Zianon Pazniak

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Zianon Pazniak
2008.06.16. Zianon Pazniak Fot Mariusz Kubik 01.JPG
Zianon Pazniak in 2008
Deputy to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus
In office
15 May 1990 – 28 May 1995
Personal details
Zianon Stanislavavich Pazniak

(1944-04-24) 24 April 1944 (age 75)
Subotniki, Byelorussia, USSR
Political partyConservative Christian Party – BPF
Halina Vashchanka (m. 1995)
ChildrenNadzieya (adoptee)
Alma materBelarusian State Institute of Theatre and Arts
AwardsRibbon-BNR 100 Jubilee Medal.png Belarusian Democratic Republic 100th Jubilee Medal (2018)

Zianon Stanislavavich Pazniak (Belarusian: Зянон Станіслававіч Пазняк, born 24 April 1944) is a Belarusian nationalist[1] politician, one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and leader of the Conservative Christian Party – BPF. He has lived in the United States since 1996.


Zianon Pazniak was born in the village of Subotniki in Baranavichy Voblast (present-day Hrodna Region).

He graduated from the Belarusian State Institute of Theatre and Arts in 1967 and completed his postgraduate studies at the Institute of Ethnography, Art and Folklore in 1972. Upon completion of his university studies, Pazniak worked as an arts researcher. After a wave of Soviet political-administrative repressions in 1974 resulting in the loss of his work at the Arts Institute, Pazniak worked as an archaeologist at the Archaeological Division of the History Institute of the Belarusian Science Academy. His specialisation was the Late Middle Ages in Belarus. He was heavily involved in efforts to preserve the remaining section of the historic centre of Minsk, which was considerably damaged by the redevelopment efforts undertaken by the Soviet administration after the end of the Second World War. In 1981 Pazniak successfully defended a doctoral dissertation on the history of the theatre.

Zianon Pazniak and Maya Kliashtornaya in Kurapaty (1989)

In 1988, Zianon Pazniak made public his researches of NKVD mass executions in the forest of Kurapaty near Minsk. At that time, he became a leader of the Belarusian national movement for freedom and independence. In 1988, along with Vasil Bykau, he was one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and the Belarusian Martyrologue.

From May 1990 until January 1996, Pazniak was a deputy of the Belarusian parliament. As parliamentary deputy, he was the leader of the fraction of the BPF.

In 1996, Zianon Pazniak fled Belarus, citing a potential arrest by the forces of the Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka. He was granted political asylum in the United States.

On June 19, 1997, Belarus's prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against Pazniak accusing him of incitement to ethnic hatred against Russian people.[2]

Following emigration, Zianon Pazniak is still active in leading the CCP-BPF (Christian Conservative Party of the BPF). His endeavour to participate in the presidential elections of 2006 was set back when he refused to forward the requisite number of signatures gathered for his candidacy. Pazniak and the Conservative Christian Party – BPF refused to join elections in the oppositional coalition led by Alexander Milinkevich in 2006 elections.

He is a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism.[3] In 2018, Pazniak received the Belarusian Democratic Republic 100th Jubilee Medal from the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile.


Yanka Pazniak

His grandfather was Yanka Pazniak [be-tarask] (1887 (1895 ?) – 1939 ?), a Belarusian publisher, editor, publicist and politician. Yanka Pazniak took part in the activity of Belarusian Christian educational movement and was a member of the Christian Democratic Union since its founding in May 1917 in Petrograd. Yanka Pazniak published several newspapers and magazines as “Biełarus”, “Biełaruskaja krynica” (English: Belarusian Spring), “Khryszyanska Dumka” (English: Christian Thought) and “Ranitsa” (English: Morning). In September-October 1939, he was arrested by the NKVD and taken out of Vilna. According to one version, Yanka Pazniak was held in prison in Staraya Vileyka not far from Maladziechna until June 1941. The circumstances and date of his death are unknown.

His father was Stanislau Yanavich Pazniak (1922-1944). Stanislau Pazniak was recruited into the Red Army in the summer of 1944 and died on the Soviet-German front in December 1944.

His Mother was Hanna Yaukhimauna Pazniak (1922-2012). She lived in Subotniki almost all her life. In recent years, she was seriously ill. When she died in April 2012, Pazniak didn't come to the funeral, fearing persecution by the authorities [4][5].

His wife is Halina Pazniak (Vashchanka). She was a deputy of the Minsk City Council. Married since 1995. She lives in Warsaw [6].

His step daughter is Nadzeya [7][8].


Stanislau Shushkevich thinks that neither the West nor Belarus needs Pazniak. Shushkevich says Pazniak is a political deserter, he ran away from Belarus, he is cowardly.[9] Pavel Sharamet thought that Pazniak was an intolerant and a rough politician and his emigration was cowardice.[10] Alaksiej Janukievich called Pazniak's accusations of collaboration with KGB "paranoia".[11] Roy Medvedev thinks that Pazniak is a hard and a radical nationalist, a fanatic of national idea.[12] Valeriya Novodvorskaya said that former leader of belarusian opposition Zenon Pazniak "died" in the day when he was frightened for his precious life and emigrated.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Зянон Пазняк: “Нацыяналізм і дэмакратыя – сынонімы”
  2. ^ Крымінальная справа супраць Пазьняка не закрытая
  3. ^ "Prague Declaration – Declaration Text". June 3, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "Умерла мать Зенона Позняка". charter97.org. Retrieved June 13, 2017. (in Russian)
  5. ^ Зенон Позняк не приедет в Беларусь на похороны матери (in Russian)
  6. ^ Пазьняк Зянон Станіслававіч // Кансэрватыўна-Хрысьціянская Партыя — БНФ(in Belarusian)>
  7. ^ "Сярод будучых тэлезорак – дачка Зянона Пазьняка". Наша Ніва (in Belarusian). Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  8. ^ PazniakVideo (December 26, 2012). "Пазьняк для тэлеканала ГРТ". Retrieved June 13, 2017. (in Belarusian)
  9. ^ Шушкевич: Позняк - политический дезертир // Belarusian partisan, November 02, 2012
  10. ^ Павал Шарамет. Онлайн-канфэрэнцыя // Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  11. ^ Алексей Янукевич: «Поиски агентов спецслужб в своих рядах — признак паранойи» Archived November 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ R. Medvedev. Александр Лукашенко. Контуры белорусской модели. Москва, 2010. ISBN 978-5-93679-126-0
  13. ^ Новодворская: Позняк "умер", когда сбежал // Belarusian partisan, January 21, 2013

External links[edit]