Upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarus kept the anthem it used as a soviet socialist republic since 1955, without the words. (Many SSR’s have used an wordless, or instrumental, version of the SSR hymn very soon after achieving independence.) Replacing the work outright with a new song was considered, and suggestions such as “Магутны Божа!” (“Mahutny Bozha”) [O God Almighty] by Natalla Arsiennieva (which was recommended by the parliamentary education and culture committee in 1995, but was not acted upon) and “Маладая Беларусь” “Maładaja Biełaruś” [Young Belarus] by Janka Kupala (but was never set to music) were put forward, but no change was made.
On July 2, 2002, President Lukashenko set a decree that the Belarus hymn will have lyrics, and ones were adopted in a contest. The lyrics by the contest winner, Uladzimir Karyzna, were similar to the Belarusian SSR anthem lyrics and were based on Klimkovich’s original lyrics for the soviet republic’s anthem.
Protestors against Lukashenko’s government use a variety of songs, including the aforementioned hymn “Mahutny Bozha” and the anthem of the last Belarusian state, “Vajacki mars”.
Special thanks to: Antoine Vélu and Zachary Harden for providing some of this information, to Jaroslaw Wojcik for the sheet music, and Paveł Zinovatny for the Romanized lyrics.