Shushkevich, Stanislav Stanislavovich

Shushkevich, Stanislav Stanislavovich, Belarusian Stanislau Stanislavavich Shushkevich, 1934–, Belarusian political leader and scientist, first head of state of independent Belarus after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, b. Minsk. After earning a doctorate in physics and mathematics at Minsk State Univ. (now Belarusian State Univ.), he became a professor there and authored several textbooks. Shushkevich was elected to the USSR's Congress of People's Deputies and Supreme Soviet in 1989 and to Belorussia's Supreme Soviet in 1990. In 1991 he became chairman of the Belorussian Supreme Soviet (speaker of parliament of Belarus after independence). On Dec. 8, 1991, he, Russia's Boris Yeltsin, and Ukraine's Leonid Kravchuk signed an agreement founding the Commonwealth of Independent States and ending attempts to preserve the Soviet Union. Shushkevich supported free market and democratic reforms and the removal of the Soviet nuclear arsenal from Belarus, but in 1994 conservative opponents in parliament ousted him from office. He ran unsuccessfully for president later in 1994.

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