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.
With an HPI of 81.48, Shimon Peres is the most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 93 different languages on wikipedia.
Shimon Peres (; Hebrew: שמעון פרס [ʃiˌmon ˈpeʁes] (listen); born Szymon Perski; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the ninth President of Israel (2007–2014), the Prime Minister of Israel (twice), and the Interim Prime Minister, in the 1970s to the 1990s. 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 hiatus in early 2006, was in office continuously until he was elected President in 2007. At the time of his retirement 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 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 on 28 September 2016 near Tel Aviv.Peres was a polyglot, speaking Polish, French, English, Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew, although he never lost his Polish accent when speaking in Hebrew. In his private life, he was a poet and songwriter, writing stanzas during cabinet meetings, with some of his poems later being recorded as songs in albums. As a result of his deep literary interests, he could quote from Hebrew prophets, French literature, and Chinese philosophy with equal ease.
With an HPI of 79.63, Alexander Lukashenko is the 2nd most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 101 different languages.
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko or Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka (born 31 August 1954) is a Belarusian politician who has served as the first and only president of Belarus since the establishment of the office on 20 July 1994. Prior to his political career, Lukashenko worked as director of a state farm (sovkhoz), and served in the Soviet Border Troops and in the Soviet Army. Lukashenko continued state ownership of key industries in Belarus after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and retained important Soviet-era symbolism, which can be seen in the coat of arms and national flag of Belarus, adopted following a controversial 1995 referendum, which were based on the symbols of the Byelorussian SSR. Following the same referendum, Lukashenko was given more power with the ability to dismiss the Supreme Soviet of Belarus and another referendum in 1996 allowed Lukashenko to further consolidate power. The Russian language was also given the same status as Belarusian, and economic ties with Russia were strengthened, which furthermore led to the creation of the Union State with Russia, which allows Belarusians to freely travel to, work, and study in Russia, and vice versa. However, relations with Russia have not always run smoothly under his tenure, such as during the Milk Wars.Lukashenko heads an authoritarian government, and has often been referred to by media outlets as "Europe's last dictator." Elections are not considered to be free and fair by international monitors, opponents of the regime are repressed, and the media is not free, leading to sanctions on Lukashenko and other Belarusian officials being imposed. His disputed victory in the country's 2020 presidential election led to widespread allegations of vote rigging, which strongly amplified anti-government protests, the largest during his rule. Protesters have faced violent persecution by the authorities. A statement by the United Nations Human Rights Office on 1 September cited more than 450 documented cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, as well as reports of sexual abuse and rape. Following the contested election, Lukashenko is not recognized by the European Union and the United States as the legitimate president of Belarus.
With an HPI of 79.29, Menachem Begin is the 3rd most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 77 different languages.
Menachem Begin (Hebrew: מְנַחֵם בֵּגִין Menaḥem Begin (listen ); Polish: Mieczysław Biegun (Polish birth name), Polish: Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); Russian: Менахем Вольфович Бегин 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 its chief Begin was also noted as "leader of the notorious terrorist organisation" by British government and banned from entering the United Kingdom.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 was 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.
With an HPI of 78.05, Felix Dzerzhinsky is the 4th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky (Polish: Feliks Dzierżyński [ˈfɛliɡz dʑɛrˈʐɨj̃skʲi]; Russian: Фе́ликс Эдму́ндович Дзержи́нский; 11 September [O.S. 30 August] 1877 – 20 July 1926), nicknamed "Iron Felix", was a Bolshevik revolutionary and official. Born into Polish nobility, from 1917 until his death in 1926 Dzerzhinsky led the first two Soviet state-security organizations, the Cheka and the OGPU, establishing a secret police for the post-revolutionary Soviet regime. He was one of the architects of the Red Terror and decossackization.
With an HPI of 77.42, Chaim Weizmann is the 5th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Chaim Azriel Weizmann (Hebrew: חיים עזריאל ויצמן Hayyim Azri'el Vaytsman, Russian: Хаим Вейцман Khaim 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. It was Weizmann who convinced the United States government to recognize the newly formed state of Israel. As 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, Israel (which was later renamed the Weizmann Institute of Science in his honor), and was instrumental in the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
With an HPI of 76.72, Andrei Gromyko is the 6th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (Russian: Андре́й Андре́евич Громы́ко; Belarusian: Андрэ́й Андрэ́евіч Грамы́ка; 18 July [O.S. 5 July] 1909 – 2 July 1989) was a Soviet Belarusian communist 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 with his employment at 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. Upon his return to the Soviet Union 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 detente with the United States by negotiating the ABM Treaty, the 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 and the successive Defense Ministers, Andrei Grechko and Dmitriy 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 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.
With an HPI of 76.22, Stanisław August Poniatowski is the 7th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.
Stanisław August Poniatowski (born Stanisław Antoni Poniatowski, 17 January 1732 – 12 February 1798), known by his regal title Stanislaus II Augustus, 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 and became romantically involved with the future empress Catherine the Great. With her connivance, he was elected King of Poland by the Polish Diet 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 criticized primarily for his failure to resolutely stand against 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 the arts and sciences who laid the foundation for the Commission of National Education, the first institution of its kind in the world, and sponsored many architectural landmarks.
With an HPI of 75.75, Yitzhak Shamir is the 8th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.
Yitzhak Shamir (Hebrew: יצחק שמיר, listen ; born Yitzhak Yezernitsky; October 22, 1915 – June 30, 2012) was an Israeli politician and the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms, 1983–84 and 1986–1992. Before the establishment of the state of Israel, Shamir was a leader of the Zionist militant group Lehi. After the establishment of the Israeli state he served in the Mossad between 1955 and 1965 and as a Knesset Member. He served as the 6th Speaker of the Knesset and as Foreign Affairs Minister. Shamir was the country's third-longest-serving prime minister after David Ben-Gurion and Benjamin Netanyahu.
With an HPI of 71.97, Sviatopolk I of Kiev is the 9th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.
Sviatopolk I Vladimirovich (Sviatopolk the Accursed, the Accursed Prince; Old East Slavic: Свѧтоплъкъ, romanized: Svyatopolk; Russian: Святополк Окаянный; Ukrainian: Святополк Окаянний; c. 980 – 1019) was the Kniaz' (Turov) of Turov (988–1015) and Velykyi Kniaz or Grand Prince of Kiev (Kyiv, 1015–1019) whose paternity and guilt in the murder of brothers are disputed.
With an HPI of 71.84, Hacı I Giray is the 10th most famous Belarusian Politician. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
Hacı I Giray (1397–1466, ruled circa 1441–1466) was the founder of the Crimean Khanate and the Giray dynasty of Crimea. As the Golden Horde was breaking up he established himself in Crimea and spent most of his life fighting off other warlords. He was usually allied with the Lithuanians. His name has many spellings, such as Haji-Girei and Melek Haji Girai (Crimean Tatar: Bır Hacı Geray, بیر-حاجى كراى; Melek Hacı Geray, ملک خاجى كراى). He is said to have introduced the new state symbol: "taraq tamğa" or "the trident of Girays", which is derived from the scales insignia of the Golden Horde. A contemporary European source, The Chronicle of Dlugosz, described him as a person of outstanding personal values and a perfect governor.
Pantheon has 45 people classified as politicians born between 978 and 1982. Of these 45, 17 (37.78%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Alexander Lukashenko, Stanislav Shushkevich, and Ivonka Survilla. The most famous deceased politicians include Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin, and Felix Dzerzhinsky. As of October 2020, 6 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Mikołaj "the Red" Radziwiłł, Mikhail Chigir, and Mikola Statkevich.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 19 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.