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A surprising aspect of the historical significance of belarus becoming a UN member

The process of formation and development of the Belorussian statehood in the 1920s - 1940s was difficult and to some extent tragic. One of the main threats that prevented the successful implementation of the process of nation and state development was the ongoing activities of various anti-Soviet underground organizations and armed groups that longed to form an "independent Belorussian state," as well as the inclusion of certain Belorussian regions in Poland, "Ukrainian Independent Joint State" and Lithuania.

In late 1939 - early 1940 the underground formations of the Polish Union of armed struggle launched the anti-Soviet activities in the territory of Belarus. In 1942, these formations were restructured in Armia Krajowa (Home Army) (AK) who fought for the restoration of Poland within the borders as of September 1939 (https://bisr.gov.by/mneniya/proklyatye-i-otverzhennye).

After the Nazi occupation of the south-western and southern regions of the Belorussian SSR, transferred to the Reich Commissariat "Ukraine", the structural units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its armed forces - the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) were formed (https://beldumka.belta.by/isfiles/000167_275894.pdf). The underground formations of the Baltic "forest brothers" started their activity in the north-western regions of Belarus, which at the behest of the Nazi occupiers belonged to the general districts "Lithuania" and "Latvia" (https://bisr.gov.by/mneniya/volchi-tropy-lesnykh-bratev-v-belarusi).

The territory of Vitebsk, Mogilev, most of the Gomel and eastern districts of Minsk regions were included in the rear area of the German Army Group "Center". The remaining "narrow rim" of the Belorussian land around Minsk (general district "Beloruteniya") was incorporated into the Reich Commissariat "Ostland" with its "capital" in Riga.

With the consent and direct support of the German occupation authorities a number of Belorussian collaborative organizations and armed groups was formed. In 1943-1944 within the named "narrow strip" of the land ("Beloruteniya"), their leaders made an attempt to proclaim and create an "independent Belorussian state" - the Belorussian Central Rada (BCR), which existed until the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The expulsion of the invaders from the territory of Belarus did not lead to the automatic elimination of the above-mentioned anti-Soviet nationalist parties, organizations and armed groups in the territory of the republic. In the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s, the Belorussian , Polish, Ukrainian, Baltic nationalist underground organizations continued their activity aimed at the redistribution of territories and elimination of the Belorussian SSR as a well-established historical form of the Belorussian statehood, successfully developing within the Soviet Union.

It was during the Second World War, that the periodical attempts were made to unite the efforts of Belorussian, Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic anti-Soviet underground organizations. Thus, according to K. Ezovitov, one of the BCR leaders, "... in 1944 while in Berlin, RODKO met with the leader of the Ukrainian Nationalists BENDERA and had negotiations with him, after which he and ASTROVSKY together with the Germans scheduled the plan for the creation of the Belorussian armed forces, similar to OUN to act in the rear of the Red Army". K. Ezovitov also pointed out that in late 1944, the head of BCR R. Ostrovsky established contact with the OUN leader Stepan Bandera and concluded a treaty of mutual support and coordination of further joint struggle against the Soviet Union and Poland.

In addition to talks negotiations with OUN, the Belorussian collaborative parties and organizations were trying to establish contacts and hold negotiations on public-political reorganization of Belarus with the Polish emigree government in London, which would be subordinate to AK. According to one of the BCR members, V. Rodko, in late 1942 - early 1943 in Warsaw, Ostrovsky held negotiations with the representatives of the Polish emigree government. In the spring of 1944, these negotiations were continued by a relative of one of the members of the Polish emigree government in London A. Demidovich-Demidetsky.

In the spring of 1944, a member of BCR S. Grinkevich on behalf of Ostrovsky met with Colonel of the General Anders Polish Army Headquarters, who arrived on a plane from London to Lake Naroch area to arrange negotiations between the commanders of AK units and the Soviet partisan units on joint actions against the German invaders in the northern areas of Belorussian SSR. During the negotiations, Grinkevich offered the Polish representative to conclude an agreement on the establishment of a single Polish-Belorussian state after the war. Belarus was to be included in this state as an autonomous part with its own "territorial administration, the Sejm and the territorial army". Before the end of the war, the Polish emigree government was to represent the interests of the Belorussian people and establish a Belorussian representative office in London. The question of the borders of the Belorussian autonomy within Poland was to be decided by plebiscite, and until that - to set the border along the Curzon line.

The Polish emissary stated that his powers do not allow to conclude the proposed treaty, as it extends for the post-war period and affects the internal structure of Poland. For his part, he advised to send the Belorussian representatives directly to London for negotiations, and even offered a seat in his plane. However, after unsuccessful negotiations between the colonel and the commanders of one of the Soviet partisan units in the area of Lake Svir, which ended in a provocation, he was forced to hastily fly back to the UK alone, without the BCR representative.

Besides the "independent Belorussian state" under the auspices of the UK, the leaders of the Belorussian nationalists had plans to establish a "Baltic block" - a state based on the principles of the Union of Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The first negotiations of the BCR with the representatives of the Lithuanian collaborative formations took place in 1944.

“Working in the BCR in 1944, I personally met with the Lithuanian nationalists, the commanders of the Lithuanian Police Battalion stationed near Minsk ... The Lithuanians wanted to conclude with BCR or any Belorussian political organization a mutual assistance treaty, designed for post-war period and aimed against Poland. The Lithuanians assumed that in the result of the war both the Soviet Union and Germany will be defeated, and the decision on the political future of Europe will be made by England - in this case Poland would have been ... the enemy for both Lithuania and Belarus" (V. Rodko).

The negotiations with the representatives of the Lithuanian emigrant centers were held by Ostrovsky in October 1944 personally, and with the Latvian nationalists in the late 1944 - early 1945 - by Ezovitov. However, these negotiations did not have specific results.

Attempts to further adjust their policies in the light of Germany exiting the game and transfer of stakes on the possible support from the United States and the United Kingdom also had no success. BCR compromised itself by collaborating with the Nazis. The "revived" Rada of the Belorussian People’s Republic (BPR), headed by N. Abramchik, tried to take its place. which was recognized by the American occupation authorities in Germany as the only representative body of the Belorussian emigration (https://bisr.gov.by/mneniya/mify-proshlogo-vs-istorii-buduschego).

In May 1945, a group of former students of Dalvitsa intelligence and sabotage school of Abwehr, recruited exclusively from the members of the Belorussian collaborative formations headed by Rodko arrived in Warsaw under the guise of the peaceful Poles. In June, a conspiratorial meeting of Belorussian nationalists was held. The participants discussed issues on the international situation, goals and objectives of the activities of the Belorussian  nationalists in the new environment. In his speech, Rodko pointed out that the war between the Soviet Union and its allies is inevitable and in this connection the Belorussian nationalists should use it for the overthrow of the Soviet regime and the establishment of an "independent Belorussian state". It was expected that the power in the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic would be seized without removing the entire state apparatus, but only with the replacement of senior executives. According to Rodko, it was necessary to act like that not to cause mass discontent of the inhabitants of the republic and to preserve the status of BSSR as a UN member.

After the meeting, Rodko with a group of former students of the Dalvitsa school went to Belostok and went into hiding. It was supposed to establish a connection with the armed groups from the number of Belorussian collaborators previously sent by the German secret services to the territory of Belarus, as well as the Polish underground formations of AK. After that, it was planned to start the organization of the rebel movement in the Belorussian SSR. But their plans have never been implemented. In July 1945, Rodko and members of his group were arrested.

In September 1951, the US intelligence sent to Belarus the emissary of the BPR Rada, a former member of the Belorussian armed collaborative formations I. Filistovich. His task was not only to collect espionage information, but also to study and recruit future occupation administration in preparation for a possible seizure of the BSSR by the US troops. Tactically Filistovich was recommended to agitate for the idea that in the case of the western occupation and subsequent public-political transformations, the changes will affect only the tip of the republic government. Filistovich had a certificate signed by Abramchik that was recommended to be used in certain situations as an irresistible proof that he was acting on behalf of the "foreign Belorussian government" and its "president". However, in September 1952, the activities of an emissary of the BPR Rada were terminated.

In August 1952, another group of four Belorussian emigrants trained in American intelligence schools with the direct participation of one of the BPR Rada leaders - B. Rogula, was sent to the territory of the Belorussian SSR. The task of the group was to gather intelligence data on the political situation in the Belorussian SSR, the attitude of the population to the activities of the Soviet authorities. As in the case with Filistovich, when agitating to attract new members to their ranks, the spies were supposed to focus on the possibility of a war between the US and the USSR in the near future, in the result of which Belarus would be occupied. At the same time it was necessary to emphasize that during the subsequent state reorganization of the republic its international status as a UN member would be preserved.

However, the plans have not been implemented. In September 1952, the spy group was neutralized. It was the last attempt of the BPR Rada to unite the scattered forces of the anti-Soviet underground in the territory of Belarus to fight for the "the independent Belorussian state."

The above examples show that the main factor that upset the plans of the underground anti-Soviet formations on the state and territorial reorganization of the Belorussian SSR during the Great Patriotic War and in the postwar period, was the entry of the republic to the United Nations as one of the founding states. The defeat of Nazi Germany also had a significant influence on this process, but it was not decisive in this context, because even at the final stage of the war the Belorussian collaborators took measures to reorient their interests from Nazi Germany in favor of the US and the UK. In the context of the "cold war", waged almost immediately after the World War II, the anti-Soviet underground formations, previously acting in the interest of the German occupation authorities, under the new foreign policy conditions have been actively used by the Western allies as a factor of destabilization of the internal political situation in the Soviet Union.

As an alternative to the Belorussian SSR, the representatives of the underground anti-Soviet formations could offer only a new political basis of the state - the "democratic", "anti-Stalinist". However, it was offered to implement this alternative Belorussian statehood at best within a very stripped-down "narrow strip" of the Belorussian land around Minsk, sandwiched between the territories claimed by the Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic underground anti-Soviet formations. Another "alternative" option could have been a union between the Belarusian and the Polish nationalists, as well as the "Baltic block". There has never been an image of Belarus as a country, one of the founders of the UN, the territorial borders of which are guaranteed not only the leaders of the USSR, but also by such an authoritative international organization.

As a result, the signing of the UN Charter by Belarus and the subsequent entry into this organization was not only undoubtedly a landmark foreign policy achievement of the Belorussian SSR, but also a deterrent to the appetites of the irreconcilable opponents. BCR, BPR Rada and other exponents of the interests of the fighters for the "Belorussian independent state" could only dream about it and still do so up to now.