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Minsk and Belarusian People’s Republic: Kurlov shooting, charters and 1st All-Belarusian Congress

Belarus became a part of the Russian Empire in 1795. However, Belarusians continued to strive for self-determination and national identity, which provoked a rail strike and then the Kurlov execution.

Andrey Unuchek, manager of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
The tragic events happened on October 18, 1905. About 80 people were killed.

Rail strikes, rebellions were raised to recall the governor Kurlov and a head of Minsk provincial gendarmerie management. However, the authorities decided not to demote Kurlov.

The manifest on the freedom of rallies gave ground for publishing independent press, legalization of the Belarusian language and issuing of the first Belarusian newspapers.

The first All-Belarusian Congress was finally held on October 5th, 1917.

Andrey Unuchek:
Alexander Kerensky, head of the ingoing Russian administration, stated that no self-governments would be declared. Further, the Soviet of Workers', Peasants' and Red Armymen's Deputies was created.

But the Congress was dissolved at the order of the Communist party.

Minsk gendarmes, whose administration was located at 6 Leningradskaya Street, governed the first Russian Social Democratic Labor Party congress, kept watch over the strikers.

Andrey Unuchek:
The executive committee of the first All-Belarusian Congress adopted the First Charter for the Belarusian nation on February 21st, 1918, which some Belarusians deem a crucial event in the formation of Belarusian independent state. Two more such charters were issued later.

The publishing house that issued the three charters of Belarusian People’s Republic was situated at 16 Lenin Street.

The National Bank of Belarus used to be the Meltser publishing house, which issued the first poem of prominent Belarusian poet Yanka Kupala called “Muzhyk” (Peasant).

Andrey Unuchek:
The independence of the Belarusian People’s Republic (commonly known in Belarus as BNR) was declared on March 25th, 1918 at 9 Volodarsky Street.

The capital of the independent Belarusian Republic had a name of Mensk from 1918 till 1939.

As we see, the period of 1905-1918 was crucial for Belarusian independence and Belarusian history. Come to Minsk and visit see these buildings on your own!

Minsk and Belarusian People’s Republic: Kurlov shooting, charters and 1st All-Belarusian Congress