Belarusian Statesman. He served as the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet (or President) of the Republic of Belarus from August 25, 1991 to January 26, 1994. He attended Belarusian State University and graduated in 1956 with a degree in physics and mathematics. He later studied at the graduate school of the Institute of Physics of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, conducting research in the field of radio electronics. During the early 1960s, he worked at an electronics factory as an engineer and was in charge of teaching Lee Harvey Oswald Russian when Oswald lived in Minsk. For most of his career, he worked as a scientist, writing textbooks and various articles and creating 50 inventions. After the failed attempted coup in the Soviet Union on August 25, 1991, he became the acting speaker of the Supreme Soviet and later presided over Belarus' voting to secede from the Soviet Union. This vote made him the first leader of the new nation. On September 18, he became Chairman of the Supreme Soviet and served in this post for three years before losing a vote of confidence in early 1994 after charges of corruption were leveled on him by future President Alexander Lukashenko. He would continue on the political scene after leaving office until his passing.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye