The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Belarus

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This page contains a list of the greatest Belarusian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 19,576 Politicians, 56 of which were born in Belarus. This makes Belarus the birth place of the 53rd most number of Politicians behind Thailand, and South Africa.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Belarusian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Belarusian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Belarusian Politicians.

Photo of Shimon Peres

1. Shimon Peres (1923 - 2016)

With an HPI of 79.16, Shimon Peres is the most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 96 different languages on wikipedia.

Shimon Peres ( shee-MOHN PERR-ess, -⁠ez; Hebrew: שמעון פרס [ʃiˌmon ˈpeʁes] ; born Szymon Perski, Polish: [ˈʂɨmɔn ˈpɛrskʲi]; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the eighth prime minister of Israel from 1984 to 1986 and from 1995 to 1996 and as the ninth president of Israel from 2007 to 2014. He was a member of twelve cabinets and represented five political parties in a political career spanning 70 years. Peres was elected to the Knesset in November 1959 and except for a three-month-long interregnum in early 2006, served as a member of the Knesset continuously until he was elected president in 2007. Serving in the Knesset for 48 years (with the first uninterrupted stretch lasting more than 46 years), Peres is the longest serving member in the Knesset's history. At the time of his retirement from politics in 2014, he was the world's oldest head of state and was considered the last link to Israel's founding generation.From a young age, he was renowned for his oratorical brilliance, and was chosen as a protégé by David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father. He began his political career in the late 1940s, holding several diplomatic and military positions during and directly after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. His first high-level government position was as deputy director general of defense in 1952 which he attained at the age of 28, and director general from 1953 until 1959. In 1956, he took part in the historic negotiations on the Protocol of Sèvres, which was described by British Prime Minister Anthony Eden as the "highest form of statesmanship". In 1963, he held negotiations with U.S. President John F. Kennedy, which resulted in the sale of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel, the first sale of U.S. military equipment to Israel. Peres represented Mapai, Rafi, the Alignment, Labor and Kadima in the Knesset, and led Alignment and Labor.Peres first succeeded Yitzhak Rabin as acting prime minister briefly during 1977, before becoming prime minister from 1984 to 1986. As foreign minister under Prime Minister Rabin, Peres engineered the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty, and won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize together with Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the Oslo Accords peace talks with the Palestinian leadership. In 1996, he founded the Peres Center for Peace, which has the aim of "promot[ing] lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being." After suffering a stroke, Peres died in 2016 near Tel Aviv.

Photo of Menachem Begin

2. Menachem Begin (1913 - 1992)

With an HPI of 75.04, Menachem Begin is the 2nd most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 78 different languages.

Menachem Begin (Hebrew: מְנַחֵם בֵּגִין Menaḥem Begin, pronounced [menaˈχem ˈbeɡin] ; Polish: Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); Russian: Менахем Вольфович Бегин, romanized: Menakhem Volfovich Begin; 16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of Israel. Before the creation of the state of Israel, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944, against the British mandatory government, which was opposed by the Jewish Agency. As head of the Irgun, he targeted the British in Palestine. Later, the Irgun fought the Arabs during the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and, as its chief, Begin was described by the British government as the "leader of the notorious terrorist organisation". It declined him an entry visa to the United Kingdom between 1953 and 1955. However, Begin's overtures of friendship eventually paid off and he was granted a visa in 1972, five years prior to becoming prime minister.Begin was elected to the first Knesset, as head of Herut, the party he founded, and was at first on the political fringe, embodying the opposition to the Mapai-led government and Israeli establishment. He remained in opposition in the eight consecutive elections (except for a national unity government around the Six-Day War), but became more acceptable to the political center. His 1977 electoral victory and premiership ended three decades of Labor Party political dominance. Begin's most significant achievement as Prime Minister was the signing of a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, for which he and Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Prize for Peace. In the wake of the Camp David Accords, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula, which had been captured from Egypt in the Six-Day War. Later, Begin's government promoted the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Begin authorized the bombing of the Osirak nuclear plant in Iraq and the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to fight PLO strongholds there, igniting the 1982 Lebanon War. As Israeli military involvement in Lebanon deepened, and the Sabra and Shatila massacre, carried out by Christian Phalangist militia allies of the Israelis, shocked world public opinion, Begin grew increasingly isolated. As IDF forces remained mired in Lebanon and the economy suffered from hyperinflation, the public pressure on Begin mounted. Depressed by the death of his wife Aliza in November 1982, he gradually withdrew from public life, until his resignation in October 1983.

Photo of Chaim Weizmann

3. Chaim Weizmann (1874 - 1952)

With an HPI of 72.63, Chaim Weizmann is the 3rd most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.

Chaim Azriel Weizmann ( KY-im WYTE-smən; Hebrew: חיים עזריאל ויצמן, romanized: Chayyim Azri'el Vaytsman; Russian: Хаим Евзорович Вейцман, romanized: Khaim Evzorovich Veytsman; 27 November 1874 – 9 November 1952) was a Russian-born biochemist, Zionist leader and Israeli statesman who served as president of the Zionist Organization and later as the first president of Israel. He was elected on 16 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952. Weizmann was instrumental in obtaining the Balfour Declaration and later convincing the United States government to recognize the newly formed State of Israel. As a biochemist, Weizmann is considered to be the 'father' of industrial fermentation. He developed the acetone–butanol–ethanol fermentation process, which produces acetone, n-butanol and ethanol through bacterial fermentation. His acetone production method was of great importance in the manufacture of cordite explosive propellants for the British war industry during World War I. He founded the Sieff Research Institute in Rehovot (later renamed the Weizmann Institute of Science in his honor), and was instrumental in the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Photo of Felix Dzerzhinsky

4. Felix Dzerzhinsky (1877 - 1926)

With an HPI of 71.81, Felix Dzerzhinsky is the 4th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky (Russian: Феликс Эдмундович Дзержинский; Polish: Feliks Dzierżyński [ˈfɛliɡz d͡ʑɛrˈʐɨj̃skʲi]; 11 September [O.S. 30 August] 1877 – 20 July 1926), nicknamed "Iron Felix", was a Bolshevik revolutionary and politician. From 1917 until his death in 1926, he led the first two Soviet secret police organizations, the Cheka and the OGPU, establishing state security organs for the post-revolutionary Soviet regime. He was one of the architects of the Red Terror and de-Cossackization.Born to a Polish family of noble descent in the Minsk Governorate of the Russian Empire (now Belarus), Dzerzhinsky embraced revolutionary politics from a young age and was active in Kaunas as an organizer for the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party. He was frequently arrested and underwent several exiles to Siberia, from which he repeatedly escaped. He participated in the 1905 Russian Revolution and pursued further revolutionary activities in Germany and Poland. Following another arrest in 1912, he spent 4+1⁄2 years in prison before his release after the 1917 February Revolution. He then joined Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik party and played an active role in the October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power. In December 1917, Lenin named Dzerzhinsky head of the newly established All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Cheka), tasking him with the suppression of counter-revolutionary activities in Soviet Russia. The Russian Civil War saw the expansion of the Cheka's authority, inaugurating a campaign of mass executions known as the Red Terror. The Cheka was reorganized as the State Political Directorate (GPU) in 1922 and then the Joint State Political Directorate (OGPU) a year later, with Dzerzhinsky remaining head of the powerful organization. In addition, he served as director of the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy (VSNKh) from 1924. Dzerzhinsky died of a heart attack in 1926. He became widely celebrated in the Soviet Union, Poland and other communist countries in the following decades, with numerous places (including the city of Dzerzhinsk) named in his honour, and is among the few Soviet figures to be buried in an individual tomb in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Meanwhile, he also became a prominent symbol of repression and brutality to critics of the Soviet regime.

Photo of Alexander Lukashenko

5. Alexander Lukashenko (b. 1954)

With an HPI of 71.12, Alexander Lukashenko is the 5th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 119 different languages.

Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko (also transliterated as Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka; born 30 August 1954) is a Belarusian politician who has been the president of Belarus since the office's establishment in 1994. This makes him the longest-serving European president.Before embarking on his political career, Lukashenko worked as the director of a state farm (sovkhoz) and served in both the Soviet Border Troops and the Soviet Army. In 1990, Lukashenko was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he assumed the position of head of the interim anti-corruption committee of the Supreme Council of Belarus. In 1994, he won the presidency in the country's inaugural presidential election after the adoption of a new constitution. Lukashenko opposed economic shock therapy during the 1990s post-Soviet transition, maintaining state ownership of key industries in Belarus. This spared Belarus from recessions as devastating as those in other post-Soviet states and the former Eastern Bloc countries which prevented the rise of oligarchy. Lukashenko's maintenance of socialist economic model is consistent with the retaining of Soviet-era symbolism, including the Russian language, coat of arms and national flag. These symbols were adopted after a controversial 1995 referendum. Subsequent to the same referendum, Lukashenko acquired increased power, including the authority to dismiss the Supreme Council. Another referendum in 1996 further facilitated his consolidation of power. Lukashenko has since presided over an authoritarian government and has been labeled by the media as "Europe's last dictator". International monitors have not regarded Belarusian elections as free and fair, except for his initial win. The government suppresses opponents and limits media freedom. This has resulted in multiple Western governments imposing sanctions on Lukashenko and other Belarusian officials. Lukashenko's contested victory in the 2020 presidential election preceded allegations of vote-rigging, amplifying anti-government protests, the largest seen during his rule. Consequently, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States do not recognise Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus following the disputed election.Such isolation from parts of the West have increased his dependence on Russia, with whom Lukashenko had already maintained close ties with despite some disagreements related to trade. This has been particularly the case following the rise to power of Vladimir Putin, replacing reformist president Boris Yeltsin. Lukashenko played a crucial role in creating the Union State of Russia and Belarus, enabling Belarusians and Russians to travel, work, and study freely between the two countries. He also reportedly played a crucial role in brokering a deal to end the Russian Wagner Group rebellion in 2023, allowing some Wagner soldiers into Belarus.

Photo of Stanisław August Poniatowski

6. Stanisław August Poniatowski (1732 - 1798)

With an HPI of 70.50, Stanisław August Poniatowski is the 6th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Stanisław II August (born Stanisław Antoni Poniatowski; 17 January 1732 – 12 February 1798), known also by his regnal Latin name Stanislaus II Augustus, and as Stanisław August Poniatowski, was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1764 to 1795, and the last monarch of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Born into wealthy Polish aristocracy, Poniatowski arrived as a diplomat at the Russian imperial court in Saint Petersburg in 1755 at the age of 22 and became intimately involved with the future empress Catherine the Great. With her aid, he was elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania by the Sejm in September 1764 following the death of Augustus III. Contrary to expectations, Poniatowski attempted to reform and strengthen the large but ailing Commonwealth. His efforts were met with external opposition from neighbouring Prussia, Russia and Austria, all committed to keeping the Commonwealth weak. From within he was opposed by conservative interests, which saw the reforms as a threat to their traditional liberties and privileges granted centuries earlier. The defining crisis of his early reign was the War of the Bar Confederation (1768–1772) that led to the First Partition of Poland (1772). The later part of his reign saw reforms wrought by the Diet (1788–1792) and the Constitution of 3 May 1791. These reforms were overthrown by the 1792 Targowica Confederation and by the Polish–Russian War of 1792, leading directly to the Second Partition of Poland (1793), the Kościuszko Uprising (1794) and the final and Third Partition of Poland (1795), marking the end of the Commonwealth. Stripped of all meaningful power, Poniatowski abdicated in November 1795 and spent the last years of his life as a captive in Saint Petersburg's Marble Palace. A controversial figure in Poland's history, he is viewed with ambivalence as a brave and skillful statesman by some and as an overly hesitant coward by others, and even as a traitor. He is criticized primarily for his failure to resolutely stand against opposing forces and prevent the partitions, which led to the destruction of the Polish state. On the other hand, he is remembered as a great patron of arts and sciences who laid the foundation for the Commission of National Education, the first institution of its kind in the world, the Great Sejm of 1788-1792, which led to the Constitution of 3 May 1791 and as a sponsor of many architectural landmarks. Historians tend to agree that, taking the circumstances into account, he was a skillful statesman, pointing out that passing the Constitution was a sign of bravery, although his unwillingness to organize a proper nationwide uprising afterward is seen as cowardice and the key reason for the Second Partition and the subsequent downfall of Poland.

Photo of Andrei Gromyko

7. Andrei Gromyko (1909 - 1989)

With an HPI of 68.44, Andrei Gromyko is the 7th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (Russian: Андрей Андреевич Громыко; Belarusian: Андрэй Андрэевіч Грамыка; 18 July [O.S. 5 July] 1909 – 2 July 1989) was a Soviet politician and diplomat during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1957–1985) and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1985–1988). Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1988. In the 1940s Western pundits called him Mr Nyet ("Mr No") or "Grim Grom", because of his frequent use of the Soviet veto in the United Nations Security Council.Gromyko's political career started in 1939 in the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs (renamed Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1946). He became the Soviet ambassador to the United States in 1943, leaving that position in 1946 to become the Soviet Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Upon his return to Moscow he became a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and later First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He went on to become the Soviet ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1952. As Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union, Gromyko was directly involved in deliberations with the Americans during the Cuban Missile Crisis and helped broker a peace treaty ending the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War. Under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev, he played a central role in the establishment of détente with the United States by negotiating the ABM Treaty, the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the SALT I & II among others. When Brezhnev suffered a stroke in 1975 impairing his ability to govern, Gromyko effectively dictated policymaking alongside KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov, Defense Minister Andrei Grechko and Grechko's successor, Marshal Dmitry Ustinov. Even after Brezhnev's death, Gromyko's rigid conservatism and distrust of the West continued to dominate the Soviet Union's foreign policy until Mikhail Gorbachev's rise to power in 1985. Following Gorbachev's election as General Secretary, Gromyko lost his office as foreign minister and was appointed to the largely ceremonial post of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Subsequently, he retired from political life in 1988, and died the following year in Moscow.

Photo of Zalman Shazar

8. Zalman Shazar (1889 - 1974)

With an HPI of 65.53, Zalman Shazar is the 8th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Zalman Shazar (Hebrew: זלמן שז"ר; born Shneur Zalman Rubashov; Belarusian: Шнэер За́льман Рубашо́ў; Russian: Шне́ер За́лмен Рубашо́в; November 24, 1889 – October 5, 1974) was an Israeli politician, author and poet. Shazar served as the third President of Israel for two terms, from 1963 to 1973.

Photo of Sviatopolk I of Kiev

9. Sviatopolk I of Kiev (978 - 1019)

With an HPI of 64.51, Sviatopolk I of Kiev is the 9th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Sviatopolk I Vladimirovich (also called Sviatopolk the Accursed or the Accursed Prince; Old East Slavic: Свѧтоплъкъ, romanized: Svętoplŭkŭ; c. 980 – 1019) was Prince of Turov from 988 to 1015 and Grand Prince of Kiev from 1015 to 1019. He earned his sobriquet after allegedly murdering his brothers during his bid to take the throne. His actual responsibility is disputed by historians.The Svyatopolk-Mirsky family of Rurikid origin attribute their descent from Sviatopolk, although this claim may be dubious.

Photo of Mstislav I of Kiev

10. Mstislav I of Kiev (1076 - 1132)

With an HPI of 63.94, Mstislav I of Kiev is the 10th most famous Belarusian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Mstislav I Vladimirovich Monomakh (Old East Slavic: Мьстиславъ Володимѣровичъ Мономахъ, romanized: Mĭstislavŭ Volodiměrovičŭ Monomakhŭ; Christian name: Fedor; February 1076 – 14 April 1132), also known as Mstislav the Great, was Grand Prince of Kiev from 1125 until his death in 1132. After his death, the state began to quickly disintegrate into rival principalities. He was the eldest son of Vladimir II Monomakh by Gytha of Wessex. He is figured prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name Harald, to allude to his grandfather, Harold II of England.

People

Pantheon has 63 people classified as Belarusian politicians born between 978 and 1987. Of these 63, 24 (38.10%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Belarusian politicians include Alexander Lukashenko, Anatoly Chubais, and Ivonka Survilla. The most famous deceased Belarusian politicians include Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin, and Chaim Weizmann. As of April 2024, 9 new Belarusian politicians have been added to Pantheon including Radasłaŭ Astroŭski, Romuald Traugutt, and Jan Piotr Sapieha.

Living Belarusian Politicians

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Deceased Belarusian Politicians

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Newly Added Belarusian Politicians (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.