chapter  3
22 Pages

Perestroyka and Independence, 1985 1993

The advent of the Gorbachev administration did not presage dramatic changes for Belarus until the late 1980s. The events of that period occurred largely as a result of reforms undertaken in Moscow, particularly after the 19th Party Conference of the CC CPSU in the summer of 1988. The policies of glasnost and perestroyka did, however, eventually have a profound impact on the republic, as elsewhere. The geographical location and historical back ground of Belarus-in both cases linked to the Baltic states ensured that it could not remain immune to the processes of destalinization, historical reas sessment, and revived public opinion that were taking place in the USSR, and in Lithuania in particular. The result was the first attempt in Belarus to form a public association that was widely perceived to be hostile to the Commun ist Party of Belarus (though Communists were included in its ranks), and was an organization seeking to reestablish the Revival movement of the 1920s: this was the Belarusian Popular Front, which today remains the most significant opposition political party. How was this party founded and what were its aims?