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Title: К вопросу о границах БНР
Other Titles: Towards of the Issue of the Borders of Belarus (Tatiana Pavlova)
Authors: Павлова, Татьяна Яковлевна
Keywords: ЭБ БГУ::ОБЩЕСТВЕННЫЕ НАУКИ::Политика и политические науки
ЭБ БГУ::ОБЩЕСТВЕННЫЕ НАУКИ::История. исторические науки
Issue Date: 1999
Citation: Белорусский журнал международного права и международных отношений. — 1999. — № 1
Abstract: "Towards of the Issue of the Borders of Belarus" Modern history of Belarus has repeatedly witnessed raising of the issue of its ethnic and state borders. The theory of this issue was studied in the beginning of this century by Ye. F. Karsky, the author of prominent studies in linguistics, philology and ethnography. It was he who marked the ethnic borders and drew up the ethnographic map of Belarus. When the problem of self-determination of Belarus arose under the influence of the revolutionary events of 1917, the issue of ethnic, and later the national, borders came to a head. However, in the beginning the national movement leaders did not agree on national statehood. The liberal-minded people expressed the opinion of the necessity to press for national state autonomy within the Russian Federative Democratic Republic. Liberal parties and organisations did not consider Belarus to be a separate national region but only a territory which had some specific ethnic and cultural features. February 19, 1918 saw the coming of German troops on the unoccupied territory of Belarus. In this situation the Executive Committee of the First All-Belarusian Congress addressed the people with the First Charter Paper (Gramota) which proclaimed it the Interim Power in Belarus. A government was formed — the People's Secretariat. On March 9, 1918 the Executive Committee of the Congress adopted the Second Charter Paper which proclaimed the Belarusian People's Republic. Some figures from Belarusian national movement while proclaiming the establishment of the independent Belarusian state in February of 1918, considered it possible to join the RSFSR as an autonomy, but this became pointless after the Brest peace treaty was concluded. The decision on independence was made official by the Third Charter Paper on March 25, 1918. This Charter Paper also stated that BPR should be extended over the territories where Belarusians live and predominate: the Mogilev area, the Belarusian areas of Minsk region and Grodno region (including Grodno, Byalostok and others), Vilnya region, Vitebsk, Smolensk and Chernigov regions and also the border lands of other neighbouring areas populated by Belarusians. The BPR Rada declared the territory but, naturally, no border demarcation was drawn nor was there any border service. In the end of March, 1918 the BPR Rada meeting set up an International Affairs Commission which, among other objectives, was to work at charting the borders of the Republic. In May of the same year the so-called Strategic Commission was established at the People's Secretariat of Foreign Affairs which worked at the detailed and precise description of the borders of the Belarusian People's Republic. A special commission at the People's Secretariat of International Affairs was also working together with the strategic commission. But the extremely hard external and internal situation did not promote the commission's work, so there were few developments. The final variant of the map of the Republic was to be based by the decision of the BPR's government on the work of both commissions (the Strategic one and the Special one at the People's Secretariat). The map, however, was not published before 1919 in Grodno, occupied by Poland (the BPR's government emigrated in December, 1918). The archives retained also some sketchy description of the borders of Belarus made by a group of Rada and People's Secretariat members (which included such well-known figures of Belarusian national movement as Ya. Voronko, V. Zakharko, A. Tsvikevich, Ya. Sereda). It is published in the article. The borders here practically coincide with the borders proposed by Professor Karsky in his work "The Ethnographic Map of the Belarusian People" and also with the German maps which appeared in Minsk in March 1918. It should be noted that the ethnographic borders marked by the BPR's leaders corresponded most fully to the census data of 1897 and to the ethnographic maps drawn both in Russia and abroad at the turn of the century. They were scientifically based on a set of criteria which took into consideration not only the census data but also the peculiarities of the language, traditions and customs of the people and drew on the data of the anthropology, archaeology and toponymy of the territory. The BPR's government repeatedly tried to argue the borders of Belarus both before the neighbours and the world community. But the complicated political situation in Europe and within Belarus did not permit the BPR's initiators to put into practice the ethnic borders of the Republic. But their efforts were not in vain. They can be credited with the achievement of the fact that the borders of the first Soviet state on the territory of Belarus practically completely coincided with the ethnic borders of Belarus as marked by the leading figures of the BPR.
Description: Раздел - "Международные отношения"
URI: http://elib.bsu.by/handle/123456789/30246
Appears in Collections:Белорусский журнал международного права и международных отношений. — 1999. — № 1

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