Belarus in Polish eastern policy during the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1920)


Belarusian minority, Polish eastern policy, the Polish-Soviet war, Poland, Soviet Russia


The late 19th century saw a national awakening of the Belarusian people. During World War I, under German occupation, the Catholic Belarusian national movement intended to create a sovereign Belarusian state (the Belarusian People;s Republic) or in union with Lithuania (a revived Grand Duchy of Lithuania). After the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Orthodox national activists wanted a sovereign Belarus within a federal and democratic Russia. The Belarusian People’s Republic, established in March 1918, was not recognized by any state. Poland, Lithuania and Soviet Russia intended to incorporate the Belarusian lands on an autonomous basis. As a result of the Riga Peace Treaty (1921), the Belarusian lands were divided between Poland and Soviet Russia.