On May 3, 2022, Stanislau Shushkevich, a Belarusian scientist and politician, the first leader of independent Belarus, and one of the signatories of the Belavezha Treaty on the legal end of the USSR, died at the age of 87. Until the end of his life, he remained an opponent of the dictator Lukashenka. Despite the threat of repression, a lot of people came to say goodbye to him.
Stanislau was a witness to many important events of the 20th century in Belarus and beyond. He was not a classical politician and he was always able to stay true to his spiritual values.
In 2019, he gave an interview for the European Archive of Voices, in which he spoke about his European identity. His interview is the key to an important era of European history and to other interviews in the archive.
In his own words, his most important achievements are the „Belavezha Treaty and the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Belarus.“
Unfortunately, he did not live to see the return of democracy to Belarus, which he dreamed of:
“I would like to see a European future for Belarus. That Belarus has the same opportunities, similarity of rights as European countries”.
But he sent us a message about how to see a positive future:
“But I am optimistic. I am convinced that we are destined: our young people should live in a normal, bright, dignified, democratic Belarus. They seem to deserve it. So it is.”