Stanislav Shushkevich, First Leader of Post-Soviet Belarus, Dies at 87

His interest in Chernobyl was one reason why he sought a seat in the Congress of People’s Deputies, an agency Mr. Gorbachev founded in 1989; He was elected to Congress the following year. Following the August 1991 coup attempt, several parliamentary leaders were forced out, and Mr. Shushkevich was appointed president of the body.

After being ousted by Mr. Lukashenko in 1994, Mr. Shushkevich became a fierce critic of his successor and Mr. Lukashenko tended to make heavenly promises.

“If he can do it all, he is Moses,” Mr. Shushkevich told The Times in July 1994. “But he is not. Solzhenitsyn says that Vladimir Zhirinovsky “- a Russian fire extremist -” is a caricature of a Russian patriot. Well, Lukashenko is a caricature of Zhirinovsky. ”

However, Mr. Lukashenko may have correctly calculated a measure of retaliation. The Times reported In 2002 and 1997, he issued an executive decree regulating the new salary and living conditions for the pensions of state officials – with the exception of former presidents of the Supreme Soviet, a club including Mr. Shushkevich and another. In Belarus, which is prone to hyperinflation, that has made it difficult for Mr. Shushkevich to pocket.

His monthly payment “used to be about $200,” Mr. Shushkevich told The Times, “this is a good pension by our standards.”

“Now,” he said, “it is 3,196 rubles. That equates to $1.80. ”

In addition to his wife, his survivors include a son, Stanislau, and a daughter, Alena.

Mr. Shushkevich continued to fire his successor to the end. In one of his last interviews, in December, he made contact between Mr. Lukashenko and the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

“Putin and Lukashenko are still not satisfied with the collapse of the Soviet Union,” he said. “They want to rule forever. This is not the way to create a democracy.”

Milana Mazaeva contributed reporting.

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