Stanislav Shushkevich

Stanislav Stanislavovich Shushkevich (Belarusian: Станісла́ў Станісла́вавіч Шушке́віч, romanizedStanislaŭ Stanislavavič Šuškievič;[a] Russian: Станисла́в Станисла́вович Шушке́вич; born December 15, 1934 in Minsk) is a Belarusian politician and scientist. From August 25, 1991 to January 26, 1994, he was the first head of state of independent Belarus after it seceded from the Soviet Union, serving as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet (also called chairman of Parliament or president). He supported social democratic reforms and played a key role in the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Stanislav Shushkevich
Šuškievič bchd.jpg
Shushkevich in 2009
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus
In office
August 25, 1991 – January 26, 1994
Acting to September 18, 1991
Prime MinisterVyacheslav Kebich
Preceded byMikalay Dzyemyantsyey (as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR)
Succeeded byVyacheslav Nikolayevich Kuznetsov (acting)
Personal details
Born (1934-12-15) December 15, 1934 (age 86)
Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyBelarusian Social Democratic Assembly
Alma materBelarusian State University
AwardsRibbon-BNR 100 Jubilee Medal.png Belarusian Democratic Republic 100th Jubilee Medal (2018)

As a scientist, he is a corresponding member of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, Doctor in Physics and Mathematics, recipient of various state awards, professor and the author and originator of textbooks and over 150 articles and 50 inventions.


Shushkevich was born on December 15, 1934 in Minsk. His parents were teachers who came from peasant families. His father, Stanislav Petrovich Shushkevich (born February 19, 1908 in Minsk) was arrested in the 1930s and was released from prison in 1956. His mother Helena Romanowska was ethnically Polish and her family had szlachta (noble) roots.

In the early 1960s, while working as an engineer in an electronics factory, he was in charge of teaching Lee Harvey Oswald Russian when Oswald lived in Minsk.[1][2]

Shushkevich has been married to his wife Irina since 1976. According to him, she forced him to start a healthy lifestyle. He has a son named Stanislav and daughter named Elena.[3][4]

Political activityEdit

When Supreme Soviet chairman Mikalay Dzyemyantsyey was ousted for his support of the 25 August coup attempt, Shushkevich became interim speaker,[5] and presided over Byelorussia voting to secede from the Soviet Union. He thus became the newly minted nation's first leader. On September 18, Shushkevich was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet.[6]

On December 8, 1991, in Belavezhskaya Pushcha and together with the leaders of Russia (Boris Yeltsin) and Ukraine (Leonid Kravchuk), he signed a declaration that the Soviet Union was dissolved and replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States; the declaration later became known as the "Belavezha Accords".

Shushkevich withdrew from Belarus the vestigial Soviet nuclear arsenal (both tactical and strategic), without preconditions or compensation from Russia or the West. However, other reforms became stalled due to the opposition from a hostile parliament as well as from Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich.

In late 1993, Alexander Lukashenko, the then-chairman of the anti-corruption committee of the Belarusian parliament, accused 70 senior government officials, including Shushkevich, of corruption, including stealing state funds for personal purposes. Lukashenko's accusations (taking two boxes of nails for his Dacha) forced a vote of confidence, which Shushkevich lost. Shushkevich was replaced by Vyacheslav Kuznetsov and later by Myechyslau Hryb.

Stanislav Shushkevich at the signing of the Belavezha Accords with Leonid Kravchuk and Boris Yeltsin in 1991

In July, 1994 the first direct presidential elections were held in Belarus. Six candidates stood, including Lukashenko, Shushkevich and Kebich, with the latter regarded as the clear favorite. In the first round Lukashenko won 45% of the vote against 17% for Kebich, 13% for Paznyak and 10% for Shushkevich.

In 2002 the world learned about a highly unusual court case. Shushkevich sued the Belarusian Ministry of Labor and Social Security: due to inflation, his retirement pension as a former head of state was the equivalent of US$1.80 monthly.[7][8] To earn income, Shushkevich lectures extensively in foreign universities including in Poland, the United States and Asian countries.

In 2004 he attempted to participate in parliamentary elections, but was refused registration by the electoral commission.

As of 2017 he continued to be active in politics,[1][9] heading the Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly party.

Awards and decorationsEdit


  1. ^ lit. transl.Stanislau Stanislavavich Shushkevich


  1. ^ a b Rice, Mark (10 June 2014). "Back in the USSR: Belarusian leader who helped bury Soviet Union says it is making a comeback". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  2. ^ [ "2013 interview with Shushkevich about Lee Harvey Oswald" (in Russian). 22 November 2013.]
  3. ^ правды», Татьяна ШАХНОВИЧ | Сайт «Комсомольской (December 4, 2014). "Станислав Шушкевич: "Я до сих пор человек Ельцина, а с Кебичем помирюсь - если извинится!"". KP.RU - сайт «Комсомольской правды» (in Russian).
  4. ^ ""Мой папа убил Михоэлса". Кем стали дети руководителей Беларуси". TUT.BY (in Russian). October 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Высшие органы государственной власти Белорусской ССР
  6. ^ Беларусь свободна. Назло надменному соседу
  7. ^ Как поживают экс-президенты стран СНГ [Life of the Ex-presidents of CIS Countries] (in Russian). Trud. March 3, 2005. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  8. ^ Шарый, Андрей (March 11, 2002). "Stanislav Shushkevich". Radio Liberty (in Russian).
  9. ^ Ramani, Samuel (2017-04-17). "Interview with Belarus's First President Stanislav Shushkevich on Lukashenka's Rise and Belarus's Political Future". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  10. ^ "Former Leader of Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich to Receive Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom".

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Leader of Belarus
Succeeded by
Myechyslaw Hryb