Belarusian Language Society greets nation on forthcoming BNR anniversary 11:31, 24/03/2005
The Francisak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society (BLS) on March 23 issued a statement to greet the Belarusian people on the 87th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR), which is observed on March 25.
In the statement, BLU Chairman Oleg Trusov calls on the Belarusians to “remember their history, the best sons and daughters of the Fatherland who sacrificed their lives to the struggle for the independence of Belarus and for the flourishing of its language, history and culture.”
The BLS also urges the nation “to be loyal to the ideals of the Belarusian National Republic and be active citizens to bring the day nearer when March 25 becomes the main holiday in our country.”
The Belarusian National Republic came into existence shortly before the end of the First World War, when the Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. Although the German authorities remained reticent, if not actually hostile toward the BNR provisional government, they did not interfere much with its political functioning. On March 25, 1918, the provisional government (Rada) together with representatives of the Vilna (Vilnius) Council proclaimed the independence of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR). A national flag with white, red and white horizontal stripes was adopted, together with a state seal depicting the "Pahonya," the old emblem of the Grand Duchy of Litva.
Armenia, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland recognized the BNR de jure.
To counteract the effect of the proclamation of the BNR, the Russian Bolsheviks set up a Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic in Smolensk on January 1, 1919. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, a Communist government replaced the Rada there on January 5. The Rada government was forced to go into emigration.