Belarus Table of Contents
Belarus's declaration of independence on August 25, 1991, did not stem from long-held political aspirations but from reactions to domestic and foreign events. Moscow's slow response both to the accident at the Chornobyl' power plant and to the discovery of mass graves of Stalin's victims at Kurapaty led to demands for government accountability and reform. Ukraine's declaration of independence, in particular, led the Belorussian SSR to realize that the Soviet Union would not last long. Independence nonetheless brought little or no change in the country's political structure.
Data as of June 1995