Alexander Milinkevich

Alexander Milinkevich

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Biography

Family and origin

Alіaksandr Milinkevich was born 25th of July, 1947 in Hrodna in family of Belarusian intelligentsia; father was famous pedagogue and Honourary Teacher of the BSSR. Great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather participated in Kastus Kalinousky uprising, for were repressed. Grandfather was activist of Belarusian movement of 1920s in the Western Belarus.

Belarusian. Orthodox.

Married, has two sons, Aliaksandr and Vitaut, and granddaughter Maria.

Education

  • 1965 Graduated Hrodna public school No1 with honours;
  • 1969 Graduated from Physico-mathematical Department of Yanka Kupala Hrodna Pedagogical Institute with honours;
  • 1972 Finished postgraduate study in Physical Electronics including Quantum Electronics, Institute of Physics of Academy of Sciences of the BSSR;
  • 1976 Defended PhD thesis Mechanisms of generation of superpower laser impulses;
  • PhD in Physico-mathematical science, Associate professor.

Author of 65 research papers in quantum electronics, laser technology, history of culture, architecture, education, science and technology in Belarus; author of articles in encyclopedias History of Belarus and Architecture of Belarus.

As public leader and politician, participated in trainings in the USA, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and other countries with purpose to study public administration, economic reforms and human rights. Studied modern educational methods in the Great Britain and experience of sport development in Canada.

Native language is Belarusian. Fluent in Russian, French and Polish. Also speaks English and Ukrainian languages.

Career

  • 1969 Teacher of physics in Hrodna public school No16;
  • 1972-1976 Junior research fellow in Institute of Physics of Academy of Sciences of the BSSR;
  • 1976-1978 Engineer and Senior lector in Hrodna Pedagogical Institute;
  • 1978-2000 Associate professor of Hrodna State University;
  • 1980-1984 Head of Physics Department in Setif University, Algeria;
  • 1986-1993 Author and host of historical TV-programmes at Hrodna regional TV;
  • 1990-1996 Deputy head of Hrodna City executive committee where was responsible for issues of education, culture, religion, health care, mass media, international relations, sport, youth, and protection of historical heritage;

Resigned during preparation to anti constitutional referendum of 1996.

Public and political activity

  • 1988-1992 Organised restoration of one of the oldest in Europe tower clocks — Town Hall clocks in Hrodna;
  • 1996-2003 Head of Hrodna regional NGO Ratusha that was arbitrary closed by authorities;
  • 1999-2005 Head of Belarusian Association of Resource Centres;
  • 1999 Initiator of creation of the association Regional Belarus;
  • 2001 Head of election headquarter of candidate for presidency Siamion Domash;
  • 2003-2005 Head of Hrodna branch of Association of Belarusian School;
  • 2005-2007 Head of Council of the United Democratic Forces;
  • 2006 Presidential candidate;
  • From 2006 Chairman of Movement for Freedom.

Prizes and awards

  • 1989 Order of Merits for Polish Culture for discovery of remains of Stanislaw Poniatowski, last king of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania;
  • 1997 Laureate of the Independent Polkul Foundation (Australia) International prize for role in development Polish-Belarusian cultural ties;
  • 2006 Laureate of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought;
  • 2006 Laureate of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for special merits in peaceful coexistence and cooperation of communities, religions and cultures;
  • 2007 Laureate of the Liberal International Prize for Freedom award;
  • Honourary member of the Union of Poles in Belarus;
  • Honourary citizen of the city Tulsa (Oklahoma, USA);
  • Member of the International Federation of Journalists and the International PEN-Club.

Sport and hobby

1969 Champion of the BSSR in basketball.

President of the basketball club “Grodna-93” that became the champion of Belarus in 1996.

Takes great interest in history. Creates local history museum in his beloved village Bershty.

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