Returning to the «Severo–Zapadnyj kraj»? (Hienadz Sahanovic).
A new educational book on history of Belarus is written by a big group of authors who are lecturers on history and are quite unknown as investigators. The book has appeared to be amorphous, confused, full of factographical errors, and — which is the main thing — extremely saturated with ideology. The authors inherit Russian and soviet historiographical traditions treating the main problems of Belarusian history from point of view of the USSR and sometimes even of tsarist Russia. For example, the role of the Baltic substratum in ethnogenesis of the Belarusians is disclaimed; it is affirmed again about the unity of the Old Russian state and of the Old Russian nationality which gave the birth to the Belarusians. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania is interpreted as Russian—Lithuanian state the Orthodoxy population of which aspired to unite with Moscow. Poland and everything connected with it (Union of Lublin, Roman Catholicism, and Church Union of Brest) are shown in negative light and Russia at the same time — in positive light exclusively. Even the fault for devastated wars led by Moscow in the 16th—17th centuries on the territory of Belarus the authors lay on Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, according to the book, have become a natural end of that inapplicable state while Russia is allegedly innocent.
This is the first educational aid on Belarusian history for students of such kind which, factually, has become a re–edition of history of «Severo–Zapadnyj kraj» with some sections written in traditions of Russian monarchic–clerical historiography. Its publication has appeared to be a rude intervention of today ruling authorities into the Belarusian past.