This File Last Updated: 2009/12/20

History of the Republic of Belarus

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Note: This section is intended to list some of the highlights (and lowlights) of Belarusian history. Refer to the more detailed reference material listed here for a more complete summary.

Brief Historical Notes

Introduction & Background

Geography's Effect on History

The Grand Duchy of Litva, Rus', and Samogitia

The Battle of Grunwald (July 15, 1410)

The Battle of Orsha (September 8, 1514)

Historical Museum-Village: Dudutki (now Dudichi)

The Uprising of 1794 and Thaddeus Kosciusko

Kastuś Kalinoŭski, Peasants' Truth (Muzchychaja prauda), and the Political Unrest of the 1860's

"Kalinoŭski defended the Uniate confession of Belarusans and denounced the exploitation and oppression of the Belarusan people by tsarist bureaucrats. His publications influenced the development of Belarusan language, journalism, and nationalism. . . . He was publicly executed in Vilnia on March 24, 1864. The ill-fated uprising of 1863-64 marked the end of an era in Byelorussian history. . . ."

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918):

March 25, 1918: The anniversary of the declaration of independence by the Executive Committee of the Council of the first All-Belarusian Congress

The (Anti-Bolshevik) Slutsk Uprising of 1920

Treaty of Riga (1921):

Soviet Atrocities: Kurapaty -- Site of Soviet Massacre of 200,000 Belarusians & Others, 1937-1941

An example of the widespread mass murder and terror of the Soviet period. A documentary film produced in 2003 mentions that 48 sites of mass murder are within the territory of Belarus, with 12 in the Miensk city area, Kurapaty only being one of the larger ones. Today, many people in Belarus still either don't believe such things happened during the Soviet period or else blame it on the Nazis.

September, 1939: The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its Effects on Belarus

1939-1945: The Destruction of Belarus during WWII

Belarus and the Holocaust

Concerning this horrific episode of human history, there is no lack of resources available. Some of the resources also discuss Jewish history in Belarus, but many do so without identifying Belarus.

1945: The Polish-Russian Treaty

April 26-28, 1986: The Nuclear Power Plant Disaster, Chornobyl, Ukraine

July 27, 1990: the Belarusian Declaration of Sovereignty

August 25, 1991: Independence of Belarus

March 15, 1994: The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus is Adopted

May 14, 1995: National Referendum on State Symbols

November 24, 1996: Referendum on the Belarusian Constitution

October, 2000: Parliamentary Elections

March 19, 2006: Presidential Election


Famous Belarusians

Books about the History of Belarus

The best starting point to learn about the history of Belarus is to refer to the books noted in the history book section of this Web site, and especially the three references mentioned below.

Links to Belarus History on the WWW

  • Other related Web pages maintained by Aljaksej Sierka:

  • See also Belarusian Historical Review   Sample Table of Contents at a USA Web site

  • Refer to this link to the Index on Censorship for several articles related to the history of Belarus.

    Other Sources Related to Belarus History

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