Has Minsk always been the capital of Belarus?
Published: 04 April 2011
Minsk only became the Belarusian capital in 1918. Navahradak and later Vilna (today, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania) were the capitals of the Belarusian-Lithuanian state the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was a core of today’s Belarus in the 13th-16th centuries.Warsaw was the capital of Rzecz Pospolita, the state which incorporated Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 16th-18th centuries. The capital of the briefly existing Lithuanian–Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, or Litbel, that existed within the territories of modern Belarus and eastern Lithuania in 1919, was initially Vilnius. In April 1919 the capital was moved to Minsk as Vilnius had been seized by the Polish Army with the onset of the Polish–Soviet War; Smolensk (now in Russia) was a temporary capital in 1919.