Template:Infobox fictional location Veyshnoria (Template:Lang-ru, Template:Lang-be) is a fictional state created for Zapad 2017, a joint Russo–Belarusian military training exercise. It neighbors Belarus and is an enemy of the Union State. Veyshnoria occupies most of the Grodno Region and the northwestern parts of the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
There are two other fictional enemies of the Zapad 2017 participants: Vesbaria and Lubenia. Lubenia straddles the Suwałki Gap and covers parts of northeastern Poland and southwestern Lithuania, while Vesbaria covers the rest of Lithuania and central Latvia.
The "proclamation" of the state caused a response on the Internet, often humorous. Since September 2017, a web-based Veyshnoria have been proclaimed, which started acquiring the signs of an internet-based micronation with more than 18 thousand people signing for "citizenship".
The name "Veyshnoria" comes from the Baltic name of Veisnor (Lithuanian "Vaišnoras", Old Prussian "Waisnor") – "one who willingly treats" (hospitable). There are several places in Lithuania called Vaišnoriai (plural for "Vaišnoras").
Zapad 2017 scenario
Zapad 2017 was a joint strategic military exercise of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and Belarus (the Union State of Russia and Belarus) held 14–20 September 2017, in Belarus as well as in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and other north-western areas.
According to the scenario a conflict between "The North" (the Union State) and "The West" (a coalition of three aggressor states: Veyshnoria, Vesbaria and Lubenia) developed. "The West" tries to split the union of Belarus and Russia, worsen the socio-economic situation in the Union State, and force a change of leadership, and Veyshnoria is trying to annex parts of Belarus. After that, "the West" sends its troops enter the rest of the territory of Belarus. The Union State resists these actions.
In a post on Facebook, Sergey Chaly noticed a similarity between Veyshnoria and the region of Belarus where a large percentage of voters supported Zianon Pazniak in the first round of the 1994 presidential election. Journalist Leonid Bershidsky further pointed out that this territory has a high proportion of Catholic population and a high share of Belarusian-language speakers in the bilingual Russian-Belarusian state with dominant Russian Orthodox church. In Bershidsky's view these observations may be how the Zapad 2017 scenario was intended to be seen: Veyshnoria seeks destabilization of Belarus the same way, in the eyes of the Russian establishment, it happened in Ukraine (by pro-Western national forces, allegedly fomented by "the West").
The creation quickly found a humorous response in social media. On 30 August 2017, a satirical Twitter account of the Foreign Ministry of Veyshnoria appeared, which published political statements on behalf of the state. According to the account, the anthem of the state is the song "Niamon" (meaning "Neman") by the Belarusian band Stary Olsa. The same account says that the official residences of the state are in Grodno, the parliament and the government (in addition to the Ministry of Culture) in Lida, and the cultural capital of Veyshnoria is Smarhon. Veyshnoria is also present on Facebook, and its Russian Wikipedia article had been noted as "a dry rundown of how Veyshnoria emerged" before the article was deleted and redirected to the article on Zapad 2017.
Similar Flag designs
The flag of Veyshnoria is noticeably similar to the Russian anti-war 'White-blue-white' flag which was created and popularized as a symbol of dissent to the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine, with the БСБ flag mimicking the flags used by imperial and modern Russia, and the red stripe of its tricolor, perceived by some as being imperialistic and representing bloodshed, having been omitted. The primary and sole difference between the БСБ flag and the Veyshnoria flag is a gold colored Cross of Lorraine on its charge, over the flag's fess.
Similar to the БСБ flag, the БЧБ flag, a historical flag of Belarus which has been utilized by the Belarusian Democracy Movement, notably during the 2020–2021 Belarusian protests, is also visually alike to the Veyshnoria flag.
Some Belarusian businessmen were quick to monetize Veyshnoria by launching a Veyshnoria website and legally registering it as a gaming service. After Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko issued the decree which made cryptocurrencies a legal method of payment and the Taler (TLR) cryptocurrency was launched in Belarus, Taler was made the official currency of Veyshnoria. Later the development of Taler was transferred "under the patronage of Veyshnoria" and the pre-mining assets were passed to Veyshnoria.
Online "Veyshnorians" were quick to notice that the following famous persons have Veyshnorian descent:
- Olga Korbut, Olympic gymnast, was born in Grodno
- Shimon Peres, the 9th President of Israel, was born in Vishnyeva, Valozhyn Raion, Minsk Region, near the border with Lithuania
- Parents of Charles Kushner, a relative-in-law to Donald Trump, were Holocaust survivors from Navahrudak area (see Joseph Kushner).
- San Escobar, another fictional country that emerged from a spontaneous internet reaction
- "«Вейшнорыя», «Весбарыя» і «Лубенія» нападаюць на Беларусь і Расію — сцэнар вучэнняў «Захад-2017»" ["Veyshnoria", "Vesbaria" and "Luben" attack on Belarus and Russia - a scenario exercise" Zapad-2017]. Nasha Niva (in Belarusian). 29 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- "Belarus at 'war' with imaginary country of Veyshnoria". BBC. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- "Вейшнорыя, Весбарыя, Лубенія: што азначаюць назвы ўмоўных ворагаў Беларусі" [Veyshnoria, Vesbaria, Lubenia: What are the names of the enemies of Belarus]. Nasha Niva (in Belarusian). 29 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- Republic of Veishnoria: Official page and social network
- "Как придуманное государство стало бизнес-проектом" [As invented the state has become a business-project] (in Russian). 8 November 2017.
- "Что заставляет белорусов эмигрировать в Вейшнорию и "брать с собой тюрьму"" [What makes Belarusians emigrate to Veyshnoria and "take prison with them"] (in Russian). 17 February 2018.
- Weishnorian citizenship already got...
- Vaišnoriai (Šiauliai), Vaišnoriai (Joniškis)
- Shamshur, Yuri (17 July 2017). "Глава Минобороны Белоруссии: учение "Запад-2017" не направлено против третьих стран" [The head of the Belarusian Defense Ministry: the "Zapad-2017" doctrine is not directed against third-world countries] (in Russian). TASS. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- Shevchenko, Anton (8 August 2017). "На учениях "Запад-2017" противниками России и Беларуси будут "сказочные" страны" [In the exercise "Zapad-2017" opponents of Russia and Belarus will be "fabulous" countries] (in Russian). Hvylya. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- "«Варожая Вейшнорыя» супадае з электаральнай картай Пазняка за 1994 год" ["Enemy Veyshnoria" coincides with the electoral map Pozniak 1994]. Nasha Niva (in Belarusian). 29 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- "Belarusian Twitter users are swearing allegiance to a fictional country invented for Moscow's 'Zapad 2017' war-games". Meduza. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- Bershidsky, Leonid. "The Zapad Military Exercise Reveals Putin's Fear". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "Країна Вейшнорія завойовує жартівливу популярність в соцмережах" [The country of Veyshnoria gains humorous popularity in social networks]. Vgolos (in Ukrainian). 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "A new symbol of Russia's anti-war movement Meduza explains the origins of the white-blue-white flag". Meduza. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
- "White Blue White Flag". www.flagguys.com. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
- "Флаг прекрасной России будущего". whitebluewhite.info (in Russian). Retrieved 30 June 2022.
- "Republic of Veyshnoria - MicroWiki". micronations.wiki. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
- "Как бы страна. Как делается бизнес на Вейшнории". Деловая столица (in Russian). 12 July 2018.
- "Создатели криптовалюты Талер выходят из проекта"
- Принято решение передать оставшуюся часть премайна проекту #Вейшнория.
- "МИ, НЕЗАЛЕЖНІ ВЕЙШНОРЦЫ…" ("We, Independent Veyshnorians...") 9 September 2017 (retrieved 28 November 2017)
- Viejšnoryja: the Belarusian Defence Ministry plays with fire Belarus Digest