Log In

Belarus

Belarus

Flag_of_Belarus.svg
Pin it

Population: 9,457,500 (est.)

Language(s): Belarusian, Russian

Capital: Minsk

Interesting Facts:

  • The Belarusian ruble is the official currency of Belarus.
  • As of November 2011, 58.9% of all Belarusians adhere to some kind of religion; out of those, Orthodox Christianity makes up about 82%, with Roman Catholicism being the second most followed.
  • Belarus has a large irreligious population, with around 41.1% of the population.
  • Belarus also has the highest Human Development Index among members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • Belarus is a Presidential Republic.
  • Belarus declared itself a sovereign state in July 1990 and gained its independence on the 25th of August 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • Since 1996, Belarus has been negotiating with Russia for unification into a single state, called the Union of Russia and Belarus.
  • More than 80 percent of the population of Belarus comprise of native Belarusians. Aside from that, there are sizable minorities of Russians, Ukrainians and Poles.
  • The country boasts a literacy rate of around 99%.
  • Only around 1.5% of the population are unemployed.
  • Agriculture and manufacturing industries are the backbones of Belarusian economy.

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Hrodna (Grodno), Homiel (Gomel), Mahilyow (Mogilev) and Vitsebsk (Vitebsk). Over forty percent of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested, and its strongest economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing.

Until the 20th century, the lands of modern-day Belarus belonged to several countries, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Belarus became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR). Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939 when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were incorporated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland and were finalized after World War II. The nation and its territory were devastated in World War II, during which Belarus lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945, the Belorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR.

The parliament of the republic declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has been the country’s president since 1994. Despite objections from Western governments, Lukashenko has continued Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of the economy. According to some organizations and countries, elections have been unfair, and political opponents have been violently suppressed. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, with some hints of forming a Union State. Despite its close proximity to the rest of Europe and the West, Belarus’ Democracy Index rating continuously ranks the lowest in Europe, and is labeled as “Not Free” by Freedom House.

Over 70% of Belarus’s population of 9.49 million reside in urban areas. More than 80% of the population are ethnic Belarusians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. The Constitution of Belarus does not declare an official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Russian Orthodox Christianity. The second most popular, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following, although both Orthodox and Catholic versions of Christmas and Easter are celebrated as national holidays. Belarus also has the highest Human Development Index among members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Source: Wikipedia

News, tips, features, videos and facts on the world and travel. Need some travel help? Take a look around and if it's not there feel free to email or tweet us! @InformedXplorer

FEATURED

Sport

5 Must-See Sporting Events before you die

Nothing beats the thrill of watching live sports in a venue packed with screaming fans. The following list covers five major sports events that must be seen in a lifetime. FIFA World Cup   So this year's World Cup may be over, but fear not... There's more! Football (soccer) is by far…

0
Nepal

Trekking Nepal - an adventure guide to the perfect hike

You can hike all over the world, but there is no place like trekking Nepal. This is the land where you can trek through the highest mountains on earth, the Himalayas. The apeaks are legendary and the scenery is unparalleled. For an adventure of a lifetime, here are some of…

0
world cup

12 Essential Phrases for Brazil World Cup 2014

So your team have made the World Cup in Brazil 2014. Everything is ready, game tickets are bought, hotel and flights are booked… but have you been studying your Portuguese? You’re probably too busy buying sandals and looking forward to your tan – so I’ve taken care of that for…

0
Gap year

Do 'volunteer charity camps' do any good?

Do ‘volunteer camps’ actually do any good? Last year whilst travelling around Asia, my girlfriend and I stopped for a week in an Elephant Nature Reserve in Northern Thailand. After paying money to be there, we then ‘worked’ on the land to help the elephants, clearing their fields, building new huts…

0

Features

5 Must-See Sporting Events before you die

Nothing beats the thrill of watching live sports in a venue packed with screaming fans.…

Trekking Nepal - an adventure guide to…

You can hike all over the world, but there is no place like trekking Nepal.…

Do 'volunteer charity camps' do any good?

Do ‘volunteer camps’ actually do any good? Last year whilst travelling around Asia, my girlfriend and…

Exploring South Africa's countryside

Sophisticated travelers are always looking for authentic experiences, not just the standard tourist fare. In…

Undiscovered Thailand

Images of neon-lit shopping malls, skyscrapers, and great nightlife come to mind when we think…

Into the wild with an African Safari

Jump into the unknown with an exciting African safari where you can get up close…

Travel tips

Explore Australia by road

This is a guest post from Mick from Campervan rental in Australia In the present day, tourism truly plays a very significant…

12 Essential Phrases for Brazil World Cup 2014

So your team have made the World Cup in Brazil 2014. Everything is ready, game tickets are bought, hotel and…

Log In or Create an account