Ideology - Russophobia
Belarusian and Ukrainian nationalisms have a lot in common. First, they are all built on the principle of “negative identity.” This concept, introduced into Russian social science by sociologist Lev Gudkov, implies that the unification of people, the construction of some kind of community is not “for”, but “against”. The nature of both Belarusian and Ukrainian nationalism is based on their opposition to Russia. Russia, and in all the historical forms of its statehood, is demonized and regarded exclusively as an empire - an oppressor, for centuries destroying the national cultures of the Belarusian and Ukrainian peoples, hindering their free political development and orientation to the “enlightened West”. Neither Ukrainian nor Belarusian nationalism can exist without an anti-Russian orientation. After all, the confrontation with Russia is the meaning of their existence.
Secondly, the essence of Belarusian nationalism is based on the active use of the language factor. Language - Basic weapon Belarusian nationalists, their kind of symbol and tool at the same time. After all, it is easy enough to turn Russians into Ukrainians or Belarusians - it’s enough for one or two generations to eradicate the use of the Russian language - first in official institutions, in schools and institutes, in the army and in factories, and then in everyday life. That is why Belarusian nationalists throughout their history sought to minimize the use of the Russian language in the daily life of the country.
At first glance, this looks rather strange - the Russian language, which for centuries has developed as the state language of a huge empire, has incomparable with the Belarusian or Ukrainian scale of distribution and possibilities. This is understood by the majority of Belarusians who consider themselves to be Belarusians, that is, they have a corresponding national identity, but at the same time prefer to speak Russian. In theory, a Russian-speaking person living in Belarus or Ukraine would have no need to learn Belarusian or Ukrainian from purely utilitarian considerations if the state almost did not force the language into force at school, college and at work. But the task of the nationalists, or rather those who stand behind them, is to tear the Ukrainians and Belarusians away from Russia. They will cope with this task - they will start biting the Russians themselves: to dismember Russia into ethnic groups and sub-ethnic groups. There are Cossacks, Pomors here, Volzhans there, Siberians there, and so on.
Historically, Belarusian nationalism also has a certain commonality with Ukrainian. True, the development of Belarusian nationalism proceeded along a somewhat different pattern, which was determined by the specifics of the historical development of Belarusian lands - first as part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then at the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire. Since the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was fully incorporated into the Russian state, the Belarusian population was less subject to the anti-Russian propaganda influence that took place in the same Western Ukraine - Galicia, which became part of Austria-Hungary. Anti-Russian nationalist forces in the Belarusian lands were much weaker than in Ukraine. However, here, after the collapse of the monarchy in the Russian Empire and the coming to power of the Provisional Government, nationalist sentiment began to spread. Belarusian nationalists decided to demand autonomy within Russia, forming the Central Council. In October 1917, the latter was transformed into the Great Belarusian Rada (UBD). It should be noted that the majority of the population of Belarus did not aspire to autonomy and, especially, to disconnect from Russia. Separatist sentiments were inherent only in parts of the Belarusian intelligentsia, politically engaged and associated with anti-Russian forces, primarily with Germany.
When the 3 March 1918 in Brest-Litovsk a peace treaty was signed with Germany, most of the Belarusian territory fell under the control of the German troops. However, since Germany and Austria-Hungary pledged to resolve the issue of the further political sovereignty of the lands under their control, Belarus was further strengthened by nationalist and separatist sentiments. 9 March 1918 was proclaimed by the Belarusian People's Republic (BNR). It was led by members of the Belarusian socialist community (BSG) - a local socialist party of the Social Revolutionary type. The origins of this political organization, which appeared in 1902, were Belarusian “polonized” intellectuals Ales Burbis, Francis Umyastovsky, Aloiz Pashkevich, Karus Kaganets.
However, Germany and Soviet Russia agreed only on the independence of the Ukrainian state, which was supposed to pass control over the Belarusian woodlands. Independence of Belarus by this treaty was not provided for, therefore neither Soviet Russia nor Germany recognized the political sovereignty of the proclaimed Belarusian People's Republic. At the same time, refusing to officially recognize Belarus, Kaiser Germany did not take any measures against the BNR and its Rada. On the other hand, the BNR was significantly weaker than the Ukrainian state — it did not even have those attributes of statehood that the Ukrainians possessed. The territory of Belarus was under the control of the German occupation forces; there were no Belarusian authorities, judicial bodies, or law enforcement system in this territory. Nevertheless, the BNR had its own seal, symbols, postage stamps, citizenship. BNR exchanged consulates with the neighboring Ukrainian People’s Republic. However, even the UNR did not officially recognize the sovereignty of Belarus - both because of German pressure and because of the existence of serious territorial disputes between Ukraine and Belarus. Belarusian nationalists claimed Polesie, which was controlled by the UNR authorities.
After Germany admitted defeat in the First World War and began withdrawing troops from the territories it had previously occupied, Soviet Russia sent units of the Red Army to liberate Belarus. In Smolensk, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus was proclaimed. However, Grodno and the surrounding territories were under the control of Poland. During the Civil War, there were several armed formations on the territory of Belarus that are considered by modern Belarusian nationalists as components of the armed forces of the Belarusian People’s Republic. Almost immediately after the proclamation of the sovereignty of the Belarusian People's Republic, the 1 th Minsk Belarusian Infantry Regiment, numbering thousands of people in the 2, was formed and acted in alliance with the Polish troops of General I.R. Dovbor - Musnitsky. October 22 1919 g. Jozef Pilsudski authorized the creation of the Belarusian battalions 2 as part of the Polish army. The commander of the Belarusian troops appointed Colonel P. Konopatsky. The headquarters of the Belarusian army was located in Slonim. However, despite the fact that the Belarusian nationalists mobilized on the territory occupied by Poland, the rural population in every possible way declined to recruit a non-existent Belarusian state. As a result of mobilization, only 485 people were recruited. This forced the Polish military command to abandon the idea of creating the Belarusian army as a satellite in the fight against Soviet Russia.
Separately acted Russian people's volunteer army of General Bulakh-Balakhovich. She formally submitted to the Russian Political Committee in Poland, which was led by the Social Revolutionary Socialist Revolutionary - militant Boris Savinkov. Balakhovich's army in the best periods of its existence numbered up to 25 thousands of people and consisted of three infantry and one cavalry divisions. She was supported and directed by the Poles, although the latter themselves had a very low opinion of her. Thus, the Polish prosecutor Colonel Lisowski argued that “Balakhovich’s army is a bandit of bandits. To occupy any city, it sends soldiers, they rob and kill civilians. After the pogroms Balakhovich arrives with his headquarters, drunkenness begins. Balakhovich encourages robbery, otherwise the soldiers would refuse to fight ... An officer who joins Balakhovich’s army pours mud over himself, which you cannot wash away. ”
Actually, Stanislav Nikodimovich Bulak-Balakhovich was not a regular soldier. Before the outbreak of World War I, this descendant of a small land gentry family worked as an accountant, then was mobilized into the army. There he was distinguished by courage, received the Order of St. George 4 degree and the title of cornet. After the revolution, a soldier’s committee elected Balakhovich as a squadron commander, then he was in the Red Army, where he commanded a cavalry regiment and almost went to tribunal for atrocities against the civilian population during the suppression of peasant uprisings. Spas Balakhovich transition to white. It was there that the former cornet of the imperial army and the red regimental commander made a career, after a year he graduated from the captain in the major general.
Belarusian nationalists split over cooperation with Warsaw. The BNR Rada split into the Verkhovna Rada and the People’s Rada. The Verkhovna Rada, whose leader was Anton Lutskevich, sought to develop cooperation with Poland and saw the future of the Belarusian lands as part of a federated state with the Poles. At the same time, the People’s Rada, headed by Václav Lastovsky, believed that Poland was pursuing an occupation policy and was not interested in the genuine independence of the Belarusian state. Therefore, Lastovsky called on the Belarusian nationalists to orient themselves towards the Baltic states and to cooperate with them as the most promising allies. The headquarters of the People’s Council was in Lithuania, and of the Verkhovna Rada in Poland. In the first half of November 1920, there was a repeated attempt to declare the independence of the BNR. 9 November 1920. Ataman Balakhovich’s troops occupied the town of Mozyr and several towns. November 16 was created by the BNR government. Balakhovich's troops began pogroms of the Jewish population. However, two days later, the Red Army managed to push Balakhovich’s troops back from Mozyr. Supporters of Belarusian independence retreated to Poland, where they were disarmed. Balakhovich himself, however, entered the service in the Polish army. To the credit of this man, it should be noted that after the attack on Poland by Hitler Germany, he created a partisan detachment and in 1940 was killed in a skirmish with the Hitlerite military personnel patrolling one of the districts of Warsaw.
Thus, the history of the “Belarusian statehood” was far less than in comparison with the neighboring Ukraine. Since 5 January 1919, the Rada and the BNR government are in emigration. The Belarusian Rada in emigration is an amazing phenomenon. It still exists - 96 years in exile. For all these years in the Rada alternately changed heads. It is currently headed by Ivonka Survilla. Unlike other “governments in exile” of the countries that were part of the Soviet Union, the Rada of Belarus does not recognize the current Belarusian government and therefore continues to consider itself the legitimate leadership of the republic “in exile”.
Between 1920 and 1939 part of modern Belarus was ruled by Poland. The so-called Western Belarus included the modern Brest and Grodno regions, as well as the western parts of the Vitebsk and Minsk regions. Polish authorities operated on this territory, a policy of rapid “polonization” of the local population was carried out. Thus, the Belarusian nationalists in this case turned out to be dissatisfied with the situation, since the Polish authorities were not going to provide real autonomy to the Belarusian territories, not to mention the creation of a federal state. Therefore, part of the Belarusian nationalists from the beginning of the 1930's. I was looking for patrons in the face of Nazi Germany.
In 1933-1943 there was the Belarusian National Socialist Party. In contrast to the old Belarusian nationalists, this organization, created by the former Socialist-Revolutionary Fabian Akinchits, focused on Hitler-style national socialism and planned to create a national-socialist regime in Belarus. Akinchits published anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic articles, and in 1938 he was even hired by the Ministry of Propaganda for the Third Reich. However, despite the desire of the Belarusian admirers of the Hitler Hitler to curry favor with the Reich and get the right to work in Belarus, the Nazi leadership did not see the need to create a special separate party of the national socialist type in Belarus. Therefore, the party acted in hiding. In 1943, Akinchits was assassinated, and the party virtually ceased to exist, almost without real political affairs.
Nevertheless, the Nazi leadership did not refuse to use in their own interests the Belarusian nationalists and traitors to the Soviet regime. Back in the spring of 1941, before the invasion of the USSR, the formation of the first Belarusian Wehrmacht subunit, the assault platoon of 50 people, began in Germany. The servicemen were selected from among the captured Belarusians who served in the Polish army during the conquest of Poland. The platoon was tasked with conducting reconnaissance and sabotage activities in the territory of Soviet Belarus. In 1944, on the orders of the Hitlerite leadership, the Byelorussian Regional Defense was created under the command of Franz Kushel. In March, the 1944 of the BRO battalions were formed by the 45, but they did not become a serious military force. The Belarusian battalions were used to search for and destroy partisans, protect strategic facilities and conduct economic activities. In September, the first personnel battalion of the military unit of 1944 was created in Berlin 422 in Berlin. He was commanded by Captain Peter Kasatsky.
A large number of young Belarusians who were part of the pro-German Union of Belarusian youth ”participated in the defense of Berlin against the advancing Red Army, being enlisted in the service in anti-aircraft artillery units of air defense. Belarusian collaborators became one of the last hopes of the Hitler regime. In April, the Dalwitz landing battalion was formed from 1945-700 by military personnel of Belarusian nationality in 800, and the 30-division of the SS forces was created (it is also the “Belarus” brigade). But already 30 April 1945 Belarusian SS division in full force surrendered to US troops. A part of the Belarusian collaborators after the liberation of the territory of Belarus remained there for the development of the anti-Soviet partisan movement, which, however, also did not become equal to the Banderovites of Ukraine or the flattering brothers of Lithuania.
From Hitler to the CIA
Throughout its history, the Belarusian “Rada in exile” collaborated with all the enemies of the Soviet and then the Russian state. After Hitler came to power in Germany, Belarusian nationalists who were in exile were taken to the development by the German special services, who intended to use them for subversive activities against the Soviet state. BNR President Vasily Zakharka actively spoke out in support of Hitler while living in Prague. After his death in 1943, Nikolai Abramchik, who lived in Berlin and published the nationalist newspaper Ranitsa, became president of the BNR. The end of World War II instantly reoriented the priorities of the Belarusian nationalists who lived in exile. They were not particularly upset about the fall of the Hitler regime, since they immediately found new owners - American special services, also interested in weakening the Soviet state. In 1951, a certain Ivan Philistovich appeared in Belarus, whom the Soviet security officers managed to expose and arrest. He had with him the certificate of the representative of the BNR government signed by the BNR President Nikolai Abramchik.
Ivan (Jan) Filistovich was a young twenty-five year old boy, when, after training at the American intelligence school in Munich, he was parachuted into the territory of Belarus. Filistovich had to create an underground printing press, print and distribute anti-Soviet leaflets, along with collecting intelligence data on the airfields and the location of Soviet troops. Naturally, Filistovich found "brothers in mind." He got in touch with the group of S. Mikulich. This gang, which hid in the woods and hunted down robberies and robberies against village shops and random travelers, included six people. The gang acted with 1949, and, in fact, was purely criminal in nature. However, this did not prevent Filistovich from calling her "National Liberation Armed Forces." After that, the group launched an attack on financial agents, accompanied by the abduction of six thousand rubles, and an attack on the printing house. 5 September 1952, the refuge of the Filistovich group in the forest, was surrounded by members of the Soviet state security agencies. Four gangsters, among whom was Mikulich, surrendered without a fight. They "passed" and Filistovich, who had gone to the nearest village. As a result of the shooting, two bandits accompanying Filistovich were killed, and the saboteur himself fled into the forest. Four days later he was detained. By the verdict of the military tribunal, he was shot.
The BNR Parliament's residence was located in New York, and most of the Rada’s supporters and employees lived in the USA. At the same time, the whole Soviet history was upholding the position on the "colonial dependence" of Belarus on Russia - the USSR and saw the only deliverance from the "Russian oppression" only in initiating a conflict between the West (US and Europe) and the USSR, as a result of which the Union should fall and Belarus - get political independence. Since after the collapse of the USSR, the Rada did not recognize the sovereign Republic of Belarus, it should be assumed that the conflict with Russia, up to the present, remains among its key priorities.
There is a direct historical continuity between the Belarusian policemen of the Great Patriotic War and the modern nationalists - the Russophobes. So, from 1982 to 1997. Iosif Sazhich (Yazep Sazhich), a prominent figure in the Belarusian nationalist movement who closely cooperated with the Germans during the war years, was the chairman of the BNR "Rada" in exile. Before the beginning of World War II, Sazic served in the Polish army, commanded a platoon there, fell into German captivity, and then moved to Belarus. Since the beginning of World War II, Sazhich was mobilized into the Red Army, but chose to desert and hide in Lviv, where he collaborated with Ukrainian nationalists. In occupied Belarus, where Sazhich returned after the invasion of Hitler’s troops there, he was commandant of the sub-officer school of the Belarusian people's self-help, then formed a battalion of railway guards, commanded a company of the Belarusian regional defense. After the retreat of the German troops, he participated in the creation in Berlin of the Belarusian landing battalion "Dalwitz", was the commandant of the officer school of the 30 SS division. Since 1950, Mr. Sazic has lived in the United States, actively participating in the activities of emigrant nationalist organizations. The former SS man as the face of the Belarusian “Rada” did not in any way embarrass the liberal circles of the United States, who were directing such characters against the Soviet Union, and then against Russia. In 2007, Sazic died at the age of ninety.
From the United States of America are drawn the strings of leadership and modern Belarusian nationalists. The most famous of them is the seventy-year-old Zenon Pozniak. He has been living outside Belarus for almost twenty years, first in Poland and now in the USA. There he was granted “political asylum” due to persecution in Belarus (in fact, in 1996, Pozniak fled the country after the riots organized by the nationalists). Pozniak is known for actively calling for the support of anti-Russian forces in Chechnya, Georgia, and Moldova. It is significant that Zeno Pozniak - 1944 year of birth. At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was 47 years old. Throughout his youth, he lived in the Soviet Union, where he made a good career, managed not only to get an education, but also to defend his PhD thesis in art history. However, as soon as the West saw the "fresh wind of change", Pozniak preferred to become more active in the political sphere and became one of the leaders of the Belarusian Popular Front - the Belarusian Popular Front, the main anti-Soviet and then anti-Russian organization in the country.
The situation in Belarus, however, has a number of differences from the Ukrainian one. In Belarus, the population is more homogeneous than in Ukraine. If in Ukraine there was a clear division into the “Polish-Galitsky” West, the “Little Russian” Center and the “Russian” South-East, then in Belarus such a division is not observed. Western Belarus with a strong Polish component is too small in territory, and Belarusian nationalist organizations do not have the scale of forces and activities that Ukrainian nationalists had even under the “pro-Russian” President Yanukovych.
Nevertheless, the tough policy of Alexander Lukashenko has done his job, and during the twenty years of his rule in Belarus, a generation of citizens who have been brought up in a more or less adequate spirit has grown. Although here there is a spread of nationalist sentiment, especially intensified against the background of events in neighboring Ukraine. The Russification of the Belarusian population and the possibility of tearing away some lands from Belarus in favor of Russia are currently the most widespread “horror stories” of the West offered to the Belarusian population. For a long time, Lukashenko positioned himself in the West as the most negative ruler in the entire post-Soviet space, but in recent years, the Russian president has begun to play the role of the main object of criticism and attacks from the United States and its European satellites. At the same time, Lukashenko increasingly demonstrates disagreement with the Russian positions, which can be explained by his desire to preserve the security and inviolability of the political system that has developed in Belarus over the long period of his tenure as president.