Talk:History of Belarus/Archive 1

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Rydel vs. Anon

I don't want to quarrel with anyone, especially that some of us are somehow touchy. However, in a recent tiny edit war Rydel changed back Old Slavonic language to Old Belarusian language. What was the difference between the two and which one of the two was actually used there? I was always taught that it was Old Ruthenian language rather than its archaic form (Old Slavonic) or Old Belarusian language (whatever that is, none of my books mentions such a language so I assume it must be some alternative name for Old Ruthenian used by Belarusians nowadays). [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 15:51, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

This was only one of the several words that anonymous Samogitian has changed. Of course the anonymous Samogitian used the word Old Slavonic language because that's what they call Old Belarusian in Lithuanian. I guess the reasons for that are obvious. The "linguistic nationalism" of Lithuania is really scared of the new Belarusian nationalism, because both peoples lived together in peace in a single state for 500 years, and both peoples called themselved "Lithuanians" in their own tongues, but then thanks to certain events Samogitian (modern Lithuanian) nation took 100% of the old Lithuanian heritage, without wanting to share it with the modern Belarusians who have exactly the same share in that old Lithuanian heritage (or perhaps even more than the modern "Lithuanians"). Anyway, I am drifting away from the topic. So Lithuanians, the modern ones, want to delete any mention of the Belarusian nation. One of the things they do in their high school history books, they never use the term Old Belarusian language, but they use the term "Old Slavonic language used purely for chancellory paper needs", something like that. And of course, using the term Old Slavonic language in English is even more incorrect, because that refers to a totally different language (click on the link). As for the differences between Old Ruthenian language and Old Belarusian language, there are none. This is a reference to the same thing. So in Belarus the latter term is used, and I guess in English the former one is more widely spread. I think either term is OK, but I like Old Belarusian better, because when we say Old Ruthenian (or, especially! Old Russian), most people think it has something to do with Russian, while in fact it has very little to do with modern-day Russian and modern-day Russians. This is some language that was used in Ruthenia. When Russian empire took us over, the written traditions were suppressed. There was a gap, a hiatus, so we can't say there was an uniterrupted flow of development from that language to modern-day Belarusian. That's one argument I see against using the term "Old Belarusian". The second reason not to use the term "Old Belarusian" is because some Ukrainians say that their language also had exactly the same language as a basis. So these are the two arguments against using "Old Belarusian", but both of them can be disproved. First, there is a direct and undeniable link between the language of Francis Skaryna's "Biblija Ruska" (Ruthenian (Old Belarusian) Bible) and the modern language of Belarus. And there are numerous treatises showing the direct connection. It's a long topic, and I just don't have time to write a Ph.D. here, but I guess you are getting my point: using "Old Slavonic" is simply wrong. Using "Old Ruthenian" and "Old Belarusian" is fine, and in my opinion "Old Belarusian" is a bit better, more appropriate and logical term to use. --rydel 23:19, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A point to add: it is simply ridiculous to say that some common "Old Ruthenian language" was spoken from Black to Baltic seas and from White to Mediterranean seas. Of course, the written variants were closer to each other, but it is simply because those who "wrote" learned to do this from a very limited set of texts. Written language was never driving force of vernacular at these times, unlike today, when kids learn to read earlier than to speak :-). (not to say baout TV) It was exactly vice versa at these old times. And it is only natural to say that in the relatively well-defined territory of Belarus there was "Old Belarussian language". And the languages of Moscow, Vladimir and Novgorod differed from each other as well. And only because of pre-conceived idea of a "common old Russian language" was the reason of confusion and fuss about the "real" (?) language of The Tale of Igor's Campaign, of Skaryna's Bible (who, by the way, called its language "russki"), or of some other manuscripts.
Thusly, IMO Old Ruthenian language is a linguistic abstraction, a step in the direction from "real" languages towards the "reconstructed" "proto-indo-european language". 00:59, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'm a Slavic languages freak so you don't have to explain the basics to me. No need to write a PhD here :) Anyway, to me the name Old Belarussian language seems like a synonym to Old Ruthenian language coined by present-day Belarussians rather than a linguistic, commonly accepted term ("Belarussian linguistic nationalism", as you'd put it). It's not that those cruel Samogitians fail to accept a simple truth, it's that barely anyone accepts it ([1], [2]).
As a matter of fact the language spoken "east of present-day Poland, west of present-day Russia" back in 10th to 16th centuries was spoken by more peoples than only the predecessors of modern Belarussians. That's exactly why there are so many similarities between modern Ukrainian and Belarussian languages, not only in grammar, but also in phonetics and even vocabulary. Following your logic we'd have to admit that large part of what is now Ukraine spoke Old Belarussian back then. That's why I prefer Old Ruthenian to Old Belarussian - it's simply much broader and at the same time much more precise. I also agree with you that the language used by Skaryna could be called Old Belarussian. But IMO the present Ukrainians have exactly the same right to call it Old Ukrainian. In terms of linguistic similarities one could also say that (G*d forgive me) it was Old Rusyn... Get the point?
As to the geographical dispersion of the language - of course you are right that the term "Old Ruthenian language" does not cover all "Eastern Slavic languages", but it was predecessor to more than one modern language and it had many dialects back then (as most languages on earth have), but these were more of dialects than separate languages. Similarly, back in the times of formation of GDL there was still little or no difference between Polish and Czech languages. Sometimes for simplicity's sake the language spoken around Poznan or Kraków in 10th century is referred to as Old Polish, but in fact the Old Polish language (Staropolszczyzna) was formed between 15th and 17th centuries.
As a side note, I have no idea why on earth Old Ruthenian language redirects to Old Russian language and not the other way around. All in all I'd propose a following solution:
We had a huge, common linguistic family back then. Time to be proud of it and stop concealing it under artificial nationalist terms. Don't you think? [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 02:10, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)
Mission accomplished. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 22:06, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)

I suppose "Old Slavonic language" is slightly more accurate alternative to "Old Belarusian language" - first, the term "Belarus" first appeared in late 19 century; second (and more important) the official written language of GDL wasn't always a dialect from nowadays Belarus - for instance, Vytautas (Vytovt) chancellery used rather "Ukrainian" dialect. I would go for "Old Slavonic", unless strong counter-arguments provided. User:mantas

Common academic therm for that language is Ruthenian. --Lokyz 18:03, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Belarusian states - Novohradek

Please support your theory about Novohradek being the first capital city of GDL. Mindouh (Mindovg, Mindaugas) never had a capital city (at the time residence of a Duke wasn't stable); the 'capital' was first stabilised by Grand Duke (or Prince) Gedimin (Gediminas), and it wasnt Novohradek. Its of cause a historical dispute, but Novohradek teory has never been proved. user:mantas

It seems nobody can provide any evidence about Novohradek as capital of Lithuania, therefore I remove this part from the article as incorrect.Dirgela 18:27, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Russian Occupation

Is this a joke? This is history of Belarus not Poland. What's the point of even saying where did the other Polish areas went after the partition (and giving it more than 3/4 of the section), and the only other area was of course national uprisings. Independence and freedom? The uprisings were led by Poles not Belarussians. I am putting an NPOV on this article right now.Kuban kazak 23:15, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Excellent source

Have a read here.

Asking for a source

After Orthodox communities were disbanded by Polish administration, the use of Belarusian language was increasingly discouraged or suppressed. Please give an objective source-Commowealth was known for its religious tolerance. --Molobo 12:29, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the Polish Empire was known to all the world outside Poland for its intolerance. Or do you think Bohdan rebelled because he had nothing else to do? Follow the link provided above and you will get a picture. Even the previous Polonophile version of the article admitted that Belarusian was replaced with Polish by 1696. --Ghirlandajo 12:59, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Even the previous Polonophile version of the article admitted that Belarusian was replaced with Polish by 1696. I am not asking about that.Even so in regards to language you would have to say if it was ordered, by cultural repression or natural process. --Molobo 13:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Latest edits, factual dispute and POV problems

Lately Ghirlandajo and Kuban Kazak have completely rewritten parts of this article and I'm afraid part of the new version is a huge POV, intended to present the Polish rule in what is now Belarus in as bad light as possible, while at the same time claiming that Belarusians are in fact Russians. In particular, I see a problem with the following (see below)

Altogether, I believe the aproblems mentioned above need to be solved before we remove the dispute tag. BTW, I organized the list so that it was easier to respond below my comment. Halibutt 20:11, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Nope. The current version makes it clear that Belarusians are not Poles, that's all. The previous pro-Polish version, on the other hand, made no difference between the history of Poland and history of Belarus. There's no denying that. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Ghirlando, your blatant revert of my edit is very discouraging. I have provided sources for my additions, but you delete this, along with useful interlinks I made, with a justification no different then a thinly veiled personal attack.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:11, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

All right.... I asked for your comments to be posted below mine. However, as someone decided to ignore my plea, I removed all the alien comments from mine and divided the discussion onto separate sections. That way we'll have less problems with following the discussion and who says what. I guess it was not his intention, but thanks to Ghirlandajo for some time all of my comments were subscribed under his name, as if he was agreeing with me. Anybody else finds it as funny as I do?
As to specific concerns - see below. Halibutt 00:09, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Piotr, originally it was you who blatantly reverted my step-by-step edits, although I had justified each minor edit in summaries which you apparently didn't care even to follow, let alone to answer. --Ghirlandajo 09:06, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
What 'step by step' edits? I reverted your revertion of my edit, in which you deleted not only content I added but innocent ilinks that I added like linking Polish Crown to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, right, a u vas negrov ubyvayut... Anyway, instead of calling Poles with extremely offensive words in the edit histories you could take some time to reply to the questions raised. Or apologize to people you offend. Halibutt 09:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Halibutt, I see that it's your favourite strategem to endlessly beg for apologies, while failing to address issues raised above. There are several Russian sayings, most of them unquotable, to the following effect: На обиженных воду возят. This short maxim may incidentally explain to you several sinister turns of the Polish history, which you seem to particularly bother about. Stupid Katsap (as I had the privilege of being styled by one of your courteous friends in an edit summary several hours ago) 09:59, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Was it before or after you styled him a Polack? Also, so far I adressed all the questions here, so there's no such strategem here. And I still demand at least a word of excuse, if an apology is too much for you. Calling people Polacks is not the way I want to be styled and I did not deserve to be offended by you. Or perhaps you see this differently? Halibutt 13:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I actually didn't know that the term is considered offensive in Poland. "He smote the sleaded Polack on the ice" (Shakespeare, Hamlet). Anyway, I don't remember having called Cadet this name. Please provide a citation.--Ghirlandajo 13:25, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
The term you used is clearly offensive to Poles. And your good English suggests that your supposed ignorance about the fact is false. Halibutt 15:01, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Firstly, I applied it to a 17th-century personage. At that time, the word was frequently applied to the Poles, otherwise you should bowdlerize Shakespeare. Secondly, you and your friends frequently (ab)use the term Muscovy, which is considered offensive in Russia, on the basis that it used to be widespread in the 17th century. I don't see why you can use Muscovy anywhere you want and I can't use Polacks when alluding to the period, even in a summary. --Ghirlandajo 15:12, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
No, Ghirlandajo, in modern English calling a Pole Polack is not like calling Muscovy Московия in Russian. It's like calling a Russian Vodka Pisser. And you know it. End of topic, case closed. Halibutt 15:41, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Huh, Halibutt, my opinion of your general culture degrades daily. A fortnight ago you announced that any person who "speaks Russian, drinks vodka and sings Katyusha - he's a Russian". Now we get a prettier definition of a Russian from you - "Vodka Pisser". Abuse of such racist stereotypes already cost you an adminship and it probably still motivates your agressive behaviour on Russia-related articles. --Stupid Katsap and Vodka Pisser 16:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry but you are using personal attacks of the worst kind. Halibutt never announced things you say, he only remarked that a persone from the West my have an innacurate stereotype of Russian. Furthermore he didn't call in this talk nobody names just showed what would be the equivalent of insults you use against Polish people. --Molobo 16:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Molobo, his (and Piotrus's) unwaning support and encouragement of your disruptive behaviour says it all. Tell me who is your friend, and I'll tell you who you are. --Ghirlandajo 16:34, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Which does go far to explain why you have so many friends here, Ghir. Perhaps you should step back and examine your behaviour. If you are so right, why is it that the entire discussion is looking like 'people vs. Ghirlandajo'? Surely if your POV is the corret one, you would have much more support then...well...just yourself?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:11, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 1

  1. During the period of Polish rule (1569-1795), trade passed into the hands of Jews and Poles who settled primarily in the cities, while the rural population remained predominantly Ruthenian (Belarusian). - in fact the trade was a domain of Jews and Armenians even before, as hardly any noble, be it Polish szlachta or Ruthenian boyars, saw trade as something honourable. And most of the trade remained in Jewish or Armenian hands even afterwards, until 19th century. Halibutt
This phrase should be moved to the previous section on GDL, that's all. Ghirlandajo
Well, I believe it should be either explained or deleted. It was neither something typical for Poland or for Lithuania, it happened everywhere in Europe and there it should rather be explained as a migration, not the way you did it so as to suggest that someone gave the trade to Jews and took it from someone. Halibutt 23:58, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
So you think that the article on History of Belarus should omit the fact that Belarusians were banished by Poles and Jews to live in the fields? I have to disagree here. Jewish/Polish occupation of Belarusian cities is a key factor in national history, which explains glaring absence of Belarusian nobility, intelligentsia and freedom movement since the 17th century onward. Also, Belarusian Jews - such as Marc Chagall, not to mention all those Slutskers and Brodskys - played a vital part in the culture of Eastern (you prefer to call it Central) Europe. --Ghirla 09:15, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Provide evidence for your claims and I might reconsider. However, unless you provide evidence that someone purposedly prohibited Ruthenians from trade or that the 19th century Jew named Marc Chagall could not start his career in Russia because of 16th century Polish rule, I believe this edit to be both incorrect and malicious. Halibutt 11:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand what you are talking about. Where did I say that "Ruthenians" as you call them were "prohibited" from trade. These fantasies are your own. --Ghirlandajo 11:40, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
So how about replacing the statement above with something like: Throughout their existence as a separate culture, Ruthenians (Belarusians) formed in most cases rural population, with the power held by local szlachta and boyars. Also, as in the rest of Central Europe the trade and commerce were mostly monopolized by Armenians and Jews, who formed a large part of the urban population in what is now Belarus? Halibutt 14:38, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 2

  1. Belarusian language was relegated to secondary positions - not really, although Polish was preferred by the Polish-speaking nobles, whatever their religion was. Also, we should rather be speaking of Ruthenian, which was in use back then, and not Belarusian, which was formed in its modern sense in 19th century. Halibutt
    This I quite agree with, being one of the initiators of this strange wikiterm - Ruthenian language. Other articles, however, - such as Francysk Skaryna - operate with the term "Belarusian language" or "Old Belarusian", and we can do little to mend this. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
So how about simply mentioning that Despite of the actual language of the population of the Commonwealth, in the GDL the chancery language was Old Ruthenian language, which is a predecessor of modern Belarusian and Ukrainian languages. In XXXX the official chancery language was replaced with Polish, more commonly spoken by the upper classes.? It would be more correct, less POV and definitely based on actual knowledge... Halibutt 00:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
There's no denying that Belarusian has been dimissed as a dialect of peasants, whereas the Polish (and then Russian) was the language of education and government. There is no need to dissimulate the facts with pointless wordsmithship. --Ghirlandajo 09:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
So why to create facts that never happened? I doubt anyone spent any efforts to limit its importance, contrary to what you suggest. There was no activity directed against it, rather lack of interest on the side of higher classes, that's all. Halibutt 11:41, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Lack of interest on the side of higher classes? Because higher classes were completely polonized. If the higher classes are Polish catholics, of course they have little interest in Orthodoxy and Belarusian language. It would have been weird if Yankee colonists started to adopt native American worship and language. --Ghirlandajo 11:47, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course, the polonization, russification or lithuanization of the higher classes was part of the problem. However, the language of the Ruthenians (as you called them in the part of the article quoted above) was not relegated from anything to anywhere. It was simply not used by the people who had the power. Not using one's brain is not equal to relegating it anywhere. Halibutt 12:03, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 3

  1. Eastern Orthodox peasantry was converted to Uniatism against their will. complete rubbish, probably backed by Great Soviet Encyclopedia or some Russian 19th centurish source. Contrary to 19th century Russia, nobody forcibly converted anyone in PLC (perhaps apart from isolated cases where a local gentry member was strongly against the Orthodox faith. However, it wasn't until 19th century that any church was forbidden on these lands - and it was the Uniate church, not Orthodoxy (strongly supported by Russia). Halibutt
    This i'm not in position to comment upon, as the phrase was not added by me. As best I understand, however, it was impossible to make a successful career in the PLC or to get a government appointment, if you were not a Roman Catholic. There are innumerable monographs on these religious issues, both pro-Catholic and pro-Orthodox, which interested parties may cite in the article. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    Source - Kuban kazak 22:38, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    Although I have no sources for this ATM, from what I read this was very rare, if happened at all (Jarema Wiśniowiecki actions?). Szlachta usually left peasants to their own doings, this is why after Raskol Russian religious minorities esacaped to Poland. Would you have any sources about religious persecutions of Ruthenian peasnaty? What Ghirlandajo writes about career is true when reffering to the 17th century, where due to Sigismund III Vasa obsession with Catholicism the Warsaw Compact was seriously undermind (for example, he gave official titles only to the Catholics). Also, Union of Brest was his idea, and although there were no violent persecutions, for example Catholics (and Unionists) got more prominent places for their churches and such.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:51, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

EB is not the source like the chronicles are but it is peer reviewed to conform the mainstream historiographic view. From EB's history of Belarus:

Although [after Lublin] Lithuania retained the title of grand duchy and its code of laws, its western province Podlasia, which had been heavily settled by Polish colonists, was ceded to Poland, as were the steppe lands and Kiev. Among the Belarusian population a mainly Polish-speaking Roman Catholic aristocracy developed, but the peasantry on the whole remained Orthodox. In 1596 the Union of Brest-Litovsk signaled an attempt to unify the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the Polish-Lithuanian state [..] The rule of the Polish landowners was often heavy and unpopular, and many Belarusians (especially those opposed to joining the Eastern-rite church) fled to the steppe lands that were home to the Cossacks. Large-scale Cossack-led revolts occurred in 1648–54, but the Belarusian lands remained under Poland until the reign of Catherine II (the Great) of Russia (1762–96). Economic development was slow, especially in the extensive Pripet Marshes. The Belarusian population was almost entirely engaged in agriculture, while trade lay in the hands of Poles and Jews.

From EB's history of UA

"...Ukraine was “colonized” by both Polish and Ukrainian great nobles. Most of the latter gradually abandoned Orthodoxy to become Roman Catholic and Polish. These “little kings” of Ukraine controlled hundreds of thousands of “subjects”... The new Eastern-rite church became a hierarchy without followers while the forbidden Eastern Orthodox church was driven underground. Wladyslaw's recognition of the latter's existence in 1632 may have come too late. The Orthodox masses—deprived of their native protectors, who had become Polonized and Catholic—turned to the Cossacks. [...] The heavy-handed behaviour of the “little kings,”... was resented even by small nobles and burghers. Growing socioeconomic antagonisms combined with religious tensions."

So much about "equality" of Orthodoxy with Catholicism. What surprizes me is that this discussion pops up from talk page to talk page with not just Britannica, but some historians sited too, and then we get this all over again about the myth on the religious freedom and equality in PLC as well as about the Warsaw compact, indeed an amazing document for its time, being realized in full on the ground (which it wasn't). --Irpen 00:40, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure, I agree with almost all of the above, especially when speaking about the times of the Vasas, which were surely the worst kings we ever had (even Stanisław August was better). However, who converted the Orthodox people by force? When? How? And if the Orthodox church was illegal, then why where there Orthodox churches built? Halibutt 00:46, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Are sure they were built in the first decades of the 17th century? Examples, please. --Ghirlandajo 09:23, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Again: who converted the Orthodox people by force? When? How? --Lysy (talk) 09:51, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Why do you address this query to me? --Ghirlandajo 09:59, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Because you attempted to answer it but missed the point. --Lysy (talk) 18:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I did not "attempt to answer it" but said: "This i'm not in position to comment upon". Read above. Your rudeness is appaling. When you ran out of argument, Halibutt obliquely referred to me as a "vodka pisser", and your friend Space Cadet labelled me as a "stupid he-goat". Very well, I expect new and more outrageous insults. Unfortunately, your behaviour induces me to think that incivility is a national feature of the Poles. --Ghirlandajo 18:12, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I would need to look for the quotes, but from what I remember, it wasn't always illegal but it was always obstructed to different degrees. And yes, at times it was illegal. As for the times were Orthodoxy was allowed but suppresses, at some point, non-Roman churches were taxed, while the Roman ones were not. Also the permits to build new churches were denied. Besides, the church buildings were forcibly locked and the peasant had to pay a fee to obtain a key to baptized a child. Since the local managers, who kept the keys were often Jews, the idea of being forced to pay to a Jew to get a child baptized added to certain sentiments among Ukrainians and during the later revolts the Jews were slaughtered en masse together with the Poles. Of course most of the people slaughtered had nothing to do with the oppression and the Jews were largely oppressed themselves, but didn't have their own "Cossacks" to turn for protection. --Irpen 01:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

EB seems to be quite correct here and we may want to incorporate some of their statements into our text. As I wrote, there might have been - there probably were - incident involving forced convertions, but they were rare. While Warsaw Compact promised religious tolerance, it was often abused, nonetheless the religious tolerance of the PLC was unprecedented for its time - which doesn't say it was as good as what we recognize as a standard today. In addition, if we are talking about religious tolerance and how Catholic Church was bullying the Orthodox (and Protestants) in the PLC, we should perhaps remmember how it was solved in the Muscovy: Russia simply banned Catholic Church. Anyway, the quite here is disputed because it implies that ALL Orthodox peasantry was forcibly converted (or at least it was a common happening) - which was not the case (feel free to provide sources indicating otherwise, or even documenting exeptions).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:33, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Russia simply banned Catholic Church? If you followed a link supplied by Kuban Kazak, you would learn that there were periods when Russian adminsitration funded Polish ksiadzs at the expense of Russian Orthodox clergy. --Ghirlandajo 09:26, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I am afraid I don't read Russian. Can you provide any English sources? I can find many that support my point. Consider for example the Catholic Encyclopedia: "After the Council of Florence, the fanaticism of the Russians in regard to the Latin Church increased. The Latins were not even considered citizens. They were not allowed to build churches in Russian cities.] (...) Peter the Great revealed his anti-Catholic hatred when, at Polotsk in 1705, he killed with his own hand the Basilian Theophanus Kolbieczynski, as also by many other measures; he caused the most offensive calumnies against Catholicism to be disseminated in Russia; he expelled the Jesuits in 1719; he issued ukases to draw Catholics to Orthodoxy, and to prevent the children of mixed marriages from being Catholics; and finally, he celebrated in 1722 and in 1725 monstrous orgies as parodies of the conclave, casting ridicule on the pope and the Roman court. (...) From the time of Peter the Great to Alexander I, the history of Catholicism in Russia is a continuous struggle against Russian legislation: laws that embarrassed the action of Catholicism in Russia that favoured the apostasy of Catholics, and reduced the Catholic clergy to impotence were multiplied each year, and constituted a Neronian code. In 1727, to put a stop to Catholic propaganda in the Government of Smolensk, Catholic priests were prohibited from entering that province, or, having entered it, were prohibited from occupying themselves with religious matters; the nobility was forbidden to leave the Orthodox communion, to have Catholic teachers, to go to foreign countries, or to marry Catholic women. Of course CE is hardly NPOV, but it does cite some interesting facts. Now can you provide English sources showing that "there were periods when Russian adminsitration funded Polish ksiadzs at the expense of Russian Orthodox clergy"?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:27, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

So much about "equality" of Orthodoxy with Catholicism. The article don't say about repression, persecution only about "heavy handness", even colonisation is in the brackets. The articles seem to say that due to alienation of nobility from peasants problems developed not that the nobles persecuted the peasents as the current version tries to allege. --Molobo 01:50, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


  1. Despite severe repressions vibrant Belarusian culture flourished in the Orthodox communities of major Belarusian cities - this seems unsourced as well, not to mention the fact that it limits the Belarusian culture to Orthodox minority only and speaks not a word of the Uniate majority... or the Catholics, who also constituted a large part of what is now the Belarusian culture, be it material or spiritual. Also, a mention of Jews, Tatars and Armenians would be a good thing here IMO. Halibutt
    I know nothing about Armenian or Tatar culture in Belarus, so you are welcome to add data on these communities, if you think they were vitally important for Belarus. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    Memo to self: translate pl:Tatarzy w Polsce.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:51, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    You may also want to translate en:Lipka Tatars :-) mikka (t) 22:56, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    Tnx for that one, I didn't try this name (I did try Lipkowie, Polish Tatars and Tatars in Poland. I am going to create some redirects and interwiki links, of course - those article talk (mostly) of the same people.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:11, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
This definitely needs to be added to the article. In the article on History of Poland the ethnic and cultural mixture is well-described. So is the case with History of Lithuania. Why not insert it here, in an article about one of the most culturally-diverse regions of the Commonwealth? Halibutt 00:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
...BTW, this also applies to point No.2, as both could be treated the same way. Halibutt 14:40, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


  1. After Belarusian peasantry volunteered to take part in the anti-Polish movement led by Bohdan Khmelnytsky, deputations from several Belarusian towns arrived to Moscow, asking the tsar for interference on their part - which also needs some source. And even if it was true, we should also mention thousands of people of Belarus who fought on the side of the Commonwealth against the rioters. Halibutt
  1. I provided a link to the GSE, which BTW is a perfectly valid source of historical data. As valid as scores of obscure Polish hack writers you regularly intoxicate your brains with. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
First of all, please watch your language. There's a serious problem to be solved and suggesting that some sources intoxicate while others don't won't help us here.
Then, where is the link you posted? It's definitely not here nor can I see it in the article
Last but not least, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia is not considered a credible source even by Wikipedia, not to mention modern historians. Could you please try to use some modern sources? Halibutt 00:20, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

The quote above from Britannica may help sort this out. --Irpen 00:41, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure. But I still believe we should mention the other side of the story, not only the one presented in the current version. Halibutt 00:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
You should read the article more carefully or ask Piotrus who left the links in the text during his previous revert. If you assert that GSE is "not considered a credible source even by Wikipedia", you are bound to provide a link to appropriate section of Wikipedia Guidelines and then I will not quote it any more. On the other hand, if this statement is a personal opinion of Halibutt, Molobo, Rydel, and Co, you may continue gaping at your cheap propaganda booklets about alleged Russian massacres, which I daresay are "not considered a credible source even by Wikipedia" as well. --Ghirlandajo 09:32, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Believe me, I did read the article carefully before posting my comments. There's no need to suggest my ignorance or my bad faith. As to GSE - check the article on Great Soviet Encyclopedia. If I were to find a more biased encyclopedia ever written I would have a serious trouble. As far as I remember, it reflected only the Russian POV mixed with Communist/Marxist propaganda - and that's what is mentioned even in the current wiki article on it. Pretty, pretty please, could you find some more acceptable source? Or at least post the link to the article in GSE you find relevant and unbiased? Halibutt 11:45, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Three random samples of unbiased articles in the GSE: [3], [4], [5] --Ghirlandajo 12:12, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
ROTFL :) For non-Russians who might find the links not that funny - they are articles on force interactions (electromagnetism, gravity and such), magnetic resonance and Charged particle accelerators. Surely the abovementioned articles are relevant to the history of Belarus, after all the laws of physics work even there... Anyway, this only supports the statement by Aegis Maelstrom, who at Talk:Polish capture of Kiev (1018) recently stated that Basing on this "source" you may contribute "successfully" to articles like USA, capitalism or Spanish Civil War as well. =) This encyclopediae can be used only as a source in 1. maths 2. history of propaganda.. Halibutt 13:08, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


after Orthodox communities were disbanded by Polish administration - seems yet another absurd... Any proof of that? Which communities? Where? Why? When? Halibutt 00:05, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't know why my link to bratstvo was deleted, but your complete ignorance of the phenomenon clearly indicates that Eastern Orthodoxy in Polish-occupied territories is still a closed book to you. The article about Bratski Monastery in Kiev has long been on my to-do list, but unfriendly developments in the ua segment of this project would probably prevent me from enlarging on this important issue in the nearest future. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
bratstvo is a red link - could you elaborate on this? Does it have to to with Union of Brest? I plead ignorance in this case, and would be happy to learn more if you can provide some sources.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:57, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, the idea of bratstvo is obscure to me, though your accusations of ignorance are hardly an argument in our discussion. Please, stick to facts and not to offences. Ok? Halibutt 00:22, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Once again, check the links provided by me in the text of the article before crying murder. --Ghirlandajo 09:35, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Which ones? Could you post the relevant link here? Halibutt 11:46, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
You are welcome: --Ghirlandajo 12:03, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Translation for non-Russians follows:
Bratstvos (brotherhoods) were Ukrainian and Belarussian national-religious organizations formed between 15th and 18th centuries at Orthodox churches in Ukraine, Belarus and parts of Lithuania for the fight against national suppression and forcible catholicization of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians of Orthodox faith. The first were founded in 15th century, although there were similar organizations formed in Lvov and Vilna even earlier, in Kamieniec Podolski and Rohatyń (1589), in Mohylów (1590), Brześć (1591), Przemyśl (1592) and other places. They were based on democratic principles. Every person who participated in the funding of the society could be its member. The main bulk of its members were burghers, although the clergy, szlachta and peasants were also admitted. In 1620 the Kievan bratstvo joined the Zaporizhian forces led by Sahaydachny. Their internal formation resembled mediaeval trade unions, the bratstvo had also their charters. (...) B. fought against Jesuit propaganda, and promotion of catholic and uniate rites in Ukraine and Belarus, they fought for national and cultural independence of these nations and maintained contacts with Russia, Moldavia and southern Slavs. B. led many cultural and educational facilities, among them schools and printing houses, with the cultural forces gathered around them. On the basis of the Kievan B. in 1632 a Kiev College (later Academy) was formed. The schools formed a large number of writers, scientists, politicians, teachers, printers, and artists, who strengthened the links between Ukrainians and Belarusians with the Russian nation. Among them were Iov Boretskiy, Lavrentiy Zizaniy, Pamva Berynda, Zakhariy Kopystenskiy, Epifaniy Slavinetskiy and others.

In 2nd part of the 17th and in 18th centuries, with the strenthening of feudal system, the role of B. in political activity gradually weakened. In Galicia and on the right bank of the Dnepr they entered in conflict with the clergy, while on the left bank they were forced to fulfill only religious and social tasks. B., still existant in certain village and municipal Orthodox churches even in 19th century, dropped their political and cultural activities, although they retained certain traditions of the earlier B. In late 19th and early 20th centuries some Orthodox church activists formed clerical organizations named Bratstva and referencing to their traditions, although these had nothing to do with the earlier but the name.


  • K. Guslistiy, Sketches from the History of Ukraine, in: Fight for the Liberation of the Ukrainian Nation from the Szlachta Poland in the Second Half of 16th and firts half of 17th centuries, Kiev, 1941.
  • Ya. D. Isayevich, Bratstva and their role in Development of Ukrainian Culture in 16th-18th centuries, Kiev, 1966
  • A. Yeremenko, Southern-Russian Bratstva in his Southern Rus', 1905.

Now then, let me ask where does this article mention any oppression? If they were disbanded then how so many of them survived to 19th century? The only forcible limitations on their activity mentioned in this article took place in left bank Ukraine, that is... yes, you guessed it, in Russia. Halibutt 12:53, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

And then let me ask you why should this article mention oppression? You asked what is bratstvo, and here you have an answer. Kudos for the translation, by the way, now we may start an article on bratstvo.--Ghirlandajo 13:02, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Let's set some things straight then, you claimed that after Orthodox communities were disbanded by Polish administration something happened. I asked what communities were disbanded and you mentioned bratstvos as an example and provided this link to back your claims up. Sadly, there is nothing to support your claims there. Halibutt 13:12, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Halibutt, your comments again prove that you haven't scrutinized the article at all. Please return to the text and check which links back up which claims. --Ghirlandajo 13:27, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I am afraid it is you who needs to quote the relevant part of the elink source to prove your claim.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:37, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Support - reference inadequate. There is literally nothing about any persecutions. aegis maelstrom δ 09:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
You simply can't live without accusing others of being ignorant, can you... Let me rephrase my comment above in a last attempt to find some sort of a solution to your problems with abiding by the rules of wikiquette.
You claimed that Despite severe repressions, vibrant Belarusian culture flourished in the [[bratstvo|Orthodox communities of major Belarusian cities]]. and that After Orthodox communities were disbanded by Polish administration, the use of Belarusian language was increasingly discouraged or suppressed.. So, I asked what communities were disbanded and you clearly clarified here that you meant the bratstvos. When asked for sources you provided one Russian article that does not even mention their persecution in Poland, not to mention that it does not support your version that they were disbanded by anyone. So, please be so kind as to provide some other source that would back your claims up. Halibutt 14:53, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

In addition the article uses as source propaganda material from Tsarists and Stalinist regime. I already provided link explaining how history under both regimes was falsified. --Molobo 16:00, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


  1. By the 18th century the rapacity of Polish nobles plunged the country into anarchy, making the once powerful empire vulnerable to foreign influence. Eventually Poland was partitioned by its neighbors, which meant that Belarusians were reunited with majority of their Orthodox East Slavic brethren. - now that is entirely a Russian POV, with unification of all Slavic brethren sounding like a perfect example of 19th century pan-Slavist propaganda and trying to blame Poland herself for the imperial politics of Russia or Prussia is what Russian historians were trying to do throughout the 19th century. It seems especially disturbing that a perfectly valid paragraph was replaced with this text. Before the latest changes it went like this: The independence of the Commonwealth ended in a series of partitions (1772, 1793 and 1795) undertaken by Russia, Prussia and Austria, with Russia gaining most of the Commonwealth's territory including nearly all of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania (except Podlachia and lands West from Niemen river), Volhynia and Ukraine. (...) The last heroic attempt to save the state's independence was a Polish-Belarusian-Lithuanian national uprising (1794) led by Tadevus Kasciuska, however it was eventually quenched.. While not perfect, it was definitely less one-sided. Halibutt
    As was pointed out by other editors before, this passage belongs to History of Poland rather than to History of Belarus. It is irrelevant to the article on Belarus which provinces of Poland were taken by Prussia and which by Austria. Halibutt, we are all aware of your sado-masochistic pleasure at endlessly repeating how innocent Poles were abused and "massacred" by bad guys from Russia and Germany, but the article on Belarusian history is definitely a wrong place to indulge in this kind of guilty pleasures. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    It's pleasant to see you in the same league with Molobo once again, joining Molobish hysterical fears of "19th-century pan-Slavist propaganda". It's a pity, however, that the great pan-Slavists - Safarik, Kostomarov - cannot respond to these slurs. Rephrasing your own words, the whole polish segment of is an ongoing attempt to blame Russia and Germany for all the crap proliferating in Poland. Anyway, you should be aware that editors of other nationalities are not bound to tolerate Polish hysterics. Perhaps it's time to review tons of russophobic bullshit that were spawned by you, Molobo, Emax, Cadet, and Co here in the previous years. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    You fail to provide any arguments but assume bad faith and make personal attacks. Please, back up your claims with sources or aplogize for your accusations.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:57, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, some apologies would be in place. And again, Ghirlandajo, I ask you to reply to my questions, not to what you think of me personally or of my nationality. Stick to the topic and we'll end this matter quickly. As to the main topic: indeed, the previous version was not perfect as it was too long and could be shortened to mention only the parts grabbed by Russia. However, I still fail to understand how the current passage is better. Halibutt 00:25, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 9

  1. Following the French emperor Napoleon I's defeat of Prussia, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was again set up under French tutelage. Belarusian peasants, however, fiercely resisted the renewed Polish ascendancy. - I beg your pardon? The French recreated the GDL? Any sources for that? Apart from that, we should also mention the Belarusians that fought against the Russian yoke side by side with Poles and Napoleon. Otherwise we'd have only one side of the story mentioned. Halibutt
I don't care who added this idiotic passage to the article. Check the history. I'm not aware of any Belarusians fighting against what you call the Russian yoke, however. On the other hand, Poniatowski's army was full of Polish nobles who deplored the loss of their estates and peasants in Belarus, but these were Poles not Belarusians.--Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
So, this could be deleted, right?
As to your comments - I seriously doubt it. In fact by then hardly any noble lost a single serf or village in the east. Instead, the Polish magnates even strengthened their rule over the peasants as in Russia they had even more rights than in PLC or Poland. That's why the pro-Napoleonic uprising in Lithuania was much weaker and mostly popular, contrary to what Mickiewicz suggests. Simply the upper classes had little interest in supporting the French, contrary to the peasants and burghers. Halibutt 00:29, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 10

They were active in guerilla movement against Napoleon's occupation and did their best to annihilate the remains of the Grande Armée when it crossed the Berezina River in November 1812. - Battle of Berezina was not carried out by guerillas but by regular Russian army under Kutuzov Halibutt

So now you deny that there was a Belarusian guerilla movement against Napoleon's invasion? Probably Polish books are silent about that.--Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Please re-read my question above and try to reply to what is written there, not to what you have in mind. Halibutt 00:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 11

Although under Nicholas I and Alexander III the national cultures were repressed in attempt to "de-polonise" [6] the population which included the return of the population to Orthodoxy, - and why not to mention the fact that the Russians delegalized the Uniate church and forcibly converted all Uniates to Orthodoxy? Also, the mention of the November Uprising and January Uprising, both the most active in modern lands of Belarus, was erased by someone. Why? I guess it was removed because it doesn't fit the scheme of happy loyal Russian subjects and the angry Polish pans persecuting their slaves, though I admit there might've been some other reason. Halibutt

We've seen for so many months how you imagine the Belarusian history should look like: perfect equality of "Ruthenians" with Poles in the PLC, rapturous mass conversions of Belarusians to Uniatism and Papism, the so-called Deluge which claimed the lives of every 3rd citizen of the Commonwealth, and three glorious rebellions. Sorry, all this doesn't belong to the article on Belarus. Belarusians were peasants, and quite indifferent to all three rebellions too. The history of Poland and BElarus is not the same, and you have to live with it. It is really disturbing that you Poles still treat Belarus as it were still your colony, just like 250 years ago.--Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
You're more than one? I thought you were a single Ghirlandajo, and not multiple people... Anyway, you did not reply to my suggestions. And please do not offend me. This article is about the place in the world called Belarus, not on the History of Belarusians. Hence it should include the histories of all the peoples living there together with the East Slavs. Yes, including the Poles. And again, if you see the conversion to Uniate rite which took 300 years as forcible, then why don't you see re-conversion of the entire nation to Orthodoxy as equally forcible, eventhough it took 10 minutes (a single ukaz)? Halibutt 00:34, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Well if you read the article I have provided it shows that a) as soon as Poland was partitioned almost all parished in the eastern guberniyas willfully returned to Orthodoxy.b) Initially Russia was extreamely tolerant of Uniates (or Basilians as they were called).c) The Unia was terminated in 1839 not 1795, and it was done when the whole sinod of the church joined Orthodoxy without any interference from the Russian state. d)and finaly something special:
Воссоединение униатов нанесло католицизму и полонизму в Белоруссии сокрушительный удар, от которого им уже не суждено было оправиться. Но каковыми оказались исторические последствия этого события для белорусов? Конечно, это все те последствия, которые историки связывают с вхождением Белоруссии в состав Российской империи, ведь, как мы уже говорили, без воссоединения Россия не сумела бы цивилизационно привязать к себе свой Северо-Западный край. Во-первых, ликвидация унии духовно соединила все части белорусского народа, расколотые унией, в единое целое, восстановило его цельность.[75] Во-вторых, подрыв позиций полонизма и католицизма в Белоруссии привел к постепенному возвращению белорусов к их истокам. В-третьих, воссоединение дало толчок становление самосознания народа, которое, прежде всего, выражается языковым самоопределением. Со всей очевидностью это явление нашло отражение в результатах всеобщей переписи населения Российской империи, прошедшей в 1897 г. Здесь население всех белорусских губерний, и западных и восточных, однозначно назвало свой родной язык не русским, как во времена унии, но белорусским.[76] В-четвертых, ликвидация унии придала новый мощный импульс развитию белорусского языка, формированию его литературной формы.[77] В-пятых, начало делать первые шаги национально-культурное возрождение белорусов. В-шестых, возник научный интерес к изучению истории, этнографии и фольклора белорусского народа. Из всего сказанного следует, что воссоединение униатов сдвинуло с мертвой точки искусственно замороженный в Речи Посполитой процесс превращения белорусской народности в белорусскую нацию.

-- Kuban kazak 17:25, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: 12

Belarusian economy was booming, particularly after the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. Peasants sought a better lot in large industrial centres, with some 1,500,000 people leaving Belarus in half a century preceding the Russian Revolution of 1917. - again, if a 4th part of the local population leaves for Poland, Germany or America, then perhaps the economy was not as booming as someone portrays it here. Halibutt

Data on booming economy is taken from Britannica 2004, but you are free to prove that the economy of late 19th-century Belarussia was in fact as stagnant as that of 18th-century Polish Lithuania. The facts show, however, that Polish economy had never been more prosperous in any other period of its history than at the turn of the 20th century. --Ghirlandajo 22:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Sadly, I don't have the EB04 at hand. Anyone care to provide the relevant part? As to Polish economy blooming in early 20th century - I seriously doubt it. Of course, there was a period of fast industrialization, but overall Poland was one of the poorest lands in Europe back then. It would be hard to decide whether the ever-starving Galicia and Lodomeria was poorer than rural and unindustrialized Belarus back then, though I doubt such a choice is to be made here. Anyway, you still did not reply to my question: if the economy was so blooming, then why the hell some 25% of the entire land left for other places? Perhaps they were not happy with the joyful rule of the tsar? Or perhaps they felt the factories are too loud? Halibutt 00:39, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Halibutt, honestly, your ignorance is startling. Have you ever heard about Industrial Revolution? Have you ever heard that it was accompanied by wide-scale migration of rural population to the urban industrial centres? Have you ever heard about Lodz becoming the textile capital of Europe during the Russian rule? --Ghirlandajo 09:42, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Accuse me of ignorance once more and I'm going to aks for comments or some more serious user problem resolution process to be started. Sorry, but it's over the top. I'm fed up with your accusations, with your namescalling, with your offensive tone and language. Try to focus on the problem with this article, not your problems with Poles in general and we'll be all much more happy here.
As to industrial revolution and Łódź - indeed, some cities grew, even Łódź became the textile capital despite Russian attempts to destroy it economically (taxation and customs border between Privislyanskiy Kray anyone?). However, this does not explain the situation I mentioned above. In fact in the very same period million or so people emmigrated from Poland to Germany, Belgium and the US not because of industrial development in Imperial Russia, but because of lack of such development and because of general poverty of the population. This was especially true for the Russian and Austrian partitions. How so the situation of Belarus, where there were no industrial centres comparable to Łódź, was different? If the region with the least developed railroad net and the least developed industry was so blooming, then perhaps you meant a comparison with Middle Ages? Surely not with other countries of the time... Halibutt 11:59, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I seriously doubt if there were any industrial town in Belarus in 19th or the beginning century. As far as I know, Minsk was all wooden architecture and inhabitated mainly by Jewish population. What was that blooming or booming in the economy then ? The sources that I have at hand say that in a couple of years after 1863 the Russian government run out of the land confiscated from Poles. Russian Committee of Ministers found in 1875 that the "property of Russian owners was in disastrous conditions for the owners were unable to take care of their property themselves". It does not seem like "blooming economy" picture to me. --Lysy (talk) 19:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


As the work on the article continues, I noticed that Ghirlandajo removed yet another part, claiming it was a slur, though without any explanation. It is to be noted that that part was perfectly sourced... Halibutt 15:32, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I did not see any explanation either. Ghirlandajo, why did you remove it instead of discussing if something bothered you there ? --Lysy (talk) 18:12, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
And what was I telling you all the time? You know very well that your edits were provocing, as the article states very clearly there was no "Belarusian gentry" at all. Can you name a single Belarusian noble family? They were either Poles or Russians. And what is "Russia used every opportunity to enlarge the Russian possession of land in Belarus"? It is just like saying "Poland used every opportunity to enlarge the Russian possession of land in Mazovia". This is complete nonsense, because Belarus was part of Russia at the time. --Ghirlandajo 18:37, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
There were, according to the article by Anatol Zhytko, which I referred to. With all due respect, we are not here to do original research, but rely on scholarly works. Anatol Zhytko is a historian from Minsk with over 20 publications on the topic of development of Belarusian society. It may be that his works are biased by Lukashenko regime, but then, should we discard all the contemporary work by Belarusian authors ? --Lysy (talk) 19:03, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
You'd better ask your bud Molobo about that. He frantically deletes all links to Belarusian websites from this article. --Ghirlandajo 20:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo, try to stay focused on topic. We are discussing your reverts here, not Molobo's. --Lysy (talk) 20:22, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Belarusian gentry? Hundreds of families, from Kościuszko's to Mickiewicz's and from Domeyko to Doweyko. They were as Belarusian in some instances as they were Polish or Lithuanian. If we are to seek Belarusians by modern standards then of course there were none back then. Just like there were no Poles nor Ukrainians. Halibutt 19:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, I will later list Kościuszko as a Belarusian general and Mickiewicz as a Belarusian poet. What a pity these two and their contemporaries didn't know about their own ethnicity and identified themselves as Poles. Honestly, Halibutt, do you see any difference between Belarusians and Poles? Where the difference lies? --Ghirlandajo 20:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
To answer your second question, "the land in Russian possession" means here that it was owned by Russians and not Belarussians. According to the same article, the tsarist administration attempted to buy or otherwise acquire the ground from non-Russian owners. They formed a special "Society of Land Buyers" for this purpose with the capital of 5 million roubles for the sole purpose of transferring land ownership into Russian hands. --Lysy (talk) 19:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Lysy, just like Halibutt above, you seem to be 100% sure that Belarus is just another word for Lithuania and Poland. I start to regret having expelled Rydel from He would have surely explained to you where the difference lies. --Ghirlandajo 20:19, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
No I do not think that Belarus is another word for Lithuania or Poland. --Lysy (talk) 20:25, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Now that both of your questions were addressed, would you answer Halibutt's (and mine) concern: Why have you removed the passage without discussing it first ? --Lysy (talk) 19:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, I see you cannot answer that. Could you put it back into the article then, please ? --Lysy (talk) 20:27, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


I see after the last edit we have it that "Piłsudski invaded Russia and Belarus" - where exactly were "Russia and Belarus" ? where were their borders ? Or governments ? Or armies ? As far as I know it, after several months German Army withdrew from the area to Lithuania and both the Red Army and the Polish Army started to move towards each other. The first conflict started when Bolshevik Army attacked (and after a couple of days captured) Vilnius. But it were not Poles but Russians who were the attackers then. So once again: When and where exactly did this alleged invasion of Belarus and Russia start ? --Lysy (talk) 19:38, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps someone meant the end of Belarusian National Republic, invaded by the Reds after the Ober-Ost withdrew from Minsk... Halibutt 20:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Pan-Slavism as justification for Russification of other nations by Russian Empire

It's pleasant to see you in the same league with Molobo once again, joining Molobish hysterical fears of "19th-century pan-Slavist propaganda". It's a pity, however, that the great pan-Slavists - Safarik, Kostomarov - cannot respond to these slurs.

They don't have to: During the Congress which had started at the end of May, Vladimir Ivanovich Lamansky pointed out that the invitation of the non-Russian Slays — which he called a great historic event —fitted nicely into the framework of the ethnographic exhibition, there by proving that Russia did not intend to deprive the various Slavic peoples of their different ethnographic characters, but magnanimously recognized the historical rights of the weaker Slavic brethren, thereby acquiring a strong position of moral leadership. In the same speech he demanded that Russian be the official language of all Slavs, and this proposal was greeted with thunderous applause by his Russian audience. The non-Russian guests gradually came to the conclusion that by PanSlavism their Russian hosts meant “Pan-Russianism,” which would include the general acceptance of the Russian language and the Orthodox faith by all other Slavs; in other words, a Russification of the Austro-Hungarian and Balkan Slavs, similar to that of the Poles and Ukrainians within the Russian borders.

PAN- SLAVISM by Sándor Kostya --Molobo 22:21, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

What other common language would you propose? Sorbian? And what is wrong with common language? Shandor K is very smart with putting accents and tearing out a quotation out of context. Of course, there were different panSlavists. Some of them sought spreading the domination of Russia. Some were truly bothered by annihilation of lesser Slavs. Are you aware that Czech language was extinct and was artificially restored just like Ivrit? And Belarusian language was destroyed not by Russkies My grandfather used to tell me funny stories how he was forced to learn by heart "lovil Janek do poludnia majonc pruzhnon hrapken" (He wrote it thus in forbidden Cyrillic letters to memorize). mikka (t) 22:44, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
My grandad was told by a local Polish ksiądz that only those who speak Polish would go to paradise, while those who speak Ukrainian are pledged to hell. What is remarkable, many peasants were so ignorant as to believe him. That's the Polish idea of Christianity and tolerance in a nutshell. --Ghirlandajo 09:45, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
You should seperate your personel experience from historic facts and use historic scholary reference in writing articles in order to avoid bias, after all my grandad told me how Russian soldiers didn't knew what was toothpaste and thought it was candy, but I never would enter such information in Red Army article. Personal experience can be deceiving and shouldn't be used when editing articles. As to your allegations let me remind you the words
These gentlemen have started everywhere to say and write Slav instead of Russian, so that later they will again be able to say Russian instead of Slav.
Karel Havliček Borovský. 1846
--Molobo 14:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
My friend, this is a talk page. Of course I am not going to include experience of my granddad into the article. Nevertheless any theory is based on individual's experiences, summed up by experts. Of course it could have happened only in this particular village. But unfortunately it was rather notable development, described in Belarussian books, which you will happily dismiss as Soviet propaganda. mikka (t) 02:26, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

"Some were truly bothered by annihilation of lesser Slavs." Didn't Russia occupy some of the countries of these "lesser Slavs" ? And what does lesser mean ? Is one nation belonging to the Slavic language group greater then the other in some unexplained way ? Didn't Russian Empire try to annihilated unique Polish, Belarussian, Ukrainian cultures itself by Russification ? When nation building was encouraged, as it was in Austrian-ruled western Ukraine between the late eighteenth century and 1918, it led to the development of a central European, in contrast to pan eastern Slavic identity.71 Paul Magosci points out that ‘While Ukrainianism was being suppressed in the Russian Empire, all the fundamentals that make possible a viable national life—history, ideology, language, literature, cultural organisation, education, religion and politics—were being formally established in Austrian Galicia’.72 "Are you aware that Czech language was extinct " I am aware of this, however it was Czechs achievement that it was restored .Are you aware that Czech national leaders distanced themselfs soon from Pan-Slavism which they said was in fact Pan-Russianism ? Are you aware that Russian Empires policy was to make many other Slavic languages extinct using the very argument of Pan-Slavism ? In fact it didn't shy from cooperation with non-Slavic groups in persecuting those "slavic" nations that it couldnt' russify(for example with Bismarck against Poland). --Molobo 22:57, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Using dictatorship propaganda.

Please don't use information made by the current dictatorship of Belarus as reliable source. Thank you. --Molobo 15:54, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Please indicate which part of the official site you find unreliable. There is an English version, by the way. I see a disturbing pattern in your edits: references to Russian and Belarusian sites are consistently disqualified, while the links to Polish sites are encouraged. This is called POV, my dear friend. --Ghirlandajo 16:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

For the reasons why Russian and Belarussian official sites are discouraged as source of reliable information see:

In short Belarus is considered a dictatorship while Russia is an autoritarian regime.Using official government pages of both countries makes the information subject to doubts about its reliability.It may very well be just propaganda made for the use of current regime. --Molobo 16:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

And freedom house is not a propaganda machine? -- Kuban kazak 15:47, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Apparently not, but you are free to add a Category:Propaganda organisations to Freedom House article and defend it :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:59, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Your POV is understandable, the limit of ones thinking. And yes Freedom House is propaganda, if one reads some of the rubbish they write there. -- Kuban kazak 17:00, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Please don't start any political bullshit. In exactly the same way one cannot believe to anything that USA says because all what it says is directed to make America more rich. And you cannot believe anything written in Poland because they ardently hate Russians for Katyn. You can make these arguments endlessly, for no good. mikka (t) 02:17, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Nonetheless it is a fact that most US sources can be trusted and Bielorussians cannot. Of course both governments (all governments) will use propaganda, but in US there is a lot of indepenended sources and organizations, while in Bielorussia there are very few independent non-undenground publishers of information. It doesn't mean that none of Bielorussian sources can be trusted, but that they are all inherently more suspicious and less trustworthy then US ones. And to a lesser degree it applies to Russian media, unfortunately, since Russian government is increasingly applying its pressure to them (granted, this argument can be made for all traditional media, in US as well).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:59, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Less trustworthy than US sources? At least Belarus does not use college students' PhDs in their reports to justify invading a sovereign country under a pretext of WMD and then finding none...same with Vietnam, same with IRAN Contra... realible sources... Good joke, I had a laugh. -- Kuban kazak 17:04, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
If you had a spattering of Russian, you could compare Russian media, which represent a full range of opinions on any given subject, and Polish media, which always sing the same Russophobic dirge. As for Belarus, please leave it to themselves to decide who they want to be their president. That's what democracy is all about. IMHO Lukashenka and Kaczynski are in the same league. --Ghirlandajo 16:06, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Let me ask you a question: Do you think that Belarusian media are independent from the government of Lukashenko ? Now ask yourself the same question about the media in Poland ad Russia. Do you see any difference ? --Lysy (talk) 17:52, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I can fathom the difference between the media in all three countries, although I'm not in position to judge Belarusian media, as I haven't seen any of them. --Ghirlandajo 18:01, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Russian kindnappings

Since Ghir and KK seem to persist in deleting the following sourced fragment, I will quote here the references quoted by the sourced article I took the information from. My source is the article which appeared in recent (2004) Promemoria journal[7]. ALthough the article is not online, I have a copy of it (in Polish). Please note that at least some of the quoted sources are in Russian.

"Increasingly during this time Muscovite armies invaded the Commonwealth, kidnapping scores of its eastern inhabitants, among them hundreds of thousands of Belarusian peasants."


  1. The peoples of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.Edited by G.Potasenko, Vilnius 2002
  1. Lehtonen U.L.:Die polnische provinzen Russlands unther Katharina II in den Jahren 1772-1782, Berlin 1907
  1. Solowjew S.M.:Istorija Rossii s driewniejszich wriemion,Moskwa 1960-1964 (is supposedly online?)
  2. Nosow B.:Rossija i wosstanije Tadeusza Kosciuszko.Priedstawlenija o Polsze w prawjaszczich krugach Rossijskoj impierii w XVIII wiekie. [w:] Polacy i Rosjanie.Materialy z konferencji "Polska-Rosja.Rola polskich powstan narodowych w ksztaltowaniu wzajemnych wyobrazen".Warszawa 2000
  3. Nosow B.:Wopros o granice i wydacze bieglych krestjan w russko-polskich otnoszenijach 1764-1766 gg. [w:] Studia Polonica.K 70 letju Wiktora Aleksandrowicza Choriewa,St.Petersburg 2002
  4. Gryckiewicz W.:Massowaja migracija russkich w Litwu i Bielorussju w pierwoj polowinie XVIII wieka kak forma klassowoj borby protiw usilenija krepostniczeskago gnieta (po opublikowannym russkim istocznikam). [w:] Istorija XXIV is Letuviu tautos istorijos,Vilnius 1984
  5. Na straze granic otieczestwa.Istorija pogranicznoj sluzby (XVIII-XX ww.),Moskwa 1998
  6. Sahanowicz G.:Niewjadomaja wajna 1654-1667,Minsk 1995
  7. Rjabinin J.:K voprosu o pobiegach russkich krestjan v predely Reczi Paspolitoj v konce XVIII vieka, Moskwa 1911
  8. Siemiewskij W.I.:Krestjanie w carstwowanije impieratricy Ekateriny II,t.I,St.Petersburg 1881
  9. Aniszczenko ? Not cited, but author mentions in emails with me is online in Belorusian and has related info
  1. Iwaniec E.:Z dziejow staroobrzedowcow na ziemiach polskich XVII-XX wieku,Warszawa 1977
  2. Serczyk W.:Hajdamacy, Krakow 1972
  3. Wojcik Z.:Dzieje Rosji 1533-1801,Warszawa 1971
  4. Deruga A.:Piotr Wielki a unici i unia koscielna 1700-1711,Wilno 1936
  5. Korzon T.:Wewnetrzne dzieje Polski za Stanislawa Augusta 1764-1794,Warszawa 1917
  6. Lubomirski S.:Pod wladza ksiecia Repnina.Ulamki pamietnikow i dziennikow historycznych (1764-1768),Warszawa 1971
  7. Zabko-Potapowicz A.:Praca najemna i najemnik w rolnictwie Wielkiego Ksiestwa Litewskiego w wieku osiemnastym, Warszawa 1929
  8. Makulski F.J.:Portret Moskwy etc.,Warszawa 1790
  9. Dyaryusze sejmowe z wieku XVIII,t.I-II,Wyd.W.Konopczynski,Warszawa 1911-1912
  1. AR (Archiwum Radziwiłłów) II 2505, 2662, 2768, 2791, 2811, 3190

Kuban Kazak: I have provided enough references to satisfy Wikipedia:Cite sources requirement. In addition to the article, I have presented above the list of additional references in Polish, English, German and Russian. If you persist on deleting sourced information, without providing any reliable countersources, your actions will be no different then from any vandal.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:56, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

One Polish magazine, thats the best you can do? I want hard evidence, not references, preferebly from Belarus not Poland. And don't accuse of me of vandalism, the least you can do is speak for yourself.-- Kuban kazak 17:08, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
One reference is enough. What you want is not what this site is about, go create your own wiki where you will be enforcing your own policies.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:41, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I have not even seen the article and you're telling me its enough. Why not actually go through those references and give me the exact detail where this occurs from. Otherwise I am not convinced. -- Kuban kazak 19:55, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I can email you the article in Polish. I am sorry it doesn't have an English version. I don't have time to go and look through primary sources cited in the article, and according to our policies (Wikipedia:Cite sources) this is not required. If you can find sources disputing this statement, we can rephare it that it is disputed, until then, my source trumps your belief.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:33, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Why not translate the article, but then yes rephrase. Accoriding to the magazine .... Moscovite armies ... etc. -- Kuban kazak 13:14, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The article is very interesting and I may translate more of it when I have some time and can figure out which wiki article to put it in. Nonetheless I am afraid even if I were to translate this article you would not treat it as a valid source, am I right?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:58, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I am in email contact with the article's author. He recommends that if you can speak Russian and/or Belarusian you should try search engine and terms "pobiegi krestijan v Polshu" or "russko-polskaja granitsa", as he found some of the info through this engine.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:15, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

This Belorusian article may contain supporting information, unfortunately I cannot read it - it was recommended to my by the author.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:38, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

300 thousand Polish veterans

I'd be interested to learn more about these "300 thousand Polish veterans" who were settled in Western Belarus. Any sources anyone ? --Lysy (talk) 08:37, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Check Kresowe osadnictwo wojskowe 1920-1945 by Janina Stobniak-Smogorzewska, Warsaw, RYTM, 2003, ISBN 8373990062. Halibutt 13:12, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
If you go to the trouble of adding references to talk, why not add them do main article?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:34, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Halibutt, thanks for the reference. If you have access to it or have the knowledge, would you write a few words, maybe here, on the talk, on who settled them, when, and veterans of which war ? Did one have to be a veteran to be settled ? --Lysy (talk) 17:38, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
In short, on December 17, 1920, the Sejm passed a large act regulating the problem of land formerly owned by foreign monarchs, foreign armies and so on. This needed to be done since otherwise much of Poland would formally still belong to, for instance, the murdered family of the tsar. Not to mention the fact that the military bases would belong not to the Polish Army, but the non-existent tsarist army or the Austro-Hungarian KuK Armee. Anyway, the "Act of December 17 on Nationalization of certain lands in some of the powiats of the Republic of Poland" assumed the nationalization of such lands, among them land formerly belonging to the Romanovs, to non-existent "Russian Peasant's Bank", to mayorates or properties of Russian government. This also included some lands owned by the Catholic church, after an agreement with the Vatican.
It was decided that such land would be granted to veterans of the WWI and Polish-Bolshevik War. It was to serve three aims: reward them for their service, create jobs for them and strengthen the defence of the eastern borders by creating pockets inhabitated by able-bodied and well-trained recruits that could be used as a close reserve in case of a Bolshevik incursion (and such raids did happen almost on a daily basis after the war ended). All soldiers wounded in combat or awarded for their bravery could receive up to 45 hectares of arable land free of charge (they could not own more than 45 hectares altogether, be it in the area or in other parts of Poland). At the same time other soldiers who volunteered for the Polish Army and served at the front could buy the land for a reasonable price. The parcels were joined into small towns and all veterans were to settle there no longer than 1 year after they acquired the land. If after 3 years they hadn't built their home there, the land was to return to the state.
According to the Society of Families of Former Military Settlers, until 1939 approximately 9,000 veterans (not 300,000) acquired the land, mostly along the eastern border. Most of them were ordinary soldiers awarded with Krzyż Walecznych or VM, some were NCOs or officers and the highest ranking settler among themwas Gen. Marian Żegota-Januszajtis. After the Soviet and Nazi agression, on December 4, 1939, the Politburo ordered all the settlers to be arrested. The first mass transport to the Gulags and other Soviet prisons happened on February 10, 1940. Most of those who were arrested perished in the Katyn massacre. And this basically ended the problem of "Polish colonization".
There is a short summary of the book here and a bit here. The Society I mentioned before used to have its own webpage here, but sadly now most of the links are 404... Halibutt 19:00, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Many thanks for the explanation. 300 thousand seemed suspicious to me. I've found a link to a brief history that works [8] where indeed they confirm that the number of settlers was about 9 thousand, including civilians. I expect they would be proud to give a higher number if they could. They also mention that it is estimated that around 5%-10% of the settlers survived the Soviet deportations. --Lysy (talk) 20:16, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Thx for the interesting info, I am sure it can be used in some article? As for 404 links, have you tried the Internet Archive?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:56, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

One of the highest GNP per capita

What is the ground of claim that: Economically however, this allowed Belarus to bypass severe economic hardships and criseses that the former Soviet Union countries encountered. Even today the country has one of the highest GNP per capita of all the former USSR nations. ? It seems that the countries with the highest GNP per capita in ex-USSR are Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. While Belarus is their immediate neighbour, it is way behind. --Lysy (talk) 17:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

My mistake, I meant growth, here 2003 and 2004 figures:

  • Armenia: 950|1120|(15.2%)
  • Azerbaijan: 820|950|(13.7%)
  • Belarus: 1590|2120|(25.0%)
  • Estonia: 5380|7010|(23.3%)
  • Georgia: 840|1040|(19.0%)
  • Kazakhstan: 1810|2260|(19.9%)
  • Kirgizstan: 340|400|(15%)
  • Latvia: 4420|5460|(22.7%)
  • Lithuania: 4540|5740|(20.9%)
  • Moldova: 590|710|(16.9%)
  • Russia: 2610|3410|(23.5%)
  • Tajikistan: 210|280|(25.0%)
  • Turkmenistan: 1090|1340|(18.7%)
  • Ukraine: 970|1260|(23%)
  • Uzbekistan: 420|460|(8.7%)

One also has to remember in Belarus there are no such things like segregation of people based on their nationality and hence citizenship and hence access to better jobs. And Belarus is not in foreign debt as well -- Kuban kazak 18:22, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I beg to differ here. From what I hear many Poles are discriminated in Belarus based on their ethnic identity. It's not a matter of getting a better or worse job, but they're simply loosing their jobs, being harassed by the police, administration etc. This is happening now, in 2005, so it does not belong to the article on History of Belarus, though. --Lysy (talk) 19:10, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Sources bitte schon. Because Poles born in Belarus are not denied citizenship if they hold no roots to pre-1940 residents of Belarus, Poles in Belarus are not forced to be taught 40% of their education in Belarussian. Polish veterans are not humiliated as criminals for what they fought in the war. Poles in Belarus do not see memorials to fascists being put up in front of their eyes. -- Kuban kazak 19:53, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
What is the source of the numbers quoted above? For the discrimination of Poles in Belarus, see Union of Poles in Belarus. Kazak - yes, they don't, what's your point? That they are not send to death camps does not mean they are not discriminated against.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Source. Now a Pole born in Belarus, regardless of what his family background is has the same potential in life as a Belarussian. A Russian born in Latvia from birth already is not allowed the same as a Latvian. It is called Apartheid, a minor form of Fascism. With Poles in absouloutely every city there are catholic churches, none of which have been closed or denied access to. Polish schools are fully allowed to run freely. Also I understand that the Republic of Poland finances these cultural institutions, but if it also begins to finance Political institutions I can understand why Belarus is concerned. Cosidering the relations between the two countries... I suppose if Lukashenko tried to finance the Belarussian separatist orgainisations in Belostok Warsaw will give a similar reaction. -- Kuban kazak 13:32, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for providing the source. Now we can comibne our sources to write a more NPOV paragraph, stating 1) there was an economic crisis in Belarus in early 1990s 2) the situation has improved afterwards 3) World Bank does not expect the situation to continue improving until susbstantial pro-capitalism reforms are made. I don't know the Russian situation in Latvia, but I know - from this article (and The Economist is certianly a reputable source) that "Alexander Lukashenka, the country's erratic leader, has made the Poles into new targets for his intolerance of internal dissent and outside interference." and "closed a Polish-language newspaper and replaced the democratically elected leadership of a local Polish organisation, the Union of Poles in Belarus (UPB), with their own nominees". Wouldn't you call this discrimination? And if you have any proof that this is aimed not at the Poles but at the Polish Secret Services or some fifth column trying to destabilize Belarusian government, please provide such sources - but please, try to use sources other then official Belarus government (note I am not using any official Polish sources here).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:12, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't care what Freedom House and world bank states, the latter organisation is worse than Hitler's and Stalin's genocide combined, considering what they do to developing contries. Belarus will not suffer an economic crises because its economy is not based on capitalism, and it recieves quite generous investments from Russia. To me Belarus is as democratic as any other nation and I actually personally respect Lukashenko for the stability and security that is felt in Belarus. Not to improve? Have a visit to any city Grodno, Minsk, Vitebsk, Brest...As you drive in what do you see? Building works everywhere, Housing, transport, infrastructure. How can a country in a middle of an economic boom not improve? About Poles in Belarus, well I can understand his concern if the Union begins to promote separtism and thus destabilisation to the country he has every right to interfere, as does Poland with its minority organisations. -- Kuban kazak 16:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
KK, who told you that Poles "promote separatism" in Belarus ? --Lysy (talk) 18:07, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Most don't but with such such fragile relations between Poland and Belarus, any statement which would normally be ignored is magnified god knows how many times... Lukashenko went and passified the UPB. It would have been the same -- Kuban kazak 22:27, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Being Polish, I've never heard even of any ideas of Polish separatism in modern Belarus. And believe me, we're hearing about Belarus a lot this year. --Lysy (talk) 22:43, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Are reliable those numbers? Can one check them? Bonaparte

I am restoring my previoys post, deleted somewhere around 2nd or 3rd December (I don't have time or will to see how it was deleted, so I assume it was some accident).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:21, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

After doing some research on the net, I think that the 'high GDP growth' may remain (the poorer the country, the higher its GDP growth may be, that's fairly common economic rule), but the statement that Belaruss avoided economic crisies and hardship is definetly false. See the following citations below.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:43, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • "In December 2004 the World Bank prepared a Report “Belarus: Poverty Assessment. Can Poverty Reduction and Access to Services Be Sustained?” (...). The authors of the Report state that Belarus recovered GDP growth relatively rapidly after the economic crisis of the beginning of the 1990s, reduced poverty levels significantly, maintained wide coverage of basic education and health services, and achieved this without gross exacerbation of inequality. The policy framework in place has been successful in maintaining living standards and reducing poverty better than in several transition economies." From Belaruss Embassy in US, I think they are quoting this report. Note that the report criticized Belarusian government actions towards civil society, something that the embassy didn't deem it worth mentioning :>
  • this report by Europan Bank confirms there has been improvement
  • [9] "While there is widespread poverty in Belarus, people are living in far worse conditions in some parts of Russia and Ukraine." - New Statement, UK newspaper
Fromt he World Bank report quoted above: "Can this model continue to provide positive economic results in the years to come'? The answer has to be negative, unless substantial changes are introduced in key areas of economic policv-making and the business environment."
  • "Poverty became a social concern during the 1990–s. The first poverty assessment survey was carried out in Belarus in 1996 under the support of the World Bank. It demonstrated that the number of the poor has sharply increased from 5 % in 1992 to 22% in 1995." United Nations, see also this critical Worldbank report from 96 (Worldbank).
  • "UN assessments indicate that poverty in Belarus is widespread" PDF, Red Cross website, 2003

de-Polonization or Russification

Kazak, you have removed Russification policy form the Russian Empire section. What is the difference between "de-Polonization" and "Russification" in this context ? --Lysy (talk) 17:43, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

See above, about religion, and the article I quoted. De-Polinisation allowed the Belarus culture to emerge into a Belarus nation -- Kuban kazak 17:50, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

A good point. If Belarus hadn't been depolonized in due time, it would have been completely assimilated by the Poles, like their brothers Kashubians and Pomeranians have been. Their liberation by the Russians allowed Belarusians to preserve their national identity. --Ghirlandajo 18:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

No, but I asked seriously. The difference may be obvious to you, but to me, in historical context of Belarus in 19th and 20th centuries "de-Polonization" and "Russification" are just two different names of the same thing. If it de-Polonisationwas not achieved by Russification, then how would you explain that the host of Belarusians speak Russian language ? Or why were Belarusian schools banned in 19th century ? And how was Belarusian language promoted under Russian rule ? --Lysy (talk) 19:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Belarussian schools banned, well actually it was after the reunification with Russia that Belarussians became aware of themselves not as Russians (under the Polish Rule) but as Belarussians and in 1904 (someone correct me) that the language was freely allowed to be used. What's this nonsense about banning? Most of the people speak Russian in Belarus is because a) Russian was the official language in the USSR. b)During WW2 most of the cities were destroyed and during rebuilding many came to settle there from outside Belarus c)In the rural areas Belarussian is perfectelly spoken, and finally although the country is bilinguial, e)and even though to urban population Russian is more preffered, nevertheless in ALL state schools Belarussian is taught along with Russian. f)Finally the languages are so similar that at times it is hard to destinguish which is which, especially in places like Vitebsk. -- Kuban kazak 20:03, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
It would help if both of you would provide sources, preferably in English, through others can be used if there is the lack of English sources. I don't know how Belarusan culture was treated during the Russian Empire and Soviet Era times, I do know it was rather discriminated against during the 1918-1939 times of the Second Polish Republic (source: Davies, God's playground) - just like today Poles are being discriminated in Belarusia (see Union of Poles in Belarus).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I don't know about Kazak but my primary source here is "Forming of the Belorussian nation" by Sokrat Janowicz, p. 242. Sokrat Janowicz is a prominent member of the Belarusian PEN Club. And yes, I agree that Belarusian culture and language was discriminated against in Poland in 1919 and later, until 1939. I hope my edits reflect this. Janowicz writes that immediately after WWI Poles acted as if Belarusian nation didn't exist. Similarly, after the 1930 elections and especially after Piłsudski's death the discrimination against Belarusian culture in Poland escalated. Nobody denies this. However I don't understand the belief that there was no Russification in Belarus before WWI and therefore I ask for explanations. --Lysy (talk) 20:47, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Have I not logically explained to you? When the Russians began to de-polinise the Ruthenians, they found that the people were in fact different from Great Russians, hence they allowed them to have their language and culture, and recognised them as a separate identity. Even Poles prior to that knew of no Belarussians and assumed that their Ruthenian population was identical to Russians. -- Kuban kazak 13:13, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I understand that you *believe* so, but both Sokrat Janovich and Anatol Zhytko say different. Both are Belarusians, knowledgable in the nation's history. With all due respect, Kazak, what you're claiming is just your personal opinion, not based on any research. --Lysy (talk) 18:13, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Russians trying to ruin the article?

Oh, my god. I said a while ao that I'm no longer commentning on historical issues in WP, but I must break my silence now. As a person who studied Belarus history in Minsk high school for several years, being a native of that country, I'm appalled by the recent changes.

I propose to change the article back to the original form, before the first mouse click from misters Ghirlandajo and Kuban kazak from Russia. The current version of the article with their additions is a gross distortion of Belarus history. --rydel 21:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

While I agree that Ghir/KK edits are damaging, I don't think that it is necessary to make such a large revert. The article seems to have improved overall (more ilinks, for example), and there are editors like Lysy and Halibutt who seem to be doing a good job removing G/K POV. This, at least, is my POVed view of the current situation, I am sure they will soon reply to you (or me) stating their POV. Nonetheless, since you say you have an extensive knowledge of the Belarusian history, I'd really appreciate it if you would go back on your previous statement and contributed to this article. After all it is our rule that the more editors work on the article, the better and more NPOV it becomes.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:50, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Ditto. It's a shame that mostly Polish and Russian editors are contributing to (or warring over) the article. I can of course understand why there are not that many active Belorusian contributors. The more contributions of Belorusian editors would be precious. --Lysy (talk) 22:06, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
In fact I was also considering reverting the article at random and asking for it to be protected so that we could prepare a decent, NPOV version at the talk page. In fact I even started by raising issues above, though most of these still remain unanswered as of yet. Anyway, how about preparing a project page and writing the problematic parts (the entire article in fact) from the scratches? Much like we did some time ago with the article on Gdansk when the debate became too heated. What do you say? Halibutt 16:11, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Where is the language issue in the article??

I have some remarks. I don't see a language paragraph in this article hystory of Belarus. Where is it? You speak a lot here, but there exist nothing! So, my suggestion is to add a paragraph with 3-4 lines about belarussian language, about how related to russian is or not - things like that. An NPOV paragraph. Bonaparte

You mean History of Belarusian language ? Or history of languages in Belarus ? --Lysy (talk) 22:24, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Whatever he means, but remarks about language being banned when Belarus was part or Poland and of Imperial Russia are already in place. mikka (t) 00:50, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't recall Poland (or PLC) banning any language. I am pretty sure they never banned it 'completly'. Perhaps it was banned in schools during the Second Republic, but could you provide sources? I do recall that Polish gov did cut the funding completly, but I don't recall that they forbid students from using it in schools, like Russians did with Polish in the 19th century.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:15, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
"Cut funding completely" actually means "no more state schools in Belarussian language". No need for hair splitting. There were no Belarussian millionaires to fund private Belarussian schools. The same was in Russia: "We are not going to teach inorodcy languages in Russian schools". The then term "Inorodcy" means "alien-born", i.e., non-Russians, the word which is "politically correctly" translated today as "(ethnic) minorities". At least Tsar had a reason to clamp down hard: there were Polish rebellions which he wanted to eradicate. There was nothing like that in, say Russian Turkestan. But why would Poles want suppress Belarussians? Are you aware of any Belarussian rokosz? mikka (t) 01:34, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid the short and simple answer to your question is that because the Poles were stupid. --Lysy (talk) 18:21, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Polish government, not Poles. I know nothing about attitueds of Poles towards Belorusians. I don't have the book here, but Davies describes cutting of funds to the minorities schools as a misguided attempt by Polish government to polonize them, done in the spirit of the raising nationalism that was prevailing in most European countries at that time. A shameful policy, without doubt - and stupid, in the country in which 1/3 of the population belonged to one minority or another. Davies concludes that if the the Second World War would not had happened, and the policies were kept in place, Kresy might have been a scene of a civil war. Ukrainians were already throwing bombs and assasinating Polish politicians, and it was all 'going to hell in a handbasket'. On the other hand, as far as funding cuts go, one has to remember that it was the time of the Great Depression and so some budget cuts had to be done anyway - but the fact that it was the minority schools who faced most of the cuts was purely politicaly motivated.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:51, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Contrary to Piotrus, I believe that initially (in the beginning of the 1920's) it was not the government, who was responsible for Polonisation, but the local Polish administration. The government became more active with this issue only in the 1930's. I'll look for some sources to shed some more light on this, though. --Lysy (talk) 18:18, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

where is the history of minorities ?????

I have some other remarks. There are a lot of minorities and very important like polish, russian, and others. But I don't see a minority paragraph in this article hystory of Belarus. Where is it? You speak a lot here, but there exist nothing! After all, they contributed to the policy of Belarus. So, my suggestion is to add a paragraph with 3-4 lines about minorities. An NPOV paragraph. User:Bonaparte

  • something related to the history of polish minority
  • something related to the history of russian minority
  • something related to the history of ukrainian minority
  • something related to the history of lithuanian minority



Why people don't speak about Russification in article? Bonaparte

Beacause there was not any. -- Kuban kazak 13:08, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Because the article was butchered by imperial Russian POV pushers. There was a systematic long-term Russification of our lands. --rydel 13:19, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Give examples of Imperial Russian Russification. -- Kuban kazak 15:07, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Rydel, you have no right to speak for Belarus. Living somewhere near Krakow, you are as Belarusian as myself or mikka. --Ghirlandajo 14:20, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo: (1) "Living somewhere near Krakow". I'm not living somewhere near Krakow. (2) "You are as Belarusian as myself or mikka". So you define nationality by a place of temporary residence? I wonder how prepared you feel to contribute to WP, if you have such amazing gaps in your logic and understanding. (3) Russification of our lands was a bloody, massive, well thought-out, long-term effort. Please read Аляксандр Цьвікевіч, Западно-руссизм (Minsk, 1928). He provides very precise data on Russification policies and actions: letters from the Katherine the Great, statements and letters of many other Russian politicians, hundreds of concrete details from the late 18th until end of 19th century. --rydel 15:14, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
During the time of Cathrine the Great? Against Poles maybe, but not against Belarussians. Moreover it was Cathrine the Great who for example overruled the Sinod's suggestion of immediate transfer of Uniate property to Orthodoxy for example, and the unite church functioned in Russian Empire up until 1830s when the clergy of the Uniates self liqudated the Union of Brest and WILLFULLY submitted to the ROC. -- Kuban kazak 16:01, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
"Maybe" against Poles? Would you like to elaborate on this qualifier?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well I'd say that the partition of Poland was rather directed against Poles, don't see how Belarussians suffered from this. Probably due to the fact that none held any respectible positions anywhere, they simply took the pawns role. Yet by the time of the Russian revolution it was clear who ruled the land - Belarussians, not Poles. I'd say 19th century was period of Belarussification. -- Kuban kazak 16:08, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
There is some grain of truth in this. If it were not for 19th-century depolonization, Belarusians would have been as distinct ethnically from the Poles, as Kashubians and Pomeranians are. --Ghirlandajo 17:28, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
So you admit that you have no right to speak for Belarus as well, Ghir?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:03, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Petya, I never presumed to speak for Belarus, unlike Rydel who speaks peremptorily about "our lands", is if he were the ultimate authority on Belarus. I have very little interest in the country and started editing this article only because another user had asked me to. --Ghirlandajo 17:28, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
My question was very good. I asked about "minorities". When I asked about that I was referring to see what impact could have such minority.
If suppose "the russian minority" is so small, why everybody in Belarus speaks russian?
Was it or not a russification process? Bonaparte
Well first of all Belarussian is not very different from Russian, especially to the accents heard around Smolensk and Bryansk. Second of all the tendencies of Russian speaking appeared only in post-war Belarus. When the Belarussian population decreased sufficiantly and to rebuild the destroyed cities many non-Belarussian residents moved in. Russian was the official language of the FSU, and every school in Belarus taught Russian along with Belarussian as they do today. Moreover go into a rural area and Belarussian will be heard in plenty. -- Kuban kazak 16:02, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I've seen now some examples and it is not like you said "not very different from Russian". It seems more similar with bulgarian! rather than belorussian. Bonaparte
What!!??? Bulgarian!!!??? More similar with Bulgarian rather than belorussian !???? Sorry which language were you trying to write in and which languages were you trying to compare? -- Kuban kazak 18:54, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well...Read here maybe you'll change your position. Bonaparte

Example for Kuban kazak

Link: (
Belarusian (Беларуская мова) Flag of Belarus.svg Bulgarian (Български език)Flag of Bulgaria.svg Russian (Русский язык) Flag of Russia.svg Polish Flag of Poland.svg English Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Вітаю/Vitayu Здравейте/Zdraveite Здравствуйте/Zdravstvuyte Witam Hello
Прывітаньне/Pryvitannie Здрасти/Zdrasti Привет/Privet Cześć Hi
Так/Tak - Не/Nye Да/Da - Не/Ne Да/Da - Нет/Net Tak - Nie Yes / No
Дзякую вам/Dziakuyu vam Благодаря ви/Blagodarya vi Спасибо/Spasibo Dziękuję Thank you
Спадар/Spadar Спадарыня/Spadarynya Спадарычна/Spadarychna Господин/Gospodin Госпожа/Gozpozha Госпожица/Gospozhitsa Сударь/Sudar Cударыня/Sudarynya Pan Pani Mister / Missis / Miss
Выдатна;Vydatna; файна/fayna Отлично/Otlichno Отлично/Otlichno Fajnie Excellent

Now...It is more than obvious...Shall I continue ??? Bonaparte

So, it turns out that out of all languages Belarusian is the most close to... Polish.. Halibutt 22:41, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Replaced words with Russian synomons
Having heard Belarussian speach in real life I see no point in even arguing with you about silly examples. Check the Belarus Metro:
Belarussian Russian English (rough) Polish
Maskouskaya liniya Moskovskaya liniya Moscow Line Linia moskiewska (?)
Instytut Kultury Institut Kul'tury Insitute of Culture Instytut Kultury
Ploshcha Lenina (ex Nezalezhnascy) Ploshchad Lenina (ex Nezavisimosti) Lenin Square (ex Independence) Plac Lenina (ex Niezależności)
Kastrychnitskaya Oktybrskaya October Październikowa
Ploshcha Yakuba Kolasa Ploshchad Yakuba Kolasa Yakub Kolas Square Plac Jakuba Kolasa
Akademiya Nawuk Akademiya Nauk Academy of Sciences Akademia Nauk
Park Chaluskintsau Park Cheluskintsew Cheluskin Park Plan Czeluskińców
Maskouskaya Moskovskaya Moscow Moskiewska
Uskhod Voskhod East Wschód
Autazavodzkaya liniya Avtozavodskaya liniya Automobile Factory line ?
Mahileuskaya Mogilevskaya Mogilev Mohylewska
Autazavodzkaya Avtozavodskaya Automobile Factory ?
Partyzanskaya Partisanskaya Partisan Partyzancka
Traktarny Zavod Traktorny Zavod Tractor Factory Fabryka Traktorów
Pral'atarskaya Proletarskaya Proletariet Proletariacka
Pershamayskaya Pervomaiskaya May Day ?
Njamiha Nemiga Nemiga Niemiga
Frunzenskaya Frunzenskaya Frunze Frunzego
Maladzezhnaya Molodyozhnaya Youth Młodzieżowa
Pushkinskaya Pushkinskaya Pushkin Puszkina
Kuntsaushchina Kuntsevshchina Blacksmiths Kowalówka
Kamennaya Horka Kamennaya Gorka Stone Hill Kamienna Góra

Moreover when it comes to STRUCTURE, GRAMMAR, the languges are INDESTINGUISHABLE. What are you trying to prove? -- Kuban kazak 22:49, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Is it more closed to Polish or what? Bonaparte
Depends on what dialect you take, the one spoken in Grodno will natu rally be closer to Polish than the one spoken in Vitebsk.--Kuban kazak 23:08, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh yeah. How many dialects it has? Bonaparte
See statement below, want the honest answer: number of rural settlements.
The listing of metro stations is really lovely, though it has little to do with language comparison, especially that most of those proper names are barely translatable to Polish. Names of Lenin, Dzierzhynski, Frunze, Pushkin or Kolas, or the town of Mogilev are not part of any particular language... Please chose some nouns or basic words for comparison. Also, some of your assumptions of Polish names were quite absurd (Majówka, for instance, is not the May Day, but a "weekend in the countryside in the spring" :) ). Anyway, Belarusian is indeed quite close to Polish in that speakers of both can easily communicate, contrary to speakers of Russian or even Ukrainian. The latter is also quite close to Polish, but not as close as Belarusian.
Also, one has to note that there are actually two Belarusian grammars, the classic one being somewhere between Eastern Slavic and Western Slavic (Polish among the latter), and the one supported by Lukashenko's regime, which is much, much closer to modern Russian. That's why for KK the grammar is "undistinguishable" from Russian as we refer to two different grammars actually. On the other hand this whole language issue is quite OT here, don't you think? Halibutt 13:08, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
However the grammar of pornouncition is still similar...
Belarussian Russian English (rough)
Stantsyya Ploshcha Nezalezhnastsi Vykhad da Chygunachnaga vakzala Stantsiya Ploshchad Nezavisimosti Vykhod k Zheleznodorozhnomu vokzalu Station Independence Square Exit to the railway station
Stansyya Pershamaiskaya. Vykhad na pravy bok Stansiya Pervomaiskaya. Vykhod na pravuyu stroronu Station First of May. Exit on the right side

Seems differenct like railroad (Be:Chygunaka, Ru: Zheleznaya Doroga), but the Russian word for Iron is Zhelezo, whilst cast Iron is Chugun. The fact that rails are not pure Iron is ignored in Russian nomenclature, but not Belarussian. When a Russian for the first time hears Ghygunachny Vakzal, there will be a 2s delay and then an "Ahhh clever". Same with Bok which is also used in Russian as a word for side, but is often kept out of technical language. Like Spat na boku - sleeping on a side (as opposed to back or stomach). How many examples do you need to convince you? -- Kuban kazak 13:45, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes but the latin grammar has no official standing. I mean Uzbeks and Tajics and Turks also had Arabic-based grammar but they switched. Did that make the languages closer to Russian or English, no. And mate I have been to Belarus many times and there was not a single occasion where I could not understand Belarusian, Ukrainian is more distant from Russian, yes, but then it depends which Russians you compare the one spoken in Petersburg or the Kuban Balachka which I speak. What I am trying to say if you go from one village starting in Moscow and slowly walk, village by village to Warsaw you will not notice how the language slowly changes from Russian to Polish, with a large shift on the Polish border. Moreover what makes you think that most of Belarusians do not like their cyrillic-based grammar? -- Kuban kazak 13:45, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
About OT, tell that to the person here
No. It belongs also here. They were or not russified? This process belongs to History of Belarus. Bonaparte
Yeah, but you won't find the proof to either way by simply comparing the basic phrases (that are hardly changeable). You should rather compare statistical data for the number of speakers or compare the evolution of Belarusian grammar towards closer resemblance of modern Russian. Comparing the basic words won't help here. Note that such basic words are usually the last to be forgotten - in any language. Halibutt 13:36, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

BTW, as per what I wrote above - a comparison of basic terms between Polish, Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian. I used only the transcryption for easier comparison. I also transcrybed Polish the same way I did for other languages so that it was easier to compare sounds, and not signs.

Belarussian Russian Ukrainian Polish English
pryvitanye privet pryvit cheshch hi there
da pabachenia da svidanya da pabachenya do zobachenia see you
dzyakuyi spasiba diakuyu dzienkuye thank you
kolki? skolko? skilkie? ile? how much?
tak da tak tak yes
nye niet nye nye no
nye razumieyu nie panimayu nye razumlieyu nye rozumiem I don't understand
dzie? gdie? de? gdzye? where?

Tak- Can easily be used in Russian as yes, or that as in Vot tak vot!!! Like that!!! Nye- In Russian Ne is very common substitute of a rejectory note: Net Ne Nado. - No, no need to. Razum- Russian word for Reason. Where - in Russian is GDE Whilst kuda is Where to. If you are going to choose examples for comparison, choose the right ones. --Kuban kazak 13:57, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure, but notice the difference in usage of tak in Russian. If someone asks you whether you're a Kuban Kazak, you would not reply to him tak, as it is used in other meaning than standard Russian da. I guess we could continue this ad nauseam, right? :) Halibutt 17:29, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Depends on the manner of approach, if it is straight forward as
  • Ty Kazak s Kubani? Da. (Yoa are a Cossack from the Kuban? Yes)
  • Ty znachet Kazak? Tak ono i est (So you are a Cossack? That is how it is)
  • Kazak vypolnil zadanie? Tak Tochno (Correct)

-- Kuban kazak 17:44, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Original research reminder

Guys, just a reminder that all your "linguistic analysis" here is pure original research. --Lysy (talk) 14:14, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Well tell that to the person who brings up all of this OT. -- Kuban kazak 14:44, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
And silly original research at that. It's like trying to prove that English is closer to Polish then to French, because 'computer' is closer to 'komputer' then to 'ordinateur' :) We have some knowledge of history, but it is clear there is not a single linguist among us. Let's stop this before somebody comes and laughs at us :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:19, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, in fact I am a linguist (in spe) :) That's exactly why I found this discussion so funny Halibutt 03:00, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Dialects of Belarussian

Are there two dialects? One is closer to Polish and other to Russian? Bonaparte

I assume you are French, well if you travel from the German border to the Spanish one I am 100% sure that you will notice that the dialect spoken in Strasbourg will be somewhat more German-like than the one spoken Toulouse, which will have more similartities with Spanish. I am talking about rural areas. Same with Germany, same with Belarus, especially the same with Ukraine. If you travel across a country you notice there is a very gradual change. And no even the dialects in Grodno are easily understood by a Russian (my experience). -- Kuban kazak 23:21, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Ehem, French in Toulouse similar to Spanish ? :-) --Lysy (talk) 08:51, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
More similar than the one in Strasbourg, Like Belarusian in Grodno. -- Kuban kazak 12:52, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Here is a map of Belarusian dialects BTW

did the belarussan people have one of the worst form of oppression under the process of russification or not???

My question is: did the belarussan people have one of the worst form of oppression under the process of russification or not??? Bonaparte

No. -- Kuban kazak 15:55, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
KK, there is a golden rule: don't feed the troll. You should check previous contributions and block log of Bonaparte, particularly on Moldavian language, to see what a "helpful" editor he is, before entering discussion with him. The same goes for Rydel. --Ghirlandajo 17:28, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The question is too general to be answered easily. Halibutt 16:04, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Some suffered (and were even killed), some others adapted and switched to Russian.--rydel 16:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
So this means that there was a russification process! Bonaparte
Which has NO sources or references! -- Kuban kazak 18:42, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Sources? If ALL the population already speaks Russian? What kind of better proof do you need? Bonaparte

Sources please. How come in the census of 1897In the following Guberniyans the Belarussian speakers accounted for absoloute majority: (roughly after 100 years of Russian rule) and called their language nor Russian but instead Belarussian:
All Empire 125640021 5885547 55667469 7931307
Guberniya Total Population Belarussian Great Russian Polish
Vilna 1591207 891903 78623 130054
Vitebsk 1489246 987020 198001 50377
Grodno 1603409 1141714 74143 161662
Minsk 2147621 1633091 83999 64617
Mogilev 1686764 1389782 58155 17526
Smolensk 1525279 100757 1397875 7314
Chernigov 2297854 151465 495963 3302
Forevisla guberniyas 9402253 29347 335337 6755503

!!!!!MAP1!!!!! !!!!!MAP2!!!!!

Conclusion: By the end of the 19th century on the territory gained in Polish partitions and in 1815 Russian language shows no dominating use. Therefore no evidence for Russifacations exist. Rydel спи спокойно. -- Kuban kazak 17:09, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Here is more, same site, only about Post revolution data about the BSSR:

Census Year Total Population Belarussian Great Russian Polish
1939 5568994 4615496 364705 58380
1959 8054648 6532035 659093 538881
1970 9002338 7289610 938161 382600
1979 9532516 7567955 1134117 403169
1989 10151806 7904623 1342099 417720

Would anyone like to Challenge my OMMISSION of Russification BS? -- Kuban kazak 17:43, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

It is very good to cite primary sources, but their interpretation in not your (or mine) task. Remember that we are not doing original research here. The fact that there were not so many Russian people in Belarus in 1897 does not have to mean that there was not Russification policy but that Russification failed in Belarus, similarly as it failed in Poland. In fact this is exactly what Zhytko writes, many of the Russification attempts in Belarus were simply unsuccessful. --Lysy (talk) 18:37, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well lets hear some of the attempts, because I am aware of none. The de-Polonisation (or Belarussification as I like to refer to it) campaign was a total success -- Kuban kazak 18:39, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I would like to warn you that this data and these "scientific" conclusions come from a guy who wrote on my talk page that Belarusan became different enough from Russian in 1904 and that same year Russian empire recognized the language and allowed publishing books and magazines in it. What else can I say. I rest my case. I basically stopped contributing to WP because of people like this. And I recommend to other editors that you look through his edits on Belarus-related articles very-very carefully. --rydel 01:35, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
What I meant was that because Belarussians were mostly rural peasentry, nobody in Petersburg cared about the local dialects (as they saw them). Census of 1897 showed that indeed Belarussian was considered a nation language rather than Russian, so in similar dates Ukrainian and Belarussian languages were Officially recognised by the Russian empire as separate entities and all restrictions were lifted. This is not because of someone forcing another language over the native one. This was simply due to the officials viewing the language as a dialect of Russian. Census of 1897 showed them otherwise. -- Kuban kazak 01:49, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
In fact the 1897 census assumed that Belarusian is some dialect of Russian language. --Lysy (talk) 08:49, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with you that Russification of Belarus was a 100% success, but it was completed only after WW2, and not in 19th century. --Lysy (talk) 20:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Also I would like to add, that the 1897 census is given by the native language, NOT ethnicity. In fact it shows that the Ukrainians (Small Russians), Belarusians (White Russians) and Russians (Great Russians) were regarded as Russians. -- Kuban kazak 20:08, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Not exactly. In fact the 1897 census was conducted both by language and religion. But while we are doing original research, it is interesting is that the 1926 Soviet census showed more Poles in Belarus (after repatriation!) than the 1897 census. The 1897 census is widely known to be biased by political agenda. Much more reliable figures were given in German census of 1916 and then 1941 and Soviet 1937 census (not 1939 which was completely fabricated). --Lysy (talk) 21:36, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well if you look at the site that has been provided then it does exactly that splits Russians into Great, White and Small. The 1926 census was taken 29 years after the 1897, considering the birth rates were MUCH higher then than now, I would not be surprised at those figures. Moreover it depends what you define as Belarus, in the 1897 guberniyas or in the 1920s oblasts, the borders varied. Finally I cannot find anything suggsting that the 1897 census was fabricated, I think that it was the first one in Russian Empire and hence I see no reasons why someone would like downplay the reality of the census. I am sure the Tsar himself would have liked to see who was really living in his coutry and where. The German censuses of 1916 and 1941 could not have been accurate given the war situation, the Soviet 1937 census was as far as I am aware destroyed. Yet I will look into that. -- Kuban kazak 21:45, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
FYI: According to Eberhardt, the equal spread of Poles in 1897 census across the gubernias contradicted most of the previous and future literature of the subject, which confirmed that many more Poles lived in western areas of Belarus than in the east. --Lysy (talk) 22:13, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

how reliable are these sources?

Can we trust them? How reliable are these sources? It is a fact that many agree that russian sources are somehow bias. Bonaparte

Russian media sources are not more biased then American, Polish, Belarussian or French. And this is OFFICIAL census data, not some silly magazine that some decided to quote! -- Kuban kazak 18:48, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes! But official data were falsified during the soviets and so on, so how can someone trust them? You need more souces. Bonaparte
So are you suggesting EVERYTHING was falsified by soviets? Would you care to provide the evidence, because whilst certain things were released NOBODY so far challenged the Soviet census data, and ALL foreign officials accept the data as justified. Moreover the census was collected on ministerial level not executive. I think you are the only one not trusting them, moreover the 1897 data was conducted during the Russian Empire, or are you suggesting that that is falsified as well. Finally in all demographic research, Russian or foreign Soviet and Russian census data is taken as genuine. If you want I can go to a library find the censuses (they are presented in terms of massive statistical atlases along with countless maps and tables) and copy out whole lists of people who worked on them. Finally WHY would someone want to falsify a population census? This has to be the most rediculous argument wikipedia has seen. -- Kuban kazak 21:36, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The West accepted also the false numbers of the super-industrial soviet economy...and you know what happend... Bonaparte
Not everything. The 1937 census was quite reliable. But all the people who were conducting the census were executed by Soviets. The 1941 German census could be interesting as well, but it's still kept closed in Belarusian archives. The 1897 and 1939 censae results are known to be custom written to support political agenda of the times. (see e.g. "Cena peramogi" by Sergei Matiunin, Minsk 1989 or "Białoruś. Mniejszości w świetle spisów statystycznych XIX-XX w." edited by Jan Skarbek, 1993 or P. Eberhardt). --Lysy (talk) 21:52, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
As far as I know the 1937 census was compleately destroyed. 1941 German census would have to have been skewed by the war (Just think of how much time and manpower goes into a census). 1939 census was probably fabricated, but not for Belarus, having been unaffected by the famines there would have been no reason to fabricate it. The only skew would be that it is likely that it only covers the eastern territory not the post 2 November (date of reunifacation of western Belarus) western territory. I would like some evidence for the fabrication of the 1897 census.
Yes, you are right. The 1937 census results were destroyed by KGB, but according to Matiunin, some of the original material for it has been recently found. As for the 1941 census, we don't know why they are not made available to the historians. As to evidence on 1897 fabrication, see the sources I mentioned just above. Both Matiunin and Eberhardt agree on this. One is Russian, the other one is Polish. Unfortunately I have Matiunin's article in Polish translation only. Maybe you can get it in Russian, or his other work "Rozsiedlenie Białorusinów w XX wieku" (I don't know the original title), published in St. Petersburg in 1991. --Lysy (talk) 22:01, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
That's very interesting. Having recently worked with some US and Brazilian censuses (long story...) I'd like note that articles on Russian census, Soviet census, Belarusian census or Polish census, similar to the U.S. Census would be a very useful to Wikipedia.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:23, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I kind of remember, Halibutt did something similar on Lithuanian cenasae ? --Lysy (talk) 23:21, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Yup, the article on Ethnic composition of Central Lithuania, which is basically a comparison of various censae. As to the 1897 census - I've read a lot about how various nationalities were "russified" in order to present them as Russians. This was true for Jews in most cases, where many of them were counted as Russians eventhough they spoke no word in that language. The number of Russians in Polish lands also tells something. As for specific proofs - perhaps we could ask some specialist in censae?
BTW, the problems with counting the Orthodox people are quite serious, especially that the Russian census was the only one to show as high numbers of Orthodox people in Poland. At the same time the data for some clearly Orthodox area is supported by the later German and Polish censae, so it's not simply a matter of emmigration or 1915 evacuation. Against it also speaks the fact that it took 8 years before it was finally published (yup! in 1905 [10]) and most of the results were destroyed by the bolsheviks in 1920's, so there's no way to check whether the data was falsified or not. Halibutt 00:45, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

One of the devices Stalin used to "protect" Belorussia (and the rest of the Soviet Union) against possible Western influences was a program of intensive Russification, thus creating a cordon sanitaire for Russia along the Polish border. Consequently, most key positions in Minsk, as well as in the western provincial cities of Hrodna (Grodno, in Russian) and Brest, were filled by Russians sent from elsewhere in the Soviet Union. The Belorussian language was unofficially banned from official use, educational and cultural institutions, and the mass media, and Belorussian national culture was suppressed by Moscow. This so-called cultural cleansing intensified greatly after 1959, when Nikita S. Khrushchev, the CPSU leader at the time, pronounced in Minsk, "The sooner we all start speaking Russian, the faster we shall build communism." The resistance of some students, writers, and intellectuals in Minsk during the 1960s and 1970s was met with harassment by the Committee for State Security and firing from jobs rather than arrests. Among the best-known dissidents were the writer Vasil' Bykaw, the historian Mykola Prashkovich, and the worker Mikhal Kukabaka, who spent seventeen years in confinement.

1960s - A policy of 'Russification' is pushed through.

After World War II, Belarus was granted a seat in the UNITED NATIONS. However, the BSSR enjoyed political autonomy within the USSR only by name. The cultural policy of RUSSIFICATION continued; the settlement of ethnic Russians in Belarus was promoted. --Molobo 22:09, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Source is wrong

Belorussia remained a part of Poland until Russia, Prussia, and Austria carried out the three partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793, and 1795. After the last partition, the entire territory of Belorussia found itself part of the Russian Empire, with the exception of a small piece of land in the west, which was held by Prussia. Orthodox Russia tolerated the Uniate Church to a certain degree, but in 1839, when three-quarters of all Belorussians were Uniates, Tsar Nicholas I (with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church) abolished the Uniate Church and forced the Uniates to reconvert to Orthodoxy. He also banned the use of the name "Belorussia" and replaced it with the name "Northwest Territory" (Severo-zapadnyy kray, in Russian). Overall, the state pursued a policy of Russification.

Already massive propaganda. Uniate Church was not abolished it was returned to Orthodoxy. The Union of Brest was terminated by the whole sinod of the Uniate church in Polotsk, the Tsar and the sinod of the ROC had nothing to do with this. Absoloutely ALL parishes agreed to return to Orthodoxy. -- Kuban kazak 09:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Hm, Uniate Church was not abolished it was returned to Orthodoxy seems weasel. What was the reason, who and when initiated this "return to Orthodoxy" ? Nevertheless, why does it matter to you whether it was inspired by tsar or not ? --Lysy (talk) 10:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I wonder what are the Greek Catholics' views on that. Anyone? Halibutt 10:10, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

This is a lie (like 80% of what Kuban Kazak is saying on Belarus-related pages). The process of liquidating Uniate Church was started and planned in Moscow, back in Nicholaus I times. The most active leader of the project which can be named "Uniate Destruction" was Jospeh Semashko (Язэп Сямашка). He was personally burning old Uniate books in Zhriovichy monastery. And was spearheading the destruction of Uniates church all over Belarus. Another active leader of that Moscow project was Andrej Muravjov (the brother of that Muraviov who hanged Kastus Kalinouski in Vilnia). --rydel 10:33, 5 December 2005 (UTC) “Orthodox Russia tolerated the Uniate Church to a certain degree, but in 1839, when three-quarters of all Belorussians were Uniates, Tsar Nicholas I (with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church) abolished the Uniate Church and forced the Uniates to reconvert to Orthodoxy. He also banned the use of the name "Belorussia" and replaced it with the name "Northwest Territory" (Severo-zapadnyy kray, in Russian). Overall, the state pursued a policy of Russification (process of changing national identity of non-Russians to one similar to that of the Russians).” Peasant woes “At the time serfdom was abolished in the Russian Empire in 1861, Belorussia was essentially a nation of peasants and landlords. Although they had their freedom, the peasants had little else: they remained poor and largely landless. The imposition of the Russian language, the Orthodox religion, heavy taxes, and military service lasting twenty-five years made the past under Polish rule seem better than the present under the tsars.” 4. Early Belorussian Nationalism a. Kalinowski “It was those memories that Kastus Kalinowski (1838-64) tried to evoke in his clandestine newspaper Muzhytskaya Prawda (Peasants' Truth), which he published to inspire an uprising in solidarity with the Polish-Lithuanian insurrection against Russia in January 1863. The insurrection failed, and the Polish territories and people were absorbed directly into the Russian Empire. Kalinowski, today considered the founding father of Belorussian nationalism, was hanged in Vilnius (VIL-nee-ahs, 100 miles west northwest of Minsk, present day capital of Lithuania).”

--Molobo 10:30, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

  • [11] But in 1839 the Uniate church was liquidated at the decision of the Russian government forced onto the Polotsk synod. The Russian tsarism was based on the Orthodox church and was against other religions, that's why the Uniate books were burned and the Uniates were forcibly convened into the Orthodox religion. At the same time the use of the Grand Duchy of Litva Statute on the territory of Belarus was banned. Soon the tsar's edict was issued that banned the name Belarus.
  • [12] At the end of the 18th century Uniats made up to 70% of all citizens of Belarus, Catholics - about 15%, Orthodox believers - 6%, Jews - 7%, Protestants and others - about 2%. In 1839 the Unia on the lands of Belarus (also of Lithuania and the greater part of the Ukraine) was eliminated, and the Uniat Church was attached to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox population in Belarus became again dominant in number (more than 66% by the beginning of the 20th century).
  • [13] The part of the united Church which was on Russian territory underwent considerable pressure throughout the 19th century. The imperial government in 1839 finally abolished the Byelorussian and Vohlynian dioceses. The diocese of Kholm, which in 1795 became part of Austria, and then in 1815 of the "Polish kingdom" under Russian domination, was separated from the Galician metropolinate in 1829 (cf. below) and subordinated directly to the Holy See. The last Catholic bishop was Mykhaylo Kuzemskyi, who, unable to resist the constant pressure of the imperial government, left the throne in 1871 and went to Lviv. The Russian imperial government then nominated Marciliy Popel' as administrator; he had already converted to Orthodoxy and in 1875, having undergone repressive government measures, wanted to subordinate his diocese to the Russian Orthodox Church. Resistance of both the clergy and the faithful was long and heroic. Many priests were banished to Siberia and many faithful preferred death rather than to abandon the Church. There were no more Byzantine-rite priests, and Latin clergy had been severely ordered not to minister to the Uniates.
  • [14] in 1839 the Greek Catholic Church was abolished in Belarus, its followers were converted to the Orthodox religion.
Rydel, just a comment: it was not a lie, just a different view, ok? That way we could avoid conflicts on a personal basis - which we do not want to spark again, do we. Halibutt 10:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

New Beginning

As I noted above, perhaps the best way would be to start the article again from the scratches and work on it together? So far we have basically two conflicting versions which evolve separately, so it's really hard to follow the changes.

So, how about preparing a list of issues that definitely should be mentioned in the final version of the article? I started such a list at Talk:History of Belarus/List of Issues and added a few ideas just to give you a better view on what I actually mean. Feel free to add ideas there if you find them important and worthy of finding their place in the article.

When that work is ready, we could expand the list into an article and simply discuss on how to mention certain phenomena in a better way should we encounter any problems - or even ask someone from the outside to do the work for us. What do you say? Halibutt 16:53, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I strongly disagree here. Despite heated controversies, the article has been improved dramatically over the previous days. It almost doubled in size and incorporated new sources reflecting contrary points of view. As I'm not going to participate in this farce anymore, I'm afraid that completely new version would be written by Polish editors only and therefore would reflect their own biased point of view. In this case, it's easier to revert to the prewar version that made no difference between Poles and Belarusians and reduced their history to three "glorious rebellions" "bloodily supressed" by Russians. It is the language and level of expertise that Rydel favours so much. Let's work to improve the existing version. --Ghirlandajo 17:18, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghirlandajo, you're assuming my bad faith - again. And again you have no reason to. I decided to create such NPOV list of issues for easier handling of the article creation process. And in fact I envisioned working on the new article together, as without the Russian contributors it would have no sense at all. Since so far what you see as improvement I see as POV and the other way around, I believe that starting all over would be a decent idea. I was hoping for a more constructive reply from you. Halibutt 18:23, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I suggest you start a new article. Is allways better. Bonaparte

Your proposal is a proposal. -- Kuban kazak 18:45, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I still think is a good idea. Bonaparte

I have to agree with Ghir that there is no point in starting another article, this one is quite salvagable. Of course I am not stoping you from attempting this, but I have yet to find a single example of an article which was polished in users namespace and then moved to mainspace. Such projects soon run out of steam and are forgotten. On the other hand do recall that I found at least two articles (yours on Western betrayal and Kpalions on Constitution of Poland, IIRC), mostly forgotten in your respective namespaces, and only after I moved them to mainspace they soon grew (or at least, were useful). Same goes with Wikiproject History of Poland, were I used to put some drafts... and forgot about them for over half a year. Now I put any material directly into relevant article, and I strongly recommend this strategy.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:12, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

A 'to do' list, on the other hand, may be helpful. Halibutt, perhaps instead of rewriting the article from scratch we can think of your list as a table of contents?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:18, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Now it's not my list as you copypasted it, but that's a minor problem. In fact I envisioned collaborative work much like in the case of Gdansk and History of Vilnius, not a single user work as was the case with my work on Western betrayal, Vilnius, Lviv or Warsaw. Such projects did work in the past and I believe little changed, so they might still help us here. However, if there is no will to cooperate on such a project that's fine with me. I will simply start working on the existing article.
The problem is that, without any list to point the direction, this article will most likely soon become a collection of left-overs. People add random data to it, others revert them entirely or partially, yet others add new questions... I could give it a try and rewrite it completely and see if that helps to settle the disputes, but I'm afraid my work would be futile as most likely it would be reverted just because... Halibutt 22:36, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Looking at both the article and talk page here I think we may be getting out of the revert war and into 'talk and give sources' stage, so I think there is still hope for the article. My rule of thumb is: if it is not protected, then work on it.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:50, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't know myself. Ghirlandajo withdrew from editing or discussing this article after I left some proposal at his talk page and I'm not sure what is his idea now. Anyway, I ~decided to be bold and have completely rewritten the part on PLC. Hopefully my version is acceptable as a basis for future expansion to all sides... Halibutt 21:39, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Is Belarus so dependent on Russia???

Why is this history so mixed up? Why? Bonaparte

Because some people who recently joined this discussion are so naive it makes me LAUGH. -- Kuban kazak 22:52, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
You should refrain yourself from sarcastic remarks, I've told you once. Bonaparte
Freedom of speach? Freedom of critcism? Freedom of fully forwarding my ideas? Who is the one that is being opressive? -- Kuban kazak 23:14, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
You say naive to *some particular persons or just in general? Bonaparte
British teached us common sense. Who gives the right when critisizing you attack the others? Bonaparte

The flag of Belarus isn't it closed to the polish one?

I wonder why?

Belarus Poland
Flag of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg Flag of Poland.svg
Flag of Belarus Flag of Poland

Its not the flag of Belarus though, this is:

Flag of Belarus.svg --Kuban kazak 12:51, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Bonaparte, and how do you explain the flag of Monaco then? :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Flag of Monaco

Well, there is science called vexilology(Flag studies) Bonaparte

Monaco is a different thing, they were a colony of Indonesia. :) Halibutt 17:18, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
The Monaco flag and Indonesia flags were created out of coincidence. The Belarus w.r.w flag is similar to the Polish flag not by accident, since parts of Belarus were part of the Kingdom of Poland, which could have impacted the Belarusian people in the ways of language, culture and other issues, so they probably chose a flag that is similar to their heritage, which could have been built on the Polish-rule. However, y'all can check out what I wrote at Flag of Belarus and see how the 1991-1995 flag was created. Zach (Smack Back) 10:57, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Persecution and russification

BNR (Ruthienie Blanche) Map 1918.jpg

I've seen this text on the Ukrainian language article. We should add something like this also!

Soviet policy towards the Ukrainian language changed abruptly in late 1932 and early 1933, when Stalin had already established his firm control over the party and, therefore, the Soviet state. In December, 1932, the regional party cells received a telegram signed by Molotov and Stalin with an order to immediately reverse the korenization policies. The telegram condemned Ukrainianization as ill-considered and harmful and demanded to "immediately halt Ukrainianization in raions (districts), switch all Ukrainianized newspapers, books and publications into Russian and prepare by autumn of 1933 for the switching of schools and instruction into Russian".

The following years were characterized by massive repression and many hardships for the Ukrainian language and people. Some historians, especially of Ukraine, emphasize that the repression was applied earlier and more fiercely in Ukraine than in other parts of the Soviet Union, and were therefore anti-Ukrainian; others assert that Stalin's goal was the generic crushing of any dissent, rather that targeting the Ukrainians in particular.

The Stalinist era also marked the beginning of the Soviet policy of encouraging Russian as the language of (inter-ethnic) Soviet communication. Although Ukrainian continued to be used (in print, education, radio and later television programs), it lost its primary place in advanced learning and republic-wide media. Ukrainian was considered to be of secondary importance, and an excessive attachment to it was considered a sign of nationalism and so "politically incorrect". At the same time, however, the new Soviet Constitution adopted in 1936 stipulated that teaching in schools should be in native languages.

Bonaparte 11:47, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes especially the quote: At the same time, however, the new Soviet Constitution adopted in 1936 stipulated that teaching in schools should be in native languages.. And that is history of Ukraine NOT Belarus. -- Kuban kazak 12:51, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes but the same process was also in Belarus or not? It was just a comparison, that's all. I wonder if there was such process also in Belarus. Bonaparte
No reference to such a process, I mean 1932-33 was when Holodomor was in Ukraine. Belarus had no famine, so doubtful--Kuban kazak 13:09, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Maybe. But they did have to obey the rules of Stalin or not? Bonaparte

Ukrainians yes, Belarusians no, as there was no order against Belarusians. -- Kuban kazak 13:58, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Are belarussians russified polish people?

Just asking. After the comparison of the language, the common history of Poland and Belarus and so on... Bonaparte

Oh dear...with questions like that I begin to wonder why I bother explaininng anything to you at all? Did the British teach you that it is also wise to have a bit of general knowledge? -- Kuban kazak 16:15, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
What's next: Are Americans right about that in Russia winter is all year round and drunken bears with AK-47s walk on the street? -- Kuban kazak 16:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, Bonaparte, please try not to ask silly questions. I may disagree with Ghir and KK on many matters, but I think we can both agree that Belarussians are - or were - neither Poles or Russians. They are just another distinct group of Slavs, with history closely interwined to that of two of their neighbours - Poland and Russia.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:24, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, no problem. I was just asking. See above. Guys there is a lot of time to discuss all the aspects of this issue. Bonaparte
No rush. We have pleanty of time.
In fact until 20th century, or even until WW2 most of Poles believed that Belarusians are just some kind of Poles. Similarly, Russians believed that they are just some kind of Russians. Probably until around half of 19th century all Belarusians thought that they are Polish as well. National identity started to emerge slowly towards the end of 19th century. In Belarus it was later slowed down because both classes that normally would be responsible for national revival, the nobles and later the intelligentsia were vastly exterminated first by tsarist and then Soviet goverments. Effectively, Belarusian nation primarily consisted of peasants throughout most of the 20th century, thus having its national culture severely crippled. This, together with the different colonisation (Polish or Russian) policies (and Polonisation or Russification) resulted in some national identity problems. --Lysy (talk) 16:26, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Wrong here, during the Polish times Belarusians never reffered to themselves as Poles but as Rus'ians (Ruski, Ruthenians). This was why hardly any joined the Roman Catholic Church. Only after the events of the 19th century did they begin to see themsleves as a separate entity from Russians and in the census of 1897 told their language was Belarusian not Russian (as everyone, Poles and Belarusians, assumed it was during the time of the Polish rule). -- Kuban kazak 16:34, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
You are right as far as religion is concerned. But until around half of 19th century there did not exist a concept of nation as we know it now in the ethnic sense. --Lysy (talk) 16:52, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree which was why the language was recognised as official only in 1904--Kuban kazak 17:34, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

So there was a vastly exterminated first by tsarist and then Soviet goverments

So there was a vastly exterminated first by tsarist and then Soviet goverments that eliminated the belarussian intelligentsia. Bonaparte

Bonaparte, I think it's not so simple. Fistly Belorusian intelligentsia did not develop well, because of tsarist struggle with Polish and Belorusian nobles in 19th century. Then, the rather weak intelligentsia that somehow emerged, was destroyed by Soviet rule both in the 1930s and again later, after WW2. The result is that national culture in Belarus did not develop as quickly as it could and naturally borrowed much from Russian culture. --Lysy (talk) 16:38, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Of which no evidence exists. In Soviet times yes, Russian and Belarusian intelligentia combined. I don't think they were picky when it came to nationalities. -- Kuban kazak 16:34, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, Soviets tried to destroy all the evidence. About being picky as to nationalities, it changed with time. E.g. Soviet government was quite permissive to various nationalities in the 1920's but not in 1930's. Then again this changed in the 1940's and then again, so there was not a general rule. Poles, on the other hand usually just ignored the existence of Belarusian nation, and for most of the time behaved like there was none, with all the negative consequences. --Lysy (talk) 16:45, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

So, if the belorussians were roughly paysants, then the intelligentia was polish or/and other nation. Bonaparte

It could be Jewish, Russian or Polish, but not predominantly Belorusian as one could normally expect. --Lysy (talk) 16:47, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
So was it or not a vaste campaign against belarussian since the intelligentia was not belarussian? Bonaparte
Belarusian intelligenstsia began to emerge. In 1930s the Soviet Union unleashed its wave of repressions directed against EVERYONE, the fact that the Belarusian intelligenstsia was not numerous does not mean that people suffered less. Proportion-wise the same amount of Belarusian intelligentsia was repressed as Russian, as Jewish, as Polish and as Uzbek and Azerbaijani and everyone else. Numerically Russian intelligenstsia would have dominated the Gulag camps. -- Kuban kazak 17:06, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

what is the religion?

What is the religion? Was it a religion conflict or not? Russians are orthodox. Bonaparte

Belarusian also are and were Russian Orthodox. Even in Poland (and Western Belarus) the language of Orthodox Church was Russian (and not Belorusian). I don't think there were any significant religious conflicts, though. --Lysy (talk) 17:02, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
But they had to obey to Moscow. Bonaparte
Your phrase: Belarusian also are and were Russian Orthodox. You ment Belarusian also are and were Orthodox right? Or did you ment that belarussian are russian? Bonaparte
The Russian Orthodox Church is not limited to Russia. All Orthodox parishes, with the exception of Georgian and Ukrainian (which has autonomous status) are under the control of Moscow Patriarchy. -- Kuban kazak 17:12, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Just as Kazak explains, we have Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy in Poland, as well as Roman Catholic. This does not mean that Poles are Romans or Russians, right ? :-) --Lysy (talk) 17:32, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Maps of ROCs subjects:
The fact that it was used in Church the russian language shows an obedience towards Moscow, isn't it so? Bonaparte
RUSSIAN WAS NEVER used as the language in the Church. ROCs services are conducted in Church Slavonic, which was the original language that united Ukrainian Belarusian and Russian. Like Latin with Spanish, Italian and Portugese -- Kuban kazak 17:12, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Church Slavonic language was the language of service, but Russian was the language of Church administration. So all correspondence and ocumentation would be written in Russian; also Orthodox priests wouldspeak Russian language when talking to people (not conducting a service). --Lysy (talk) 17:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Depends where, Ukrainian Orthodox Church, especially in Volynia does everything in Slavonic and Ukrainian, in Belarus however Russian is also the official language. Moreover in rural Belarus on the other hand I have seen Belarusian speaking priests...--Kuban kazak 17:33, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

my advice

Hey! You should both two, three parties or how many of you are, should search for a compromise. Otherwise I see no solution here. You are too divided. Try harder, to work out. Bonaparte

Start with the first paragraph, then the second and so on... Bonaparte

Compromise will be much quicker if one takes its time to look into the history of Belarus from multiple sources before coming here and asking everyone about it with sometimes very silly remarks. -- Kuban kazak 17:15, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
You're wrong. I just asked you guys some questions. That's all. And they weren't just silly remarks. I've brought arguments, facts, sources... Bonaparte
Are Belarusians Russified Polish? Are Belarusians Polonised Russians? Is there any accents in Belarus? Do birds fly from birth or do they learn it? Does Russian Orthodox means that Belarusians are Russians? Are the censuses trustworthy or not? Is the world flat or spherical?
Mate don't mean to sound rude, but there are millions of sites and articles where you will easily find those answers, considering the kinds of questions you asked I am under assumption that your knowledge of Belarus or Russia is ... none. -- Kuban kazak 17:28, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

my good influence

Guys, you see that now that I've asked you so many questions you are closer to reach a consensus? And this wasn't before...Is it so bad to ask? Again, for those who are not at the 4th generation of chocolate than common sense is the key. Try harder, make compromise. Self-arrogance is not good here. Bonaparte

Well, you can thank me. Bonaparte

I think that what we need to do is to work close with secondary sources, and respect each other and different POVs. I have the feeling that despite the vicious reverts a couple of days ago, we are on the right track both with Kazak and Ghirla now, as there's much more discussion, less reverts and more understanding that history isn't black/white. Or am I being naive ? --Lysy (talk) 17:39, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

No, Woysyl. You're not naive. Finally you'll find all a good compromise for all parties. Bonaparte

By the way Kuban kazak, do you know where I could find such maps regarding to Yugoslavia? Serbia,...? Bonaparte

Try Google. 1,2
I assumed that you were aware of the existance of a search engine. -- Kuban kazak 17:28, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, some of those could easily be taken to personal talk pages if needed. Halibutt 17:30, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Tag removed

Guys let's try to see if you can reach a consensus now. I removed totallydispuded TAG. Easy and make compromise. Bonaparte

I think you're too fast. Probably you should revert Ghirlandajo's edits from the beginning of the month to be able to remove the tag. The tag was there to prevent reverts. --Lysy (talk) 19:37, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

First World War

I think the article is missing more detailed information about what happened during WW1. --Lysy (talk) 21:50, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

It was a battle front preatty much, just like the low countries. -- Kuban kazak 23:45, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I'll give it a try tomorrow. I've recently read two pretty nice memoirs of that front and I could expand the info. BTW, gentlemen, how about improving this pretty little thingie to FA status? I mean it, really. Halibutt 02:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
It's a tempting idea, but we would need help from non-Polish editors for this. Rydel? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:49, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid we're still missing many parts here. A more comprehensive discription of what happened during WW1 but also Russification policies of 19th century and the fate of the nation under Stalin to name just a few. But let's move forward. --Lysy (talk) 07:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

The lead

I'm confused with the new lead both by Halibutt and Mikkalai. What is "independent feudal consolidation" ? I'm sure you meant something by this. What "own state in the beginning of 20th century" ? BNR in 1919 ? --Lysy (talk) 07:09, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Russification by Russian Empire In the 18th century Catherine the Great acquired Belarusia, when Poland was partitioned among Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary. In a russification drive in the 1840s, Tsar Nicholas I forbade the use of the term "Belarusia" and renamed the region "the North Western Territory". He also prohibited the use of Belarusian language in public schools, campaigned against Belarusian publications and tried to pressure those who had converted to Catholisism under the Poles, to reconvert to Orthodox faith. In 1863, economic and cultural pressure exploded into a revolt, led by Kostus Kalinouskiy, who became a martyr to Belarusian nationalism. This nationalism got a new boost in 1905, following the revolution of that year. --Molobo 10:21, 5 December 2005 (UTC) After annulment of the Uniat church in 1839 use of Lithuanian language was forbidden in schools. After the revolt of 1863-64 even publishing in Lithuanian became impossible. Also, after the uprising of 1831 Nikolai I started using "West Russia" for Litwa, which was superseded in the 1860s by "North-Western Region". The policy of russification promoted by czarism deemed Belarusian inadequate for its purposes and used Russian instead. Partially for this reason and because of the danger to use "Lithuanian" the period of Belarusian national renaissance started with "Nasha Niva" came with name "Belarus". Fr. Bagushevich also used this word in his poem collections ("Belarusian fife"). As a former participant of an anti-regime uprising Bagushevich did not want to attract attention of Russian police by using "Litwa". In such a way the word "Belarus" replaced "Litwa" and was widely used in literature by 1920. However, in the 1920s a trend was developed among the Belarusian intelligentsia to use "Kryvichi" but the movement was nipped in the bud with a wide-scale terror in the 30s, when the word served as one of the labels of "enemies of people". During the 1930s the national intelligentsia in Belarus was virtually annihilated. The word "Belarus" or, even better, "Byelorussia" has stuck and is very likely to be used in the future.

--Molobo 10:24, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


I am the third party. As you already saw I have no interest on either party. I can make the mediation. You saw now that since I removed the TAG it's a better version. But I suggest you to follow my advice: Each party should state in max. 200 words the most important issues

  • Wosyl
  • KK
  • Prokonsul
  • and others....

Then we'll try to make a good version neutral for both parties. Best wishes!


I don't believe we need a mediation here. In fact we need to settle specific disputes and this is being done with only minor problems at the talk page. Besides, what would you mediate between? Conflicting sources? So, in other words, thanks for your effort, but I believe it's not needed just as of now. Halibutt 13:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Removing sourced information

Girhlandajo, I see you are back. Why do you remove or alter sourced parts of the article ? --Lysy (talk) 19:47, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

time's up

So, how are the things going? Did you reached a solution? Bonaparte

As I told you before, I think you can put the disputed tag back again. There's no reason to remove it until the content of the article is agreed upon. --Lysy (talk) 20:12, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Added Tag - as requested

Added TAG as requested, but guys try to reach a neutral solution, I'm here to help you. Give it a try! Bonaparte

My suggestion is to go easy issue by issue, and first of all to talk here first then edit the page. Can you do that? Let's see! Bonaparte

OK. Issue #1. I'd like to discuss this edit. Well referenced information "There were also cases when the Russian armies kidnapped scores of eastern inhabitants of the Commonwealth, among them hundeds of thousands of Belarusian peasants" was removed without explanation, prior consensus or even any discussion. I asked for explanation in the talk page, but instead of it I see only more reverts and antagonising edits. Can you negotiate this ? How do you suggest to react ? --Lysy (talk) 20:53, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I have asked the same question above at #Russian_kindnappings. As far as I can tell, Ghir and KK object to this reference on the basis 'it is Polish'. Such a reason is not valid (see Wikipedia:Cite sources for our OFFICIAL policy).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Global tag removed. This is a big article, and mostly not bad. Please use {{dubious}} tags, to or mark disputed sections instead. mikka (t) 21:26, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry mikka, how do you suggest to use {{dubious}} on removed contents ? --Lysy (talk) 21:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant "or mark sections". mikka (t) 21:35, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry again. I see the policy changed. There seems no more way to label a separate section. mikka (t) 21:42, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The purpose of {{totallydisputed}} tag was to inform users reading the article that its neutrality is being disputed. With the tag removed now, and Ghirlandajo not willing to dispute his edits the only thing I can do is to revert it back to the more or less accepted version. I would therefore ask you to put the tag back. --Lysy (talk) 21:48, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, I see Bonaparte tries to set himself as a mediator. Sorry, my friend. While it is good to have a totally independent editor for this, but this job is for an admin. You are welcome to make contributions, though. mikka (t) 21:30, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Don't break now the process. Anyone can be helpful here and I accepted to make this. If I can make it and the people need indeed mediation why're angry? Let us not put fan on flames. Better to help the discussions. Bonaparte
I think non-admins can be mediators as well, but to be a mediator one should not take sides - and I think Bonaparte is taking some sides here, at least as far as some content editing is concerned. Still, he can surely try to mediate. The question is whether all concerned parties accept his attempt?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Issues to be solved: revert war #1

The List of users that have reverted this phrase here: Ghirlandajo, and here: Ghirlandajo, and here again: Ghirlandajo. All unexplained. I'm afraid this completes the list. --Lysy (talk) 21:17, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

While we are waiting for some explanations, I'm going to restore the removed information, as the orphaned reference does not make sense and could not stay addressing the wrong sentence anyway. --Lysy (talk) 21:58, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Lysy Ghirlandajo
This broke the power of the once-powerful Commonwealth and the country gradually became vulnerable to foreign influence. On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession. There were also cases when the Russian armies kidnapped scores of eastern inhabitants of the Commonwealth, among them hundeds of thousands of Belarusian peasants[15]. By mid-18th century their presence in the lands of modern Belarus became almost permanent and eventually by 1795 Poland was partitioned by its neighbors. All of the lands of Belarus were annexed by the Russian Empire, thus starting a new period in Belarusian history.

This broke the power of the once-powerful Commonwealth and the country gradually became vulnerable to foreign influence. On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession[16]. By mid-18th century their presence in the lands of modern Belarus became almost permanent and eventually by 1795 Poland was partitioned by its neighbors. As a consequence, Belarusians reunited with majority of other Orthodox East Slavs.

OK, let me ask again. Why was the sourced information above removed against the consensus ? I've asked Ghirlandajo for explanation but he ignored my request, and persisted on his edits instead. Do you see any space for mediation in this situation ? --Lysy (talk) 21:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

We need now to debate the phrase: There were also cases when the Russian armies kidnapped scores of eastern inhabitants of the Commonwealth, among them hundeds of thousands of Belarusian peasants. I would like also to invite User:Ghirlandajo to take part of the mediation since he was the one who reverted the text. Bonaparte

User:Ghirlandajo's response: "< be added only by Ghirlandajo...>"

I see no difficulty in merging the two last bolded sentences. At the same time, the fitst disputed piece is a very serious historical claim that can be left to some obscure reference in Foreign language in a magazine hard to find and to see in what context and how it was phrased. Therefore I'd suggest Lysy to add a more detailed piece into one of the historical articles related to the time period in question.

Also, the term "kidnapped" is inappropriate. Please find a correct description of what happened: were they enslaved or resettled, or what else? Was it a common way during these times? We all know that Tatars, Mongols and other "asiats" did this all the time. Was this widespread in Europe? mikka (t) 22:04, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

As to the first sentence ("kidnapped peasants"), I'll leave it to Piotr to explain as it was his edit and he referred to the "obscure source in foreign language". I only objected to sourced content being removed without explanation. I'll also try to find some sources that would confirm or otherwise explain this myself. --Lysy (talk) 22:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
As to the second sentence, firstly I do not understand why "all of the lands of Belarus were annexed by the Russian Empire, thus starting a new period in Belarusian history" was removed. Secondly, I object to "As a consequence, Belarusians reunited with majority of other Orthodox East Slavs" as being highly POV. It implies that all the peoples sharing a common religion belong to a single country. Therefore Poles of Roman Catholic faith should "reunite" with Rome. What about Polish Protestants, which whom should they "reunite". It also neglects the fact that there were many other, non Belarusian/Ruthenian nationalities in these territories that did not "reunite other Orthodox East Slavs" in result of the annexation. --Lysy (talk) 22:21, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Regarding your comment on "obscure reference in Foreign language" do you suggest to neglect all sources in languages other than English ? Or only the obscure ones ? Is Great Soviet Encyclopedia an obscure source ? --Lysy (talk) 22:24, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Please, here. I explained what I am suggesting. The main issue here is wikipedia:Verifiability. I requested a clarification in a proper context, where the sentence may be expanded. mikka (t) 00:16, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
As for obscure references, see my reply at #Russian_kindnappings. Perhaps it would be easier to discuss it in one place instead of 3 or 4? I do agree that the other sentences can be merged. But as Lysy points out there is the question of whether the wording is really NPOV - for example, did the believers in the Brest union variant were really 'reunited'? I am not a specialist in Orthodox religion, so I'll leave that part for others.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:37, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
#Russian_kindnappings does not address my point: I want verification in wikipedia, not in Polish and Russian magazines. The issue is nontrivial, since you fight over it, hence deserves a more extended and credible description. And of course, this general article would be a wrong place. If you say "they kidnapped" and he says "no, they didn't" the next logical step would be to say "they did it there and then, according to <chronikon whatever>, as pointed out in the article of", but not "oh yes sure they did and you are moron, you don't know history" (of in some more polite way, but this doesn't change the idea). mikka (t) 00:16, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I am not sure if I get your point. I did point out what sources I used. Is this not enough? Ghir and KK who have been deleting this part have provided no references of their own. Shouldn't your comment be addressed to them, not me?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:51, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Please re-read, without prejudice. I am asking for additional information, not for sources, since sources are not available to me and the topic is interesting. Ideally, the source should be another wikipedia article. mikka (t) 01:25, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Anticipating your further non-understanding, let me go into more detail. Suppose that Russians once kidnapped a bunch of chlops. What's big deal? But if it was a pattern of behavior during Russian wars in the West, then it deserves detailed description, otherwise (i.e., in the case of an isolated) it must be deleted from the article so general, not to leave a false impression that these moskali raided Poland for slaves. What is more, I asked a number of related questions: I can hardly believe that Polish captured prisoners and kept them "za drutami" in POW camps. Surely they had a better use for them. mikka (t) 01:33, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Are you sure your last sentence is correct? Back to the main point: what do you want me to do? If you would like to see other sources for this, so would I. I agree that this is an extremly underresearched matter. The article I got makes the case for such a pattern clear (and I can send it to anybody interested and able to read Polish), unfortunately, I don't have time to look for more sources. I did provide primary sources for the article, many of them in Russian, so I assume they should be verifiable by Russian speaking editors (I don't speak or write Russian). As I am not in Poland, my access to the Polish language sources is difficult, but interested editors should be able to pursue those sources as well.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:10, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd be happy to read the article if you could send it to me. Maybe I'd be able to look for more supporting sources then, if one is not enough. From the general knowledge, kidnapping people was a common Russian practice throughout the history and in fact continued, in a modernized form, throughout much of the 20th century. Maybe it deserves an article of its own it this is not obvious. On the other hand I'm not sure if would make an encyclopedic article, or rather a research paper ? --Lysy (talk) 07:53, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Sent.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:04, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • last sentence: "Surely they had a better use for them, i.e., for prisoners (like, making them do some work)." I'like to see the article. (Are you talking about "Zbiegostwo"? the title doesn't suggest "capturing".) mikka (t) 05:53, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Most of the article is on 'zbiegostwo', i.e. Russian peasants fleeing Russia for PLC. But it also describes Russian countertactics - i.e. what they did to curb that flow: changes in law, creation of fortifications/military units dedicated not to border defense from outside attack but designed to stop the escapees (this is for 18th century where PLC was in no shape to attack Russia anymore), and finally about the kidnappings (some during times of war, some during 'peace' in 18th century under the pretext that inhabitants of a given village were escapees from Russia (which sometimes was the case, sometimes not)).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:04, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • So, that's the context the phrase should be: they did not "kidnap", like, for slavery. They "returned" the escapees. Of course, they would grab extra. But this looks totally different from, say, tatar raids. And please dont start about "human rights". It was a different time, time of servitude. Escapees were chased all over Europe. mikka (t) 16:34, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
They "returned" the escapees. some of the "returned" escapees were not the escapees but local citizens of the PLC (including townsfolk and poorer szlachta). So definetly the word kindapped is applicable - but maybe abduction would be slightly better? Not to mention the legality of sending forces into the territory of an officialy sovereing country (granted, sometimes it was during a war).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Please send me the article. Now I see the context. Zaporozhian Sich was raided for escapees from all sides. Did eacapees run from Russia into Lithuania (modern Belarus)? Did Russians raid, say, Lithuanian lands (i.e., modern Belarus)? mikka (t) 16:38, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
AFAIK yes. I will send you the article when I know your email, you can verify it by yourself then. Please not I provided a link to the Belorusian article in the kidnapping section above - unfortunately I cannot read it, but maybe you could verify if it has any relevant info.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I thought you knew this wikipedia function "e-mail this user" at a user page. Amyway, mikka (t) 20:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
The last time I checked you could not send attachments this way - so I needed to know this before I can send you email. I will send you the file when I get back home - expect in in about 3h.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:59, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Guys we still have to wait the answer of user:Ghirlandajo. If he will not come to answer we will proceed accordingly. Bonaparte

Bonaparte, I explained my position in summaries and elsewhere ad nauseum. As to the last phrase, there is no annexation through treaty. If Piotrus prefers to use inflammatory phrases like "annexed", "invaded", etc I claim the right to change them to "liberate" as long as I find fit. It depends on one's point of view which party "annexes" and which party "liberates" the land. With his experience of editing, he should know it by know, as I many times pointed out before. The current diction is unacceptable. "Kidnapping" is completely inappropriate too, as Mikkalai explained above. Encyclopedia is not Stevenson's adventure novel. I attempted to replace the controversial phrase with the following: "On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession." Some Polish POV-pusher, however, restored the odious phrase, while keeping mine in place. To this I object, for my addition was intended to replace insinuations of kidnapping and not to complement them. --Ghirlandajo 07:13, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm really not able to follow your thinking here. Can you explain what do you mean by "there is no annexation through treaty" ? What do you find offensive in "annexation" ? As what's wrong with "kidnapping" (=any illegal capture and detention of persons against their will, regardless of age). Would you find abduction more appropriate ? --Lysy (talk) 08:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Ghir, what is the middle ground between 'ivnasion' and 'liberation', there?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:42, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
As for the second sentence: "As a consequence, Belarusians reunited with majority of other Orthodox East Slavs", from lack of any further comments I understand that we all agree that it is inappropriate in this form and will be removed. --Lysy (talk) 08:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • In these times religious identity played much higher role than today, so I don't see any special inappropriateness here. mikka (t) 16:40, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid you've missed my earlier objection to this formulation, in which I explained why I find it not appropriate. If. for whatever reason, you believe that this sentence bears an important piece of information, could you suggest rephrasing it so that it would address the concerns that I've risen ? Also, I've asked for what reason the other sentence has been deleted. --Lysy (talk) 19:35, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Ghirlandajo's proposal:

"On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession." Lysy you have to tell me if you find this phrase a good compromise for you. After I know your position we'll find a way to solve it. Bonaparte talk 11:53, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Lysy Ghirlandajo
There were also cases when the Russian armies kidnapped scores of eastern inhabitants of the Commonwealth, among them hundeds of thousands of Belarusian peasants "On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession."

Now I need the opinion of Lysy reffered to this first proposal of Ghirlandajo. -- Bonaparte talk 12:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Bonaparte, please note that currently both sentences are included in the article's version supported by me and Lysy. We have no problems with with Ghirlando sentence, it is he who has a problem with our sourced one.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:42, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

OK. I've noticed that.-- Bonaparte talk 13:44, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
However I will make 5 proposal for you. So you'll have to decide between 5 variants. The process will end in this evening (around 22.00 (UTC)) so you'll have enough time to decide. -- Bonaparte talk 13:47, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Before we can go any further we have to see if all agrees with the current paragraph which state like this:

On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession. There were also cases when the Russian armies kidnapped scores of eastern inhabitants of the Commonwealth, among them hundreds of thousands of Belarusian peasants[17]

-- Bonaparte talk 17:45, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

It can be expanded and improved, but it is basically correct IMHO.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:52, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Everything can be improved. But for now, NO. We will let it like this. We still have to wait now to have the accept of Ghirlandajo. I will ask him right now if he is satisfied with this solution. -- Bonaparte talk 18:40, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Bonaparte, Ghirlandajo is not interested in compromise. I've tried to explain to you earlier that you cannot mediate if any of the parties does not want it. I suggest that you read the desctription of the mediation procedure. --Lysy (talk) 19:25, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Lysy, mediation is a two-sided process. During my quetioning into the "kidnapping" issue it is the Polish side which fails to understand that in case of dispute you have to present more evidence (i.e., quotations), rather than more references, which are mostly not readily accessible. Only slowly the historical picture finds its way into this talk page. mikka (t) 21:05, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I belive that this time he will. I am optimist and we have to give him this opportunity. I assume good faith and now will see this. He must be openminded and respectful of other's opinions and what is said here stays here.

I presented a deadline to reach consensus for the first issue (today until 22.00 UTC) so either he will take it or leave it.

-- Bonaparte talk 19:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I am saying this one more and last time. I don't accept Bonaparte as mediator. He fails to meet the criteria of one and now shows a blatant disrespect to a very productive talk which is going on now. Please go away and let people actually work here on finding a good resolution. Your deadlines and "versions" aand threats are disregarded as being without merit. I am no more going to waste my time on this issue. mikka (t) 20:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

WIKI's regulation ("anyone can mediate between anyone else")-( You can't stop something if they choose and think that is right. And I did a good job until now. -- Bonaparte talk 20:53, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I used Ground rules ( It is not nice the way you speak. For this if I were admin you in my place you would've block me. You were very harsch with others but with you are not. Nice. I ignore your personal attack. -- Bonaparte talk 20:58, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Go away, troll. mikka (t) 20:54, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I ignore your personal attack. -- Bonaparte talk 20:58, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Internet troll:In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who posts inflammatory messages on the internet, such as on online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants.. You wrote: I presented a deadline to reach consensus for the first issue (today until 22.00 UTC) so either he will take it or leave it. These are threats and disruption in the middle of a fruitful discussion, not mediation. Perfectly fits the definition of a troll. This case is closed, too. mikka (t) 21:12, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry Mikka, you're wrong! See here: at the ground rules ([[18]]) that I used the example given there: [[19]](be openminded and respectful of other's opinions/what is said here stays here) and also negotiation [[20]] and tactics [[21]](presenting demands/deadlines/limited authority/take it or leave it), so next time stop yourself because you'll get a bad image of trolling. I was allready involved, both parties have taken part of my discussian, so, I am dealing here since I am the mediator. So, please try not to put fan on flames, since I came this page has a lot improved. Issue by issue this is the approach. And is not closed as long as they need me. You don't have to be worried. -- Bonaparte talk 21:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

RW #1, iteration 2

Now, back to real work. There are two issues in to be clarified in this piece of dispute.

  • To figure out whether Belarussians really wanted to be "reunited" with their Orhtodox brethren, i.e., whether they really applied for that. Otherwise it really looks as Tsar's propaganda. Girlandajo, do you have any references in support of this? Also, about this "re-" : Are you referring to the times of Kievan Rus? mikka (t) 20:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • My guess is that they didn't care much - and would probably prefer to remain where they were. Reunited usually means wars, wars mean armies, armies are not liked by peastants. Nationality is not an isssue, since most peasants before 19th century had little national identity and were like tutejszy - they could hardly care less about the state name (if they knew it at all). Religion is not an issue since they could practice their religon freely in PLC (although I guess various Orthodox factions might have been more or less priviliged in PLC and Russia). Finally, as serfdom was worse in Russia then in PLC meant they probably prefered PLC (after all peasants run to PLC from Russia, not the other way around).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:07, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm still not sure in what sense they were "reunited". What is the reason to use this word ? Is that they were denied their Orthodox faith within Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ? Is this sentence refering to religion or statehood ? Also I still would like to see why the previous sentence was removed and what is offensive in "annexation". Until these are finally explained I suggest to revert to the previous version of the sentence. --Lysy (talk) 23:03, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I have restored the previous version of the sentence and if it is to be changed I'd like to see the explanation why. --Lysy (talk) 00:10, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Kidnapping: in reference to all talks above: we are not going to judge whether this was good or bad that russian armies raided somewhere. the goal is to present the full picture of the events, together with motivations. Now the sentence, taken without context, sounds like "Russians raided Poland for slaves like Portugals Africa." And I am pretty sure many would just love to see this additional vilification of Ruskies. I am sure Ghirlandajo would be not alone to object this, only other russian editors either ignore Belarussian isssue or don't intervene because they don't know this part of history well. If both sides are unwilling to rephrase this in a more neutral way, I will read the article (and search other sources, now that the context is clear) and see if I can do this. I admit I was never interested in history of these times and only vaguely remember something on the topic, like large colonies of Russian Old Believers in Baltic lands, etc. mikka (t) 20:50, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • True - expantion would help. I am not that happy with the word 'kidnapped' either, yet slave raids are also wrong. Abduction? Forced migration? I'll await your comments after you've read the article.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:07, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
      • You didn't finish reading of my text, or, rather, I didn't sequence it logically enough. The issue is not a "politically correct" word. The issue is a correct context, to distinguish, e.g., from raids of Crimean Tatars. (BTW the word "kidnapping" is not usually applied to Tatar's exercise, either. The word is simply an anachronism) mikka (t) 21:23, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Exile is better? -- Bonaparte talk 21:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Nope. They were running by their free will (or captured against it), and exile reffers to the state throwing out their citizens.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:15, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
          • OK. I got it enough. This clearly shows a genuine lack of minimal understanding of the duscussed issues. Do whatever you want. I don't care using this talk page anymore, since it is slowly being turned into a garbage pile littered by rotten-red, just like Talk:Moldovan language. Good bye. mikka (t) 21:30, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
            • Don't worry I will mediate in a good approach. I can assure you. -- Bonaparte talk 21:36, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
              • The day you become admin I will leave Wikipedia for good. My opinion of your activities was voiced when your first made you trollish appearance here and has not changed since. You may "meditate" between Lysy and Piotrus for as long as you like, but I will stick to mikka's wording of the passage. --Ghirlandajo 22:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Well,... you never know for sure...Don't forget what you said. However here is not important my person but your revert. I am mediator here. So, do you agree with this or not?

On several occasions, Russian armies operated in the Polish Empire, further damaging Belarusian economy during their hostilities against other powers in the Great Northern War and the War of Polish succession. There were also cases when the Russian armies kidnapped scores of eastern inhabitants of the Commonwealth, among them hundreds of thousands of Belarusian peasants[22]
This is what we negotiate here. Please support your point of view. -- Bonaparte talk 22:29, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Now and here is your chance to defend your point of view otherwise if you refuse to cooperate it means it doesn't belong to your interest and we can let it like this. I have given a deadline and until now Piotrus has defended in a very democratic and open approach. So I expect some similar thing from you too. So please defend your point of view. Explain why should we delete the phrase as you said on your talk page. Now and here you have the chance.-- Bonaparte talk 22:36, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

  • "More neutral way" does not mean replacing by a "nicer" word. It means putting things into a historical flow of events. mikka (t) 20:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Almost permanent

"By mid-18th century their presence in the lands of modern Belarus became almost permanent"

Please say this in more informative words. What does this mean? They raided every year? every month? mikka (t) 21:49, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Not raided but Russian forces were permanently present in the territory of the Commonwealth, including Belarus. The fact that Russia kept its soldiers in the territory of Poland was the direct reason of starting the war with Turkey in 1768. --Lysy (talk) 23:48, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I have a reference in Davies to support this, but I only have the Polish translation. It would be better to use the original version for reference. In my Polish translation of "God's Playground" it is volume I part 2, chapter 18, page 483 (the page following the quote Des troupes de S.M. Imperiale, Ma Souveraine, amie et aliee de la Republique, ont arrete l'eveque de Cracovie, l'eveque de Kiiovie etc. ). Anyone has the English version at hand ? --Lysy (talk) 00:07, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
The troops of Her Imperial Majesty, My Sovereign, teh friend and ally of the Republic, have arrested the bishops of Krakow, Kiev, etc. If you need a French translation, just ask me. --Ghirlandajo 07:40, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. But in fact I did not need the translation. I only used this text as a locator, because I expect that in the original English version it also appears in French, so it's easier to find the page following it :-) Just a "technical" measure for someone who has the English version. But in fact even this text shows that Russian troops did as they pleased in the Commonwealth. --Lysy (talk) 09:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Davies has a reputation of pretty much impartial in Polish-Russian issue, so I would accept his word as to facts. Still, this is yet another piece of history in the dark. We have the {{fact}} label. Isn't it time to introduce the {{expand}} label? This article already has two places for it in a single section! And both cases are not just kniaz Ivan Bolshoy kicked ass of pan Turczynovicz in a knajpa by Smolensky Road; they are pretty notable developments. mikka (t) 01:22, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I think this should be expanded but the problem might be, whether we do have realiable sources and NPOV nowledge to do this ? As for me, I'm happy to work on modern (20th century) history of Belarus and I have some useful sources and hopefully some understanding of this period. As for 18th century most of the sources that I have are not specific to Belarus, but rather Polish history, which is less useful here. Any sources anyone ? --Lysy (talk) 01:36, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
This said, I will however oppose unexplained arbitrary edits. --Lysy (talk) 01:37, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a good one :) Still, karczma would be better then knajpa (at least in Polish language). Have you guys had time to read the article? Any thoughts on this?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:45, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
As to Russian armies' presence - it included both raiding quite frequently and keeping permanent garrisons. For instance there was quite a big garrison held... by the Russian embassador in Warsaw. And these forces played a significant part in internal matters of the Republic. As to sources, I sadly do not have any non-Polish sources for all to read. Perhaps Googlebooks might help.. Halibutt 08:03, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
As for their presence in Warsaw or other parts of Poland, I think there's no big problem with this either but I think we should rather stay focused on the territory of present Belarus. Russian troops were even present at the 1764 free elections to make sure that Poniatowski become the king - they've actually surrounded the election field. (BTW: another interesting quote for Ghirlandajo: Si jamais la malice [...] a pu controuver un bruit absolument faux, c'est assurement celui, qu'on a ose repandre dans le public, comme si nous n'etions resus d'appuyer l'election d'un Piast qu'afin que, par son secours et connivence, Nous puissions ensuite Nous faciliter les moyens d'envahir quelques provinces du Royaume de Pologne et du Grand-Duche de Lithuanie, de les demembrer, et de les approprier ensuite a Nous e a Notre Empire) :-) --Lysy (talk) 09:42, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Mediation by Bonaparte

Mediation is a voluntarily process, unlike the arbitration. The parties are free to go or not to go for a mediation and they are free to reject the mediators by the basic logic of this word. The real life analogy is that a person on trial cannot choose a judge but as far as the voluntarily negotiations go, any party can leave the negotiating table at any time and under no circumstances can a mediator be forced upon an unwilling party. As such, and in view that parties made it clear that they are not willing to accept Bonaparte as a mediator, the process should continue on its own or until a different and mutually acceptable mediator is found. --Irpen 22:41, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I am the third party here and I have no interest to either party. -- Bonaparte talk 14:44, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
A party of the conflict made it clear that they don't want you as a mediator. How can this be not enough? --Irpen 15:07, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

List of rulers of Belarus

I removed this ext link.

There should be a wikipedia article, List of rulers of Belarus, not an ext link, not to say that the link is dead. mikka (t) 18:05, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Issues to be solved: revert war #2

Ghirlandajo, I see you are blind-reverting again. Firstly, why are you constantly re-adding this comment to the article: The opportunity for freedom appeared only after the World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917. --Lysy (talk) 20:14, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

This was not his comment. This is a piece of article commented out by someone earlier. Indeed, the phrase is good only for propaganda article. It gives zero of new information and phrased in an extremely vague way: "opprotunity", "freedom", "only", - are all dubious. mikka (t) 21:15, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
That's what I think too, and that's why I removed it. What I'm asking is why Ghirlandajo is putting it back again and again ? --Lysy (talk) 21:18, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

All you need is mediation. You saw I can handle this and I like it. -- Bonaparte talk 20:39, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Booming economy in 19th century

"Belarusian economy was booming" in 19th century compared to what ? Prussian economy ? Can you please provide sources to support this claim of yours ? --Lysy (talk) 20:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Compared to itself. It is a well-known fact that the end of 19th century in Russian Empire was fast development of capitalism, Lithuanian and Belarussian lands incuding. Everyone likes to compare Russian year 1913 with Soviet Russia times. Of course, it would be interesting to find hard figures specifically for Northwestern Krai, but I'd say the phrase in question is generally correct. mikka (t) 21:23, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Indeed, it is well known that European economies developed quickly in the second half of 19th century, mostly because of the industrialisation. But was the development of Belarusian economy something exceptional here ? I don't expect that Belarus was a particularly industialised country. Is there any special reason to mention "the booming economy" in the context of Belarus in 19th century, other than making an impression of positive influence of Russian government on the country ? If we are suggesting that the economy of Belarusian gubernias developed more then other European countries (which I doubt), then I think it would be good to have it supported with some (non-original) research. If it was underdeveloped when compared to other countries, it might be worth mentioning as well. Otherwise I don't see any reasonable justification for this sentence in this article other than tsarist propaganda, as we could add similar sentences about booming economy to all articles on European countries, cities and what not. --Lysy (talk) 21:57, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
    • ...and I would not object. In you war against ghirlandajo you keep forgetting that this article is about a certain topic, and the notability of certain events are both with respect to external worls and with respect to its own logic. Please don't assume that this article is nothing but about rivalling between Polish and Russian influence (although it does consitute an inportant (may be even the most important) factor in the area) mikka (t) 00:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The entire European economy was booming in the 19th century - you know, Industrial Revolution and like. If Belarusian economy was indeed making better progress then that of Polish territories in Russian partition, Ukraine or Russia proper, then indeed this would be an interesting note. Otherwise it is rather pointless.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:57, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
    • It is pointless only from the point of view that every phrase must be kind of Guinness Book of Records entry. This is an article about Belarussian land, not about "the entire Europe". It was booming. Period. If you want, you may create a separate article about "comparative booming". By your logic, the whole article may be deleted: "the whole Europe" was warring each other, the whole Europe occupied each other, nothing special. mikka (t) 00:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
      • In fact I assume Belarusian economy could be quite backwards by European standards, so writing that its economy was booming without a proper context might be quite misleading to an unaware reader. If I am wrong then some figures to support the claims on booming would be useful. --Lysy (talk) 06:35, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Lysy, you don't want to hear what your opponents speak about. European standards, quite an elusive concept in itself (comp. industrial development in Liverpool and Palermo), have little bearing to this article. Rapid development of Belarusian (as well as Polish) economy in the late 19th century should be compared to its stagnation and occasional regress in the 18th century. Belarus should be compared with Belarus, not with St Pete, Lodz, Manchester, Venice, or vague "European standards", where conditions were completely different.--Ghirlandajo 10:29, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Well I would assume the situation would be the same in every large city like Minsk and Vilna there would be small factories everywhere. If anything then railways is a fair indicator. Here is a link: [23]. It says roughly:1851-1862 contstruction of the Petersburg-Warsaw railway passing via Pskov, Daugavpils, Vilno, Grodno and Belastok. From then on Riga-Dinaberg which linked the Russian blacklands to the baltic port of Riga passing via Polotsk and Vitebsk in 1866. In 1871 was the opening of the 650 km rail connecting Moscow, Smolensk, Orsha, Borisov, Minsk and Brest.In 1874- Opening of the Libavo Romeno railroad linking Ukraine with the Baltic and a branch to Prussia. Passing from Chernigov to Gomel, Bobruisk, Minsk and Vilna. Finally in the 1880s was a period of building raillinks in the Polessia and Podlassia regions, starting from Rovno in the Volyn and going north to Vilna via Baranovichi, and in the Pripyat marshes interlinking Belastok, Pinsk, Mozyr and Bryansk. Therefore by 1913 in Belarus alone over 150 thousand were employed in rail industry and another 50 thousand on the railway itself. By the start of the war the Belarusian railways totaled 3888 km or 18.8 km per 1000 sq km, which was 1.8 times higher than in European Russia. 971 locomotive engines, 20458 freight and 1391 passenger cars for 50765 places. There is also a map showing the history of the railways -- Kuban kazak 00:01, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
    • That's very good and may be worth mentioning in the article as an indicator of the development. BTW, you might find it interesting to take a look at Polish railway network map and compare the density in the east and in the west of the country. --Lysy (talk) 06:41, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Eastern Poland is less industrialised and rural, whilst western Poland is more urbanised. Moreover just because the eastern poland has less density does not mean it gets less traffic.--Kuban kazak 12:11, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Sure, very nice of you. Do you want a map of railroads in Siberia? You will probably llllove it. Jokes aside, I am repeating again: we are speaking about local speed-up. May be the following example will make it easier for you to get what I mean: Today we speak that economy of China is booming, despite the fact that it is way beyond that of Japan. At the same time, USA economy is in stagnation. So what? USA is doing worse than China? Of course not. "Booming" is an internal comparison. "Leading" or "dominating" is an external comparison. mikka (t) 07:41, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
So how about rephrasing that to something along the lines of "In the second half of 19th century several major railroads were opened in Belarus, as well as several factories in larger towns"? As to comparing Belarusian lands with themselves, there is a risk we end up with something like "currently the economy of Ethiopia is booming because only 40% of people are starving there (and not 50% as it was before)". Get the idea? Halibutt 10:28, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
The best solution would be to have the corresponding article in wikipedia, since the issue is disputed, and we cannot put fine details into this general article. I can tell you from immediate knowledge that in Mogilev Guberniya (a relatively backward in Belarus) people were not starving; in fact, they were buying land. I guess in Western areas things were even better. If you don't like the "boom" word, you may replace it wit something like "economy was on a rise", but simply adding "several factories" is not serious. It is called "Trivia". A general article requires general statements. Since belarussian wikipedians don't rush with info, let me look for something, so this long bickering about a single word will end. mikka (t) 17:56, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

TAG removed to offer you the chance to reach a good CONSENSUS

TAG removed to offer you the chance to reach a good CONSENSUS! Good luck. If you need mediation I am here. -- Bonaparte talk 20:38, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Ruthenian gentry

As per Ghirlandajo's request - here's a list of Lithuanian nobility of Ruthenian descent. Just a bunch of names I could think of. Domeyko, Ostrogski, Radziwiłł, Sapieha and Kościuszko are the most notable, though there are also hundreds of Rosowiecki, Baraniecki, Baczewski (moved to Lwów after the partitions), Kobylański (also mostly associated with Ukraine nowadays), Kimakowicz, Kaźmirkiewicz (my ancestors, BTW, from the area of Grodno), Jaszczukiewicz, Jaszczołt (Lithuanian descent, if memory serves me right), and so on. Hundreds of names. There were also many Belarussian gentry families of Tatar extraction, among them Mirza, Bajrulewicz, Bandzarewicz, Chazbijewicz, Korycki, Sieleniecki and many more. And, last but not least, there was also Polish gentry in Belarus. Halibutt 11:10, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

If you really think that Radziwill and Sapieha are Belarusian families, please provide the list of "Polish gentry in Belarus", so that we could see the difference between ethnically Polish and ethnically Belarusian families living in the region. IMHO all the families mentioned above are purely Polish, and they considered themselves as such. Take a look at the Radziwill family tree and show me a single Belarusian individual there. --Ghirlandajo 12:19, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Anachronism is a logical fallacy, I believe. When speaking of times of the Commonwealth, one uses the term "Belarusian" mostly in geographical context. Ethnically and culturally we could speak of Ruthenians rather than modern Belarusians, as the national revival of that nation did not emerge until late 19th century and back then the self-conscience was rather low. If any, it was related to either the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as a state, or Ruthenian culture as a whole (with Orthodoxy, Greek Catholicism, Eastern Slavic traditions, and so on).
Halibutt, following your logic (if there is any), we should say that Shuvalov and Zubov were Latvian, because they owned Rundale Palace and were the largest landowners in Courland. IMHO this is unqualified nonsense. --Ghirlandajo 14:37, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Same is the case of Radziwiłł family, who emerged in GDL as a Lithuanian noblety, but got Ruthenized quite quickly and then became Polonized. Which however does not change the very fact that they were Belarusian nobility in terms of geography. In terms of culture they shared the fate of the majority of gentry of the area, be them boyars, szlachta or whomever else. Halibutt 13:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, there is no such thing as nobility "in the terms of geography". It is ethnicity, language, and culture that matter. In the 19th century (and we speak about that period), there were *no* nobility that was Orthodox, spoke Belarusian language, and had Belarusian roots. Hence, your phrase about "Belarusian gentry" should be removed. --Ghirlandajo 14:35, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Ghirlandajo, according to both Anatol Żytko (Belarusian historian) and Eugeniusz Mironowicz (Polish historian of Belarus) there was Belarusian gentry in 19th century. This is not a place for original research. Case closed, as Mikkalai says. --Lysy (talk) 17:36, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

No, it's not. Obscure booklets and paper articles are no authority for me. They write many clever things on toilet walls as well. I don;t know who two persons you mention are. I'm not sure even if they exist, let alone whether they hold a diploma or enjoy reputation in scientific circles. How can I know that they are not pushers of fringe nationalist theories? Please provide their arguments that there was ethnically Belarusian "gentry" in the 19th century and that it supported Polish-Lithuanian rebels. Until then, there will be no mention of the mythic "Belarusian gentry" in this article. --Ghirlandajo 20:52, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
With all due respect, your private opinion does not hold against a research of professional historians. Go to a library and search the sources as I did. --Lysy (talk) 21:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
With all due respect, considering my experience in the field of Russian and "Ruthenian" nobility, my domestic library and my own memory probably contain much more data on the subject than your (or my) local library does. --Ghirlandajo 21:08, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Has it ever occured to you that your view may be biased ? --Lysy (talk) 21:17, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Orthodoxy was not a single religion in Belarus; not even an overwhelming majority (but majority). mikka (t) 17:58, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I find it fascinating that first Polish editors ardently refused to recognize Belorussian origin of a number of persons with articles in wikipedia, with long and flaming revert wars, and now they talk totally opposite? A double standard, I would say. So, if you want this taken seriously, I want the Polish hand to write right here the list of Belarussian gentry, and enter this info into the corresponding articles, to settle the issue once and for all. 22:40, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Dear anon, if you mean the ardent discussion on nationality of Ignacy Domeyko (which I believe is the case you mention), you might want to take note that, after his original memoirs were provided, in which he described himself as a Pole, we decided not to mention his nationality at all at the talk page, partially not to hurt anyone's national feelings. You might want to take a look at the talk page on why we did so. Halibutt 23:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Right in front of me is Russian census of 1897 for Wilno Guberniya. It had 892,000 or 56% belarusians, 130,000 or 8% Poles, 5% Rus, 18% lithuan, 13% jews. Hereditary dvoryans: Bel: 23,000, Pol: 36,000, lit: 3,000, rus: 7,500. So Belarussian gentry ws about 2/3 of Polish in numbers, i.e., non-negligible. Now, whe I was reading/writing about Kara Katorga, I remember much Polish/Lithuanian exiles, but I don't remember any Belarussian ones mentioned. So I guess they either didn't rebel much or were shot on the spot. Still another possibility, them were close to none, but after the Polish rebellion a significant number were granted nobility to "fill the gap", so to say. Any other comments? mikka (t) 23:06, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The census methodology had two major flaws. Firstly, Russians at that time thought that language determines nationality. Secondly, they thought that Catholic=Polish. So the above result for Wilno Guberniya is not that 56% of the population was Belarusian, but that 56% had their language declared as Belarusian. The details of the methodology used to determine the language remain unknown, anyway. As to Katorga, how do you distinguish Poles from Belarusians ? Surely not by how tsarist police categorised them ? --Lysy (talk) 00:42, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Right, but wrong. First, language was the the question answered. Second, religion was a separate record. third, "they" did not "thought" anything. If you think that it was difficult for tsarist police to recognize a Pole, you are wrong. Also, for all practical purposes, if you declare your mother language Polish, and to that you are a Catholic, then you are a Pole (possibly of Belarussian or Lithuanina descent), unless you declare otherwise. Alexander Pushkin is Russian. Not to say that for the rest of the world Stalin is Russian. We are not speaking about an isolated tribe on an island. People mix and cross-breed. Nationality is as much a social notion as biological. mikka (t) 17:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It is also possible that whatever methods were used in determine nationality for katorga, they were different from those used in census. What were the nationality categories used in the katorga context?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:30, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
here I agree. mikka (t) 17:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

As for Blarussian szlachta paticipating in the uprising, I can mention at least one name: during Soviet times, Konstantin Kalinovski was popularized as a national Belarussian hero, a leader of a rebelion against Tsarism . Minsk has Kalinovski street. Kalinowski started his activities before the Polish Uprising; he got his revolutionary ideas while being student in St.Petersburg. mikka (t) 17:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Thaddeus Kosciusko

The English name is Thaddeus Kosciusko. I doubt very much he used ever the Byelarus form. Xx236 14:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


"The Polish part of Belarus was subject to Polonization policies (especially in the 1930s), while the Soviet Belarus was one of the original republics which formed the USSR. For several years, the national culture and language enjoyed a significant boost of revival in the Soviet Belarus[citation needed]. This was however soon tragically ended during the Great Purge, when almost all prominent Belarusian national intelligentsia were executed. Belarusian orthography was Russified in 1933 and use of Belarusian language was discouraged as exhibiting anti-soviet attitude.[13]

In the West Belarus, up to 30 thousand families of Polish veterans (osadniks) were settled in the lands formerly belonging to the Russian tsar family and Russian aristocracy[14]. Belarusian representation in Polish parliament was reduced in result of the 1930 elections. Since early 1930's Polish government introduced a set of policies designed to Polonize all minorities (Belarusians, Ukrainians, Jews, etc.). The usage of Belarusian language was discouraged and the Belarusian schools were facing severe financial problems. In spring of 1939 there already was neither single Belarusian official organisation in Poland nor a single Belarusian school (with only 44 schools teaching Belarusian language left).[15]"

Where is the second part of the image (or maybe 90% of it): - Kurapaty - Polish authonomy, mass execution, deportation to Kasakhstan - deportation to Kasakhstan of Belarus people - partisan war, terrorism, Western Belarusian Communist Party, training centre( s?) for Communists - not only orthography but also vocabulary was Russified - I have read many texts criticizing Polish authorities, but the problem of forced polonisation of Jews is something new for me. No country in the whole world had so strong yiddish culture - media, film industry, education system. - the texts ignores political differences in Poland, describes Poland as a hostile monolitic power. All post-1926 elections were more or less faked. It wasn't anti-Belarus but sanacja-like. Sanacja was the best option, anyway. The nationalists would have been more harsh for any minority. - the Soviets infiltrated Belarus organisations in Poland. Belarus activists emigrating to the SU died (Kurapaty) or were imprisoned. One of the firsts descriptions of a Soviet camp was Solovky report by a Belarus activist. Xx236 14:55, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


No word about Soviet repressions 1939-1941.

"Polish population often collaborated with German occupation administration.

During the World War II the Nazis attempted to establish a puppet Belarusian government, Belarusian Central Rada, with the symbolics similar to BNR. The Germans imposed a brutal racist regime, burning down some 9,000 Belarusian villages, deporting some 380,000 people for slave labour, and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians more"

Wow, the nasty Poles collaborated! What about tens (or more) of thousands Belarus policemen, POWs (ROA and other units)? Who committed Khatyn? Who collaborated with Kube?

Many rich Poles were persecuted under the Soviets by (mostly) Belarus proletaryat. Those people returned to their homes under the Nazis and weren't much pro-Belarus.

Many Belarus soldiers served in Polish units 1939, Monte Cassino, Communist armies. Xx236 15:08, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

BSSR from 1945 to 1990

No word about the new Polish/Belarus border, deportation of Poles to Siberia/Poland. Xx236 15:12, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Still NPOV?

There has been little editing of this article in the past few weeks. Is it still NPOV? If so, please tell us how so we can fix it.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, i've just stumbled across the article and found it horribly POV. Especially the fact that there is constant reference to the Belarussian ethnos. While this may be a very interesting topic, it clouds the hard historical facts which should be here. That is the kind of information which borders on nationalism and is subsequently difficult to NPOV. Personally, i think there should be place for some nationalism, but all information of that kind should be at the article for Belarusians rather than here. This should focus on the history of the state imho. The Minister of War (Peace) 09:39, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
You have a point here, though the matter is pretty complicated. Technically speaking, if we split this article onto History of Belarus and History of Belarusians, the earlier would be left pretty empty. Note that the state has been in existence for some 15 years now, that's pretty short history. Add to that half a year back in 1918 and that's it. Halibutt 05:28, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I would actually support a spliting of the article. No need to worry about if the article being empty, I will fill it up. We have the pre-independence, 1991-1994, 1994-2001 and 2001-present. We have many issues we can discuss in the article, and we can create a template for history of Belarus articles, like we have for your native Poland. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 05:32, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I won't oppose. Though what should we do with the rest of content related to history of the "lands of modern Belarus" (shorthand) and not the state? Perhaps indeed the History of Poland way would be a good option. Perhaps we could leave this article as a stub-like central article and migrate most of the content to History of Belarus (until 1400) (any better date? this one is arbitrary and from the top of my head, though there was no single date of inclusion into the GDL), History of Belarus (1400-1795), History of Belarus (1795-1922) (add a separate sub-article for BNR? or is the main article on BNR itself enough, just like in the case of History of Poland (1945–1989) and People's Republic of Poland?), History of Belarus (1922-1991) (or again, a separate article on WWII?) and then History of Belarus (1991-present). What do you say?Halibutt 14:15, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Perfect. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 14:32, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
As for the BNR, we could have a small article about the BNR itself and branch the history article at where-ever you need (though I need to look at it myself). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 16:40, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I will start on the 1991-present time period this week, but first, I am going to re-organize the Belarus category of articles on WP. I am merging a few cats together, since some of them only have two articles and could be made easier by just putting them into one larger one. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 07:55, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

one contributor

Wikipedia contributor Kuban coSSack's talking about dictatorial ruler Lukashenka (who massively and monstrously falsified the vote) and today's storming of the October square, when hundreds of special police arrested peaceful demonstrators, totally destoryed the camp, threw empty vodka bottles into the mess and videotaped that for Belarusan state television. Here's Kuban coSSack's comment about this police action and break-up of a peaceful protest, which took place at 3AM so that there would be no witnesses of their activity:

Dear fellow Wikipedians, do you understand that the only purpose of his contributions on articles about Belarus (such as Belarusian language, Belarusian history, Belarus, etc.) is to push Russian imperial POV and lies? Please, see history and talk pages of the Belarus-related articles. Should WP community do something about it? --rydel 16:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)