The first leader of independent Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, has died

Oleksiy Yarmolenko

The first leader of independent Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, has died. He was 87 years old.

This information was confirmed to Euroradio by his wife Irina.

In late April, it was known that Shushkevich had been discharged from the hospital, but his condition was very poor. He developed complications after contracting a coronavirus infection.

Shushkevich was born in Minsk in 1934. His father, also Stanislav Shushkevich, was a well-known Belarusian writer who was repressed by the Soviet authorities.

Shushkevich himself graduated from the Belarusian State University, was a doctor of physical and mathematical sciences and worked at the university. In 1989 he was elected to the parliament of the then BSSR. He did not support the putschists during the August coup in Moscow and became chairman of the Belarusian parliament in September. In the winter of 1991, Shushkevich, together with Leonid Kravchuk and Boris Yeltsin, signed the Belovezh Accords on the Liquidation of the USSR.

Shushkevich headed the parliament until 1994 and was in fact the head of Belarus. But in 1994, he lost the presidential election to Alexandr Lukashenko and has been in opposition to the Belarusian government ever since.