By David R. Marples

Belarus: From Soviet Rule to Nuclear disaster examines the valuable results of Soviet rule on Belarus because the prelude to an in depth research of the clinical and social outcomes of the nuclear coincidence at Chernobyl. It areas those difficulties into the modern political context and assesses the power of the newly-independent kingdom to house a catastrophe of such dimensions.

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Sample text

The majority of them have little faith in the future of their republic. In one sociological survey, 71 percent of the young people interviewed declared that they would be prepared to emigrate to obtain a better career. 4 The lack of faith in one's nation appears to be endemic in the Republic of Belarus. Thus, not only does one find the villages depopulated, but the city life has not provided satisfaction to the young people of the newly independent state. The depopulation of villages was paralleled by a general decline in the growth rate of the total population in the republic in the period 1965-75 in particular.

25 This feature of the Soviet period can be exemplified in several ways. One can perceive a distinct change in the size of families in the period 1970 and 1989, and the deterioration of family life in the villages. 5. 3 members. 2 The statistics provide evidence of the depopulation of the Belarusian village. The percentage of the rural population in the overall population of the republic has fallen from 43 in 1980 to 33 today. 3 Perhaps the young people would find it convenient to move to towns for better jobs and education?

Belarusian national consciousness, on the other hand, suffered as a result of urban development. All the large cities in Belarus (Hrodna being a possible exception) after the 1930s were repositories of the Russian language and the Belarusians were more easily assimilated in an urban environment. Although a small indigenous Belarusian elite may have had the opportunity to emerge and play a role in the political process, it was also dependent on the vigorous growth and preservation of a rural culture.

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