Belarus is a landlocked nation-state in Eastern Europe, which borders Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Its capital city is Minsk, and other important cities include Brest, Grodno, Gomel, Mogilev and Vitebsk.

Throughout much of history, the area which is now known as Belarus was part of various countries including Lithuania, Poland and the Russian Empire. Eventually, in 1922, Belarus became a republic in the Soviet Union as the Byelorussian SSR.

After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first president, Alexander LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion continue.

Languages commonly spoken in Belarus are Russian and Belarusian, which are both official languages of Belarus.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. You can read full article here!

Basic information

Full country name: Republic of Belarus

Government type: Republic

President: Aleksandr Lukashenko

Capital: Minsk

Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops,

Area: 207,600 sq km

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast')

Population: 9.468.002 (Junuary 2014)

Ethnic groups: Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 3.0% (2009 census)

Language: Belarusian and Russian - both are official

Religion: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (2009.)

GDP - per capita: $4915.93 (2014)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 9.3%, industry: 31.6%, services: 59.1% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate: 0.5% officially registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers (2014)

Population growth rate: -0.378% (2009 est.)

Source: The World Factbook. You can read full article here!

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