By Andrew Wilson
This e-book is the 1st in English to discover either Belarus’s advanced highway to nationhood and to ascertain intimately its politics and economics considering the fact that 1991, the nation’s first 12 months of real independence. Andrew Wilson focuses specific consciousness on Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s impressive sturdiness as president, regardless of human rights abuses and involvement in yet one more rigged election in December 2010.Wilson seems at Belarusian historical past as a sequence of fake begins within the medieval and pre-modern sessions, and on the many rival models of Belarusian id, culminating with the Soviet Belarusian undertaking and the institution of Belarus’s present borders in the course of global warfare II. He additionally addresses Belarus’s on-off dating with Russia, its simultaneous makes an attempt to play a video game of stability within the no-man’s-land among Russia and the West, and the way, ironically, Belarus is finally changing into a real state less than the rule of thumb of Europe’s “last dictator.”
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Additional info for Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship
The rising power in the north-west, however, was no longer Polatsk but the town of Navahrudak (founded in 1227), in the area known not as ‘White Rus’, but as ‘Black Rus’, near modern-day Hrodna. The growing power of the militant ‘missionary’ Livonian Order of Teutonic Knights, which built up the city of Riga at the mouth of the river Dzvina (Daugava in Latvian) after 1201, undermined Polatsk’s former strategic and commercial advantages upriver. Black Rus, on the other hand, was neatly situated in the territory between the Livonian Knights and the rampaging Golden Horde.
The Lithuanians called the Rus the gudas, allegedly derived from the local name for the Balts’ previous neighbours the Goths. indd 31 24/08/11 3:11 PM 32 B E L A R U S : A H I S TO RY O F C R O S S R OA D S solidified a local identity distinct from the Rus of Muscovy over roughly three periods. An early ‘Golden Age’ of Rus influence in Litva lasted until the illiterate and pagan Lithuanians, under further pressure from the Teutonic Knights, adopted Roman Catholicism in 1387, two years after the Union of Kreva with Catholic Poland in 1385.
Indd 14 24/08/11 3:10 PM P O L AT S K 15 in 945. His wife, Olha, crushed the revolt in 946, executing all the nobility she could find. The remaining Derevliany then surprisingly settled down to a peaceful life of cattle-raising, under satraps sent from Kiev, such as the eightyear-old Sviatopolk, known as ‘the Damned’ (for killing his half-brothers Boris and Hleb), from 988. Sviatopolk soon picked up local habits, however, and rebelled against Kiev in 1015–19. But Turaw remained under Kiev longer than most cities, even as the unity of Rus was challenged in the twelfth century; despite a rebellion in 1146 and a more successful attempt in 1158–62, when another putative local dynasty briefly flourished but soon conceded power to the rising might of the Galician-Volhynian kingdom to the south.
Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship by Andrew Wilson