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This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Belarusian (Taraškievica orthography). (November 2019) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Belarusian (Taraškievica orthography) article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Belarusian (Taraškievica orthography) Wikipedia article at [[:be-tarask:Русіфікацыя Беларусі]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|be-tarask|Русіфікацыя Беларусі)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
"Stop the genocide of the Belarusian language". A protest against the Russification of education. Minsk, 1995.
"Stop the genocide of the Belarusian language". A protest against the Russification of education. Minsk, 1995.

The Russification of Belarus (Belarusian: Расеізацыя Беларусі, Rasyeizatsyya Byelarusi; Russian: Русификация Белоруссии, romanizedRusyfikatsiya Byelorussii) is a policy of replacing the use of the Belarusian language and the presence of the Belarusian culture and mentality in various spheres of Belarusian public life by the corresponding Russian analogs. Russification is one of the two major reasons of insufficient adoption of the Belarusian language by Belarusians, another being Polonization.[1]

The policy of Russification was carried out by the authorities of the Russian Empire and, an certain times, by the authorities of the Soviet Union.[2][3][4][1] The Belarusian opposition believes that, with the coming of Aliaksandar Lukashenka to power in 1994, the Russification policy was renewed.[5][6][7][8][9] However since 2014 Lukashenka started showing the signs of "soft Belarusization" (Russian: мягкая белорусизация).[10][11][12]

In modern times, for the population of Belarus the Russian language is perceived as a trait of urban dwellers and associated with upward social mobility since the times of the Russian Empire, and the value of being fluent in Belarusian remains questionable.[1]

Components of Russification

The Russification of Belarus comprises several components:

Russification in Belarus under Lukashenka

Education

Minsk, Belarus, 2011: old street sign in Belarusian language (right) replaced with new one in Russian language (left).
Minsk, Belarus, 2011: old street sign in Belarusian language (right) replaced with new one in Russian language (left).

In the 1994-1995 academic year, 58% of students in the first classes of elementary school were taught in the Belarusian language (Minsk city). After gaining to power of Lukashenka in 1994, the number of these classes decreased. In 1999 only 5.3% of students in the first classes of elementary school were taught in the Belarusian language in Minsk.[17]

In the academic year 2016-2017 near 128,000 students were taught in Belarusian language (13.3% of total).[18] The vast majority of Belarusian-language schools located in rural areas that are gradually closed through the exodus of its population to the cities. Each year, there is a closure of about 100 small schools in Belarus, most of which use Belarusian language in teaching. There is a trend of transfer the students of these schools to Russian-language schools. Thus, there is a loss of students studying in Belarusian.[19]

Concerning to the cities, there are only seven Belarusian-language schools, six of which are in Minsk, the capital of Belarus (in 2019). Thus, the capital city, regional and district centers of the Republic of Belarus has six Belarusian-language schools in total:

  1. Gymnasium № 4 (Kuntsaushchyna street, 18 – Minsk, Frunzyenski District)
  2. Gymnasium № 9 (Siadykh street, 10 – Minsk, Pyershamayski District)
  3. Gymnasium № 14 (Vasnyatsova street, 10 – Minsk, Zavodski District)
  4. Gymnasium № 23 (Nezalezhnastsi Avenue, 45 – Minsk, Savyetski District)
  5. Gymnasium № 28 (Rakasouski Avenue, 93 – Minsk, Leninsky District)
  6. Secondary school № 60 (Karl Libkneht street, 82 – Minsk, Maskowski District)
  7. Secondary school № 4 (Savetskaya street, 78 – Ivanava city)
Number of Belarusian-language schools in the capital city, regional and district centers of Belarus (2019)
Settlement Number of Belarusian-language schools Total number of schools Percentage of Belarusian-language schools
Minsk 6 277 2.17%
Brest 0 37 0%
Vitsebsk 0 48 0%
Hrodna 0 42 0%
Homel 0 53 0%
Mahilyow 0 47 0%
District centers in total
(except the capital and regional centers)
1* ~ 920 0.11%
* in Ivanava (secondary school № 4)[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Yuliya Brel. (University of Delaware) The Failure of the Language Policy in Belarus. New Visions for Public Affairs, Volume 9, Spring 2017, pp. 59—74
  2. ^ Early Belorussian Nationalism in [Helen Fedor, ed. Belarus: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1995.]
  3. ^ Stalin and Russification in [Helen Fedor, ed. Belarus: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1995.]
  4. ^ Why Belarusians Don’t Speak Their Native Language? // BelarusFeed
  5. ^ Belarus has an identity crisis // openDemocracy
  6. ^ a b c d Vadzim Smok. Belarusian Identity: the Impact of Lukashenka’s Rule // Analytical Paper. Ostrogorski Centre, BelarusDigest, December 9, 2013
  7. ^ Нацыянальная катастрофа на тле мяккай беларусізацыі // Novy Chas (in Belarusian)
  8. ^ Галоўная бяда беларусаў у Беларусі — мова // Novy Chas (in Belarusian)
  9. ^ Аляксандар Русіфікатар // Nasha Niva (in Belarusian)
  10. ^ "Belarus leader switches to state language from Russian", BBC, July 10, 2014
  11. ^ "Belarus in the multipolar world: Lukashenka bets on himself"
  12. ^ Ivan Prosokhin, "Soft Belarusization: (Re)building of Identity or “Border Reinforcement”?" doi:10.11649/ch.2019.005
  13. ^ Страчаная спадчына. — Менск, 2003. С. 54. (in Belarusian)
  14. ^ Волкава В. Мінск 21 лютага 1918 г. вачыма нямецкага салдата (па матэрыялах газеты "Zeitung der 10. Armee") // Беларускі гістарычны часопіс. № 2, 2018. С. 11. (in Belarusian)
  15. ^ Соркіна І. Палітыка царызму адносна гарадоў Беларусі ў кантэксце гістарычнай памяці і ідэнтычнасці гараджанаў // Трэці міжнародны кангрэс даследчыкаў Беларусі. Працоўныя матэрыялы. Том 3. 2014. С. 376. (in Belarusian)
  16. ^ Kapylou I., Lipnitskaya S. Current status and related problems of national toponyms standardization in the Republic of Belarus // Studia Białorutenistyczne. Nr. 8, 2014.
  17. ^ Антонава Т. Моўныя пытаньні ў Беларусі // Зьвязда, 10 красавіка 1999 №59 (23660), 4–5 pp. (in Belarusian)
  18. ^ Марціновіч Я. Моўная катастрофа: за 10 гадоў колькасць беларускамоўных школьнікаў скарацілася ўдвая // Nasha Niva, May 31, 2017 (in Belarusian)
  19. ^ Алег Трусаў: Скарачэнне беларускамоўных школ можа прывесці да выраджэння нацыі // Берасьцейская вясна (in Belarusian)
  20. ^ Вучыцца на роднай мове. 8 фактаў пра беларускія школы // Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Belarusian)