A history question: my friend, a Polish-Ukranian, says Marc Chagall was a Belarusan but everywhere I look I read he was born a Russian. If he was born in 1886 in Vitebsk, was this city part of the Russian Empire at that time or was it part of an independent Belarus? Or do some people consider him Belorusan now because that country is no longer part of Russia and they are changing his nationality retrospectively? Does this query make sense?! I'm simply interested as he is one of my favourite artists. Any help would be gratefully received.