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Ex Oriente Lux: The Belarusian National State And The Soviet Union

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter Belarus was presented as an identifiable political entity going back to the principalities of Kievan Rus and developing into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The study of Belarusian history by Inbelkult lay somewhere in between the scholarly pursuit and national indoctrination. This worked well in 1917 when the Bolsheviks in Russia successfully exploited the precipitous decline of the old regime and the power vacuum that followed. There were no mass desertions of Belarusian recruits during the mobilization prior to the hostilities or in the first two weeks of military operations. Conscripts of Belarusian origin deserted when their units were passing through the territory where the population was predominantly Belarusian, while most desertions by ethnic Poles occurred on ethnically Polish territory. The overall impression was that of economic prosperity, national confidence and domestic tranquility.

Keywords: Belarus; Bolsheviks; Grand Duchy of Lithuania; Inbelkult; Polish; Russia; Soviet Union



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