Vitali Silitski (25.12.1972 – 11.06.2011) – prominent Belarusian political scientist, who became well-known in the international scientific community with his concepts of preventive authoritarianism and authoritarian international. Studied in the Belarusian State University, got Master degree in the Central European University (Hungary). PhD in political science from the Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA). The first director of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies.
In the prime of his career passed away because of the cancer. To fulfil the last wish of Vitali Silitski – to keep his ideas alive – in May 2012 his friends and colleagues from Belarus and abroad created the Commemoration Committee.
Vitali had a great sence of humour. In 2009 he published in his Facebook 25+1 random facts about himself that may be seen as self-ironic biography:
1. I learned how to tie shoe laces correctly when I was 33. I downloaded the instruction from the internet.
2. My doctors triple measure my heart pressure because they would not believe I have the one of a normal person with all my weight.
3. I used to have a belt in taekwondo. Some 50 kg ago... About the same time, I was taking lessons in ballroom dances.
4. I can cook. I mean it.
5. I went to watch some Fellini movies at the Rutgers library in 1996. When the screen was on in a small booth I went out and realized I was instinctively looking for pop corn.
6. I received a Margaret Thatcher Trophy from the European Young Conservatives in 1999. Yes, all my leftie friends! (But I am really a libertarian. Call me a pro-choice pro-pot neocon :-)
7. First time I got drunk was when I was 15. I gulped a bottle of samogon to show off before the girls when the class was on vacation trip to Leningrad. It was 1988....
8. When I was 10, I hated to hear anything being said in Belarusian. When I was 20, I hated to hear anything being said in Russian.
9. I can barely pick between banya and football. When I go to the parilka with venik - all the crowd leaves because they cannot tolerate the amount of steam I put on. Thats' why I don't have many banya buddies.
10. I nearly died in Budapest when I was 21 when my appendicitus bursted. I could barely communicate with my neighbors to call the ambulance. Happily, one of them spoke English.
11. The first book I bought on my own money (I won a ruble in a lottery) was Vianok by Maxim Bahdanovich.
12. I flight attendant from Delta Kiev-New York flight once challenged me to name all the presidents of the US born in Virginia. I did and won first class service for the rest of the flight on a bet.
13. I considered converting to Catholicism when I was in early 20s, before I lost interest in any religion except for being an object of study and reflection on the possible ways of understanding the meanings of the world.
14. I went to Celine Dion concert... Had to take a friend who proofread a half of my Ph.D dissertation. Cannot even remember a more disgusting experience. Rooting for Chelsea, maybe?
15. When I was 16 I dreamt about being educated in the US. When I was 25, I dreamt about my think tank. I won't tell my my current dream :-)
16. I would not stand seeing New York without Twin Towers. My love to that city never came back. Sad... I really felt like falling out of love with a person.
17. I spent a year at Stanford and visited San Francisco only three times. I do believe that Palo Alto is the most relaxing, amazingly comfortable and friendly place where I lived or I will.
18. I mean it - I have no grudge against the EHU.
19. I would not drink beer for about a year and a half after coming back from California. You know, it is a wine country!
20. I was sitting in a bar with some 30 AC Milan fans on 25 May 2005 watching the champions league final. I was alone on the Reds' side over there. I did not leave at half time when it was 0-3. That's why scousers never walk alone.
21. I am in love with a stupid little blonde.
22. I once had a bad stomach on a transatlantic flight and spent most of it in the lavatory. Turbulence is funny over there!
23. I was nearly arrested on Kreschatik at 2.00 am. The cops cleared off when I told them they could take me to the police station if they wish. I made it clear I would not pay them.
24. Ayn Rand is my favorite writer. And Uladzimir Karatkevich is my favorite poet. I would name both as my favorite philosophers.
25. Once my friend was taking me to the airport at Boise, Idaho, and there was Highway to Hell on the radio. I used to put it on my player each time a plane was to take off for several years since then.
25+1. The stupid little blonde from point 21 is Belarus, of course.