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Democratization of Belarus

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Anton Bendarjevskiy

on 9 March 2013

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Transcript of Democratization of Belarus

democratization of belarus Diktatúra Diktatúra Demokrácia Soviet block fell apart from 1989

Second wave followed with Soviet republics 1990-1991 Belarus - Perestroika, glasnost
- 1990 Jul 27: sovereignty
- 1991 Aug 25: independent
- 1991 Oct 19: BSSR - Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic becomes Republic of Belarus - was there any "system change"?
- how did it go through?
- who were behind these processes?
- what political forces were involved?
- what social events started the changes? - unlike Hungary, the Czech Republic or Poland, the official historical and political science does not deal with this period in Belarus.

- there are no heroes
- no main characters in this story Looks like the system change processes in Belarus took place spontaneously period between 1986-1994 is shown as a chaotic time ("until Lukashenko came and made order")
- very important period:
what led to Europe's last dictator's presidency and conservation of Soviet-type state 1. Chernobyl disaster and the reaction of the Soviet leaders

2. Discovering the mass graves in Kuropati
30 000 - 250 000 victims, and no publicity!

3. Growing number of youth organizations through the country Sajtó kutatása
- belarusz történelem a sajtó prizmáján át
- Szovjet Belarusz, Zvjazda, Vecsernyij Minszk, Literatura i Masztactva, Integral, Narodnaja Gazeta, stb.
Parlamenti ülések leiratai
Televiziós közvetítések a parlamenti ülésteremből
Fényképanyag gyűjtése
Interjúk a résztvevőkkel (Poznyak és társai, ott dolgozott nagykövetek
KGB archívumok és cenzúra listák Patterns and similarities to the processes and events with some other ex-Soviet countries Everyone was so happy that Kuchma won and that there will be no more "ukrainization". No more f******
nationalists, whom everyone had already had enough " " 1. Rich historical past 2. Forceful Russification 3. Deprivation from their cultural specifics, language and past 4. Elimination of resistance Kuropaty Holodomor 5. Loyal Communists - Belarus: "Vendée of Soviet Union"
- Georgia: 1956 March 9 - demonstrations against
de-Stalinization 7. Creation of National People Fronts 6. ...which turned to the hate of Soviet Union - Belarus 1988. Oct. 30
- Georgian demonstrations 1989 Apr 9
- Demonstrations of nationalists in
Ukraine 8. Popularity of dissident leaders Poznyak Gamsakhurdia Chornovil 9. Communist Party temporarily pushed into the background 10. Social conflicts and emotions emerge Belarus: national symbols, national language, national history
Ukraine: minorities, conflicts of the West- and East Ukraine,
language, national history
Georgia: minorities, language, national history 11. Economic crisis, shock because of the lost imperial identity 12. National forces gradually loosing their popularity around 1991 Belarus: Poznyak - Shushkevich - Kebich
Lukashenko 1994 (mixed program) Ukraine Georgia Chornovil - Kravchuk - Kuchma Gamsakhurdia - Shevarnadze (1972-85) economical reasons (high unemployment, which was unexpected after the soviet times; shortage of food and goods)
smart game of communist forces
too overbearing policy of nationalist forces
they wanted big changes too fast at one time
demonstrations of opposition were disturbing the well accustomed stability
blaming opposition with the rising problems 13. Old Communist forces and leaders took back power 14. Conservating of Soviet type state 15. Opposition and political opponents destroyed - Belarus: politics and journalists killed
(Maisenya 1996, Zakharenka 1999?, Hanchar 1999?, Zavadski 2000?
- Ukraine: Chornovil, Gongadze
- Georgia: Gamsakhurdia the independence of the country is shown as a consequence to the clumsiness of the ruling communist elite. Similar processes had gone through in Ukraine and Georgia Belarus: Principality of Polotsk 9-12 c.
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Ukraine: Kievan Rus': 9-13 c.
Georgia: Kingdom of Georgia 10-12 c. Roots back to 1986

According to KGB in Soviet Union by 1988 more than 30 000 organizations thank you! thank you! Rise and fall of the nationalist
movements and their support - Discovered in middle of 1988
- Zenon Poznyak and Jaugen Smigaljov, 1988 June 3: "Kuropaty, the road of death"
- became the symbol of Belorussian national catastrophe
- 30 Ha, 510 mass graves
- 30 000 - 250 000 victims
- enormous effect to the national identity
- disillusion from the ruling Communist Party 1. Chernobyl disaster - more and more information
2. Discovering the Kuropaty mass graves
3. Rediscovering the values of national culture - changed lifes of millions
- 23% of the country was radiated by Caesium-137
(10% by Strontium-90, 1% Plutonium-239)
- On the contaminated areas 2,5 million people lived
1/4 of the population
- 1/5 of agricultural fields are dangerous
- 72% of all of the radiation from Chernobyl fell over
Belarus - Materials and data are kept in secret till 1989
(when exact data was published people were shocked)
- Demonstrations of 1 May
- Radioactive meat mixed with healthy
- Permitted radiation levels raised by 10x
- 140 000 people moved out from dangerous areas only
between 1989-93! +200 000 moved by their own
- New wave of demonstrations 1988-91 Starting from 1986 first discussions of the problems of Belarus language and culture

1987 - public debates about the language
"2. rebirth of the Belorussian Culture" - no proper national education
- no school books
- lack of Belorussian teachers - national language became marginal
- no prestige
- even stopped the carrier growth - Talaka (1985-1986)
- Pahodnya (1986)
- Uzgorye (1986)
- Tuteyshiya (1986)
- Sovremennik (1987)
- Rassvet (1987)
- Zyinich (1987)
- Syabrina (1988)
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