soviet ally Czechoslovakia into an independent country with its own interests. In 2004 it became a member of the European Union. As for Belarus, though it was one of the USSR’s most developed republics, in the beginning of its independence it underwent economic shock therapy, which negatively affected most of the country’s population. Thus, the beginning of the 1990s in Belarus was characterised by the transformation to democracy under harsh economic challenges. Along with these difficulties Belarus had to maintain its relations with the world.

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2011-12-13

The Image of Belarus and the Belarusian People in Presidential Speeches

In Belarus, the beginning of the 2000s was a period in which the need to define national identity and to understand who we, the Belarusian people are, was acknowledged. The rather late date during which these issues were addressed can be explained by the fact that the period from 1994 was completely occupied with solving economic problems and developing, and even establishing, an independent (in its institutional sense) state.

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2011-12-02

No Money – No Dictator? Experts predict the “last battle” of “the last dictator in Europe”

This slogan wasn’t mentioned at the presentation of results for the “Democratic Change in Belarus: A Framework for Action” project, but it is the leading idea articulated by think tank experts in the recent publication. Damon Wilson (Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council), Anders Aslund (Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute), Peter Doran (Center for European Policy Analysis), David J. Kramer (Executive Director of Freedom House) and other experts formed a working group united by the thought that at the moment Lukashenka is as weak as he has ever been. They believe that the Western world can`t miss the chance to help him be gone away from the stage.

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2011-09-30

Zachar Šybieka: The Present Neglected State of the Belarusian Language — a Strong Danger Signal for the Belarusian Nation

Recently the issue of national identity has been increasingly discussed in the Belarusian society, while Belarus’ authorities speak a lot about the the need to increase the number of foreign tourists in Belarus.  These two issues are interconnected, because precisely what is being shown to foreigners from our country’s historical legacy, and how it is  being shown,  forms their perception of Belarus. What should the  role of  language be for Belarusians’  self-identification and  for the external presentation of  Belarus, and how generally  should  Belarus be  introduced to foreign tourists? Professor Zachar Šybieka, a well-known historian and expert urbanist expresses his ideas in this interview.

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2011-09-24

David Marples: I believe there is significant support within the EU for regarding Belarus as part of the Russian “sphere of interest.”

Belarusian studies in the West have always remained in the shadow of Russian, Polish or Ukrainian studies. That is why the number of Belarus-related books and articles lags far behind those on the neighbouring countries. Non-surprisingly, many western scholars and analysts have somewhat stereotypical view on Belarus’ past and often consider the present Belarusian state as being within the Russian sphere of interest. We asked a prominent Canadian historian David R. Marples, the author of Belarus: a Denationalized Nation, to make a historical overview and analyse the contemporary situation with the Belarusian studies in the North America as well as to express his opinion on the role that Belarusian language should play in the Belarus-related studies.

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2011-09-10

Anatol Taras: I am a Belarusian and Feel It with My Heart

The biography of Anatol Taras, the well-known Belarusian writer and publisher of many books dealing with Belarusians’ historical roots and their  current national consciousness is  many-sided. However, he has arrived at his present occupation gradually. What caused Anatol Taras to start spreading historical knowledge about Belarus and why books published by him appear mostly in Russian?

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2011-05-06

Belarus-Kazakhstan Cooperation Perspectives

Both Kazakhstan and Belarus recently went through the period of presidential elections. In both countries, the incumbent presidents Lukashenka and Nazarbayev predictably won the elections with high turnovers and voting results according to official statistics; in both countries opposition and international observers expressed concerns about election results and documented numerous violations. The two countries preserve rather good relations between each other, both on bilateral level and within the international organizations, such as Collective Security Treaty Organization and Customs Union.

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2011-03-20

Does Poland really know Belarus?

Jarosław Kaczyński’s critique of current Polish policy toward Belarus reveals how outmoded thinking is damaging Belarusian civil society.

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2009-01-15

Diplomacy of the Cold War Era: the Fate of One Man

Josef Orel is a man with the heavy fate who had an occasion to be a Czechoslovak diplomat in Africa during the Cold War times. In fact, he was one of the pioneers who established relations between Central European and African countries. Unfortunately, the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia at those times did not give him a possibility to throw himself into the maintenance of the relations between two continents. He as well as his family became victims of the system which brutally oppressed them and their children. However, despite all the ordeals, Josef Orel is full of vitality and self-reliance. In spite of his age of 74, he continuous to work as translator and feels constant support from his wife which who is standing right beside him for more than 50 years.

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2007-02-01

Georgian nationalism and prejudices

Ethnocentrism is quite obvious among Georgians. Moreover, Georgian ethnocentrism has a rather individual, although not a very unique form. A Georgian may calmly accept the fact that other nations are richer, more hardworking and even smarter. However, a Georgian will always think that all these successful nations lack something very important, the so-called ‘zest’ or the essential understanding of life.

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Library: recent

 

2017-02-15 23:57:45

Belarusian Review, Special Jewish Issue, 2016

format: .pdf

2015-01-20 18:10:50

Крывія, №34-35, сьнежань 2014

format: .pdf

Maps  

 

News

 

2017-01-16 | The Photograph

2016-05-08 | The attitude toward Holocaust in the former Soviet Union and in modern Belarus

2016-04-25 | Chernobyl: A Personal Memoir

2015-12-10 | Chernobyl and Belarus

Events

 

2015-12-06 | Predictable election in the shadow of the Nobel Prize

2015-05-15 | Censorship as a research subject and as a means of understanding postwar Soviet Belarus

2015-02-02 | Aleś Kraŭcevič: we should be friends with Russia through the border fence

2015-01-11 | Jewish Soldiers in World War II

Law

 

2015-03-02 | Alexander Osipov: Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine still benefit from the Soviet system of diversity governance

2013-06-11 | Alena Makoŭskaja: Belarusians living abroad are strongest advocates of Belarus and its culture

2013-05-31 | Belarusian language banned in the Kontinental Hockey League

2013-05-26 | The 1995 Referendum on national symbols and official languages was not legitimate

Economy

 

2015-11-30 | Belarus’ Economic Slump

2014-09-21 | Georgian Agriculture: Effects of Association with the EU

2014-06-05 | Belarus: impact of the conflict in Ukraine

2013-08-24 | David Marples: Belarus needs to distinguish itself from Russia and Russian policies

Political science

 

2015-10-02 | Eastern Partnership initiative: five year results and future perspectives

2015-05-25 | Prolonging the Victory

2015-03-19 | Sergey Dolgopolov: Belarus and the EU close on in the economic sphere

2015-01-19 | Ivonka Survilla: mythologized history is the basis for Putin’s neo-Soviet rhetoric

Other domains

 

2015-11-23 | Searching for Belarusianness in the southern Pskov region

2015-11-12 | The Space: Between Silesia and Podlasie

2015-09-14 | The Cookbook as Political Statement: A Note on Two Belarusian Examples

2015-06-06 | Again about Skaryna in Padua: Attendees

 
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