By Andrew Wilson
This ebook is the 1st in English to discover either Belarus’s advanced highway to nationhood and to envision intimately its politics and economics because 1991, the nation’s first 12 months of real independence. Andrew Wilson focuses specific cognizance on Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s marvelous toughness as president, regardless of human rights abuses and involvement in one more rigged election in December 2010.Wilson seems to be at Belarusian heritage as a sequence of fake starts off within the medieval and pre-modern sessions, and on the many rival models of Belarusian identification, culminating with the Soviet Belarusian undertaking and the institution of Belarus’s present borders in the course of global warfare II. He additionally addresses Belarus’s on-off dating with Russia, its simultaneous makes an attempt to play a online game of stability within the no-man’s-land among Russia and the West, and the way, mockingly, Belarus is eventually turning into a real state lower than the rule of thumb of Europe’s “last dictator.”
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Extra resources for Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship
Indd 33 24/08/11 3:11 PM 34 B E L A R U S : A H I S TO RY O F C R O S S R OA D S war against his cousins Jogaila and Skirgalia), was supposedly written in 1390 by Vytautas himself, to justify his claim to the throne – though no original survives. Chronicle Wars The Orthodox Rus responded with civic strife, an appeal to outsiders, and the beginnings of an identity-building project of their own. Fortunately, they were able to exploit the split in the ruling elite after Vytautas’s death in 1430, between the half-Rus Švitrigaila of Polatsk and Vytautas’s brother Žygimantas (Sigismund).
2 These Smolensk chronicles were in part an attempt to build a dualistic historical identity for the new state, as a rival to nascent Lithuanian historio graphy, particularly the idea that the Lithuanian nobility was descended from the Romans. The Chronicle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Samogitia (sponsored by Albertas Goštautas, who ruled in Vilna and Trakai before becoming grand chancellor in 1522 – hence no mention of the Rus) describes how Prince Polemon was said to have left Rome with five hundred nobles from four leading families (the Centaurus, Columna, Ursini and Rose) to escape persecution by Nero, and settled by the river Neman.
The circumstances of Mindaugas’s apostasy in 1261 and murder in 1263 are not well established, though he had made plenty of enemies on his way up, not least by murdering his brother and nephews. One interpretation is that Mindaugas’s conversion was a sign of his westward orientation. But both his tactical Christianity and his eventual apostasy were probably necessitated by internal tensions provoked by the shifting balance of external powers – in the latter case, war with Livonia after the rebellious Samogitians once again defeated the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Durben in 1260.
Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship by Andrew Wilson