MINSK, 6 January (BelTA) – Belarus was one step away from losing the national statehood amid the frenzied politicization of history in the 1990s, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a government session to discuss Belarus' historical policy on 6 January, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that some neighbors of Belarus built their own historical policy, set up institutions and programs adjusting their concept of historical events to fit very specific political goals, parties, individual politicians, and so on. "For some, as I have already said, Belarus is a launch pad for an attack on Russia. Others suffer from phantom pains and are still looking for their historical lands here. Neither the former nor the latter need sovereign Belarus and the Belarusian people," the Belarusian leader stressed.
The head of state noted that considerable funds were allocated for these purposes: "The 1990s was a time of frantic politicization of history. Everything was turned upside down. Society was split. We were one step away from the loss of national statehood."
“This was done with the help of George Soros and his followers inside the country who started publishing new textbooks on the Belarusian history. By 1994, the U.S.-led Belarusian opposition managed to rewrite a lot of history and teach it to children. We also fell for some things then. The students who were brought up on that distorted history are parents today. We see now the result of the attempts to romanticize and prioritize some certain periods in the history of the Belarusian people,” the head of state said.
He cited an example: some young people view Napoleon, who promised to restore Rzeczpospolita, as a ‘liberator'. “It is hardly surprising because we had more portraits of Lithuanian and Polish nobles all over the country back then than the portraits, for example, of heroes of the Great Patriotic War or modern-time heroes . We reaped the fruit of such ‘patriotic' education in 2020. Every cloud has a silver lining however. Thanks to those events, now everyone knows the true story of the white-red-white flag, which was the symbol of the occupation of the native land and the betrayal of the Belarusian people during the war,” said the president.
“Many people who displayed white-red-white flag in their windows are ashamed of it today. Now they understand who the leaders of the riots were. The downside of those events is that we had to be reactive rather than proactive,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.