Historical symbols, but no arrests: Memorial sign to BNR founders opened in Minsk


A memorial sign to the founders of the Belarusian People’s Republic (BNR) has been unveiled in Minsk.

March 25, 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic. It came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional Government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the BNR. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate.

The sign honouring Belarusian statemen Ivan and Anton Lutskevich was set in Yanka Kupala Park. In this place, there were houses in which the brothers lived in 1896-1906.

The first application for the establishment of such a memorial sign was submitted to the Minsk city executive committee as far back as 2007. But it is not until the eve of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the BNR that it has been aссepted by Minsk authorities. The sign was made by Minsk city sculptural mill.

At the opening of the memorial sign, Ryhor Kostuseu, Chairman of the Belarusian People’s Front, delivered a speech which ended with the words “Long Live Belarus!”

Leaders of Belarusian opposition parties and movements Yury Hubarevich, Anatol Lyabedzka, Ihar Barysau and Vital Rymasheuski stretched a white-red-white flag.

On 19 September 1991, the white-red-white flag and emblem Pahonya (Pursuit) were officially recognized state symbols of the Republic of Belarus. Such resolution was passed by the Supreme Soviet of the 12th convocation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But after the 1995 referendum, they were replaced by those reminiscent of Soviet symbolism. The white-red-white flag has been often associated with the opposition to the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The event was authorized; no one has been detained.


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