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Opinions & Interviews

5 Dec 2017

Opinion: 1917 events were a catalyst for Belarus’ statehood development

Opinion: 1917 events were a catalyst for Belarus’ statehood development

MINSK, 5 December (BelTA) – The events of 1917 were a catalyst for turning the idea of Belarus' statehood into reality, Prorector of Belarusian State University, Doctor of Historical Sciences Sergei Khodin told BelTA.

He stressed that the idea of Belarus’ statehood had developed for many centuries but it was the 1917 events that served as a catalyst for turning this idea into reality. The first All-Belarusian Congress gathered representatives of different social groups in Minsk. When discussing the future of Belarus, they stressed the need for self-determination, an own social state and university. “The two ideas of Belarus’ statehood and Belarus' university go together,” Sergei Khodin underlined.

The national movement emerged in the adverse conditions. The Belarusian People’s Republic was a failure. The establishment of a university had to be postponed, too. The Belarusian Soviet statehood was declared on 1 January 1919. The new government got back to the idea of opening a university straight away. A relevant decree was signed in February 1919. One million rubles was disbursed for this goal, the scientist recalled. However, the effort to found the university was abandoned in summer 1919 when Polish troops occupied Minsk. Belarusian State University opened only two years later.

Last week, the Faculty of History of Belarusian State University organized the international science conference “The 1917 events in the historical destinies of Belarus”. The event drew together over 120 scientists from Belarus, Russia, Poland, and Czechia. There are plans to publish the materials of the conference. They are expected to provide specific recommendations on the topics of the conference, in particular, on new concepts in studies of the events and consequences of the year 1917, and the Belarusian statehood.


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