On the night of May 4, the first leader of the independent Republic of Belarus, Stanislau Shushkevich, died in Minsk at the age of 87, according to his wife Irina.
Stanislau Shushkevich was a well-known Belarusian scientist, a People's Deputy of the USSR (since 1989), a People's Deputy of the Belarusian SSR (since 1990), and was elected First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet. After the August 1991 coup, he headed the Belarusian parliament.
Shushkevich was one of the participants, along with Ukrainian and Russian leaders, in the Belavezha Accords, which dissolved the USSR in December 1991.
He was removed from the post of the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus in early 1994. He ran in the 1994 Belarusian presidential election, but did not make it to the second round.
In 1995, he was re-elected to the Belarusian legislature, as a member of the Civic Action faction. In the fall of 1996, he signed a petition to the Constitutional Court to impeach Alexander Lukashenko.
For a long time, he headed the Belarusian Social Democratic community and criticized Lukashenko's policies.
In April 2022, Shushkevich's health deteriorated after suffering from a coronavirus infection, and he spent several days in intensive care.