Alexander Lukashenko on controversies of Belarusian National Republic history

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Alexander Lukashenko on controversies of Belarusian National Republic history

On March 20, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with representatives of the cultural sphere and answered their questions.

The discussion involved 270 people - the best students of educational institutions in the field of culture, young creative workers and teachers. Young people asked the President dozens of questions, which touched on both serious and very personal topics.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I have now asked that I be given once again (although I am a historian by the first education) a notice of everything connected with the Belarusian People's Republic - known as BNR. We did not study much, we studied this part of history from a certain angle. Mostly I know what was there, who went there to the Kaiser, to the invaders, and asked to help Belarus to be independent. There was such a fact. And now everyone is fighting, everyone is trying to give this phenomenon an assessment. Someone really wanted that, probably. Those people who tried to create an independent Belarus did not know where to rush.

The Bolsheviks disbanded that [national] congress being afraid that this part of the empire could split off. And Belarus was the most valuable territory for them during that war, they were afraid of losing it.

They were in favor of a certain independence of the republics. Because Stalin was a Georgian, he understood that Georgia was in that same position.

The Bolsheviks, in order to attract national republics surrounding Russia, including Belarus, were forced to give some kind of independence. They also allowed the congress - Petersburg, the Kremlin... It was allowed that Belarusians conduct that congress. At this congress there was a debate: 'we are part of Russia, we are an empire, we remain in the Soviet Union the future.' But some delegates wanted Belarus to withdraw altogether or almost go to Germany.

They disbanded them. Not because they did not want to give Belarusians some kind of freedom, even if limited. They were afraid that they would lose Belarus and Germans, enemies would be near Smolensk and even near Moscow. This is how they reasoned about this.

I often think how I would behave there.

They say that appeals to the Kaiser is bad. The Bolsheviks were on one side and Germans were on the other. They chose Germans. But after all Germans back then occupied Belarus. And it was erroneous that these people went to the Germans (some of them went to the Germans) to ask for the independence of Belarus. Can there be independence under someone's boot, the Kaiser's? From one boot from the East they ran to the West, under the boot of the Kaiser, if we can put it this way.

But I once again would not ask not to judge them strictly because we were not there and we did not experience it psychologically. And we did not understand what was happening then. This desire to make Belarus independent could push them to the Kaiser or the devil knows to whom. There were such people.

Is this a good page in our history? Probably not quite. Smart people need to know the truth and this page. Do not hide it, do not pull it out of context. But one should not be proud of it, if it was the case.

That was a sad page, and in the history of many peoples there were lots of such sad pages. Why do some people appear who want to underline this part of history, which one needs to talk about less? Like in the fate of any person. Any adult has some periods of life about which they don't want to remember. The same is with the country. Do not push it.

We cannot fail like Ukraine did. Why crash Russians and the Russian language? Why do it? If you want everyone to speak Ukrainian (or Belarusian), this should be done carefully. Please, we will speak more Belarusian from kindergartens. We will do this quietly.

Now I hear: the Belarusian Popular Front (BNF) is modern. I witnessed the birth of this BNF and its functioning. I knew them all, Pazniak and I had excellent relations. And now they are drawing parallels saying that now Lukashenko is doing the same things they proposed earlier. But they are not right: what they did was worsen relations with Russians and Ukrainians. They said that Belarus is independent and everyone are enemies. But Lukashenko did this without rush.

I, too, are a supporter of sovereignty and independence more than anyone sitting here, and them too. Because it's my job. As the chief leader here, must ensure sovereignty and security.