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Russel R. Zavistovich
Native name Расьціслаў Завістовіч
Raścisłaŭ Zavistovič
Born (1928-06-02)June 2, 1928
Wilno, Second Polish Republic
Died December 20, 2000(2000-12-20) (aged 72)
Ethnicity Belarusian
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Rutgers University
Organization Belarusian Congress Committee of America
Religion Eastern Orthodox
Spouse(s) Iraida Zavistovich

Russell Rascislav Zavistovich (Belarusian language: Расьціслаў Завістовіч, Raścisłaŭ Zavistovič, June 2, 1928 – December 20, 2000) was one of the leaders of the Belarusian American community in 1990–2000.


Early life

Zavistovich was born in Wilno, then part of the Second Polish Republic, into a Belarusian family. In 1944 he left Belarus with his parents. After several years in displaced persons camps, in 1948 the family moved to the United States and settled in South River, New Jersey.[1]

From late 1940s, Zavistovich was an activist in various Belarusian American youth organizations.


In the early 1950s he was drafted in the US Army and served in Germany[2] in the 313th Military Intelligence Service Platoon[1]

After demobilization, Zavistovich returned to the United States and studied at Rutgers University in New Jersey, graduating with a degree in electronics engineering.[1]

From the mid-1970s until 1986 Zavistovich worked as a civilian with the support center of the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, responsible for translating Soviet documents of naval significance.[1]

As the leader of the Belarusian community

Since 1990, Russell Zavistovich served as president of the Belarusian Congress Committee of America, a political action group of the Belarusian diaspora in the United States. He attended White House meetings on the Belarusian issues,[1] held correspondence with President Bill Clinton and assisted the newly established embassy of the independent Republic of Belarus in Washington, D.C.[2]

After President Aliaksandr Lukashenka established his authoritarian regime in Belarus, Zavistovich actively criticized him in a number of articles.[1]

Zavistovich served as an honorary member of the host committee for the NATO 50th anniversary summit.[1]


Russell Zavistovich was married to Iraida Zavistovich and had two children.[1]


Zavistovich is the author of a Belarusian translation of Belovezhskaya pushcha, a popular Soviet song by Nikolai Dobronravov and Aleksandra Pakhmutova, performed by the Belarusian Soviet rock band Pesniary. The Belarusian version was recorded by Bohdan "Danchyk" Andrusyshyn, a widely-popular singer from the Belarusian diaspora.[3]

See also

  • Belarusan-American Association
  • Rada BNR


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Russell Zavistovich". The Washington Post. December 22, 2000. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hardzijenka, Aleh (2009) (in Belarusian). Беларускі Кангрэсавы Камітэт Амэрыкі (БККАА). BINIM and the World Association of Belarusians. p. 220 and subsequent. 
  3. "Составлен топ-100 величайших белорусских песен. От "Майского вальса" до "Александрины»" (in Russian). BelaPAN. April 2, 2005. "10 место. "Беловежская пуща" Музыку к этой песне написала Александра Пахмутова, слова – Николай Добронравов. В репертуар "Песняров" она попала в 1976 году. На белорусский язык песню перевел Ростислав Завистович и исполнил Данчик." 

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