World History

Belarus | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Belarus:

Some of the oldest human archaeological evidence has been found in Belarus. Some archaeologists speculate that people lived there 10,000 years ago. However, Belarus’ recent history begins in the 6th century AD when Slavic tribes settled there. In 862, the Slavic tribes merged with some Scandinavian tribes to form a state called the Grand Duchy of Kiev. The capital is the city of Kiev, now called Novgorod.

In the 13th century Belarus became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The principality was then united with Poland until 1795 when the Russian Empire intervened and occupied the country. Belarus was part of the Russian Empire until its collapse in 1918. Belarus briefly declared independence, but was recaptured by the Soviet Union a few years later.

Belarus suffered badly in the decades that followed, first under Joseph Stalin’s rule and then under occupation by Nazi German forces during World War II. Over 800,000 Jews were executed by the Germans in Belarus.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared her independence on July 27, 1990. The country has been ruled by Alexander Lukashenka since 1994.

Information about Belarus:

Capital Minsk
Population 9,498,238 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Minsk (capital), Homyel, Hrodna, Mogilev, Brest
Borders Latvia to the north, Lithuania to the northwest, Poland to the west, Russia to the north and the east, and Ukraine to the south
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $72,793,457,588 (2022 worldometer)
Currency Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)

Flag of Belarus:

Belarus Economy Key Industries:

Belarus Major Industries: metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators

Belarus Agricultural Products: grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk

Belarus Natural Resources: forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay

Belarus Major Exports: machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs

Belarus Major Imports: mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals

The Geography of Belarus:

Total Size of Belarus: 207,600 km2 (source: 2022 The world factbook)

Geographical Low Point of Belarus: Nyoman River 90 m

Geographical High Point of Belarus: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m

Climate of Belarus: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime

General Terrain of Belarus: generally flat and contains much marshland

World Region or Continent of Belarus:  Europe

Geographical Coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E

The People of  Belarus & Culture

Belarus Government Type: republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship

Belarus Nationality: Belarusian(s)

Belarus National Holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note – 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Belarus Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Belarus National Symbol: mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser)

Belarus National Anthem or Song: My, Bielarusy (We Belarusians)

Belarus Languages Spoken: Belarusian, Russian, other

Belarus Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)

Interesting Facts about Belarus:

There are 9 rivers over 500 km. Berezina (wholly within Belarusian territory). Neman and Bilia (from the territory of Belarus). Western Dvina, Dnieper, Sosh, Pripyat, Western Bug and Golin (passing rivers).

Dzerzhinskaya, the highest peak in Belarus. It is located in the village of Skirmantvo near Dzerzhinsk, 30 km from Minsk. Dzerzhinskaya was once called the “Sacred Mountain” but was renamed in 1958.

Belarus is the largest European country without access to the sea. The nearest sea is 200 km away.

Belarus is called the “Lungs of Europe” (36% of the country is forest). That’s why you can feel the ease of breathing even in the city.

In Belarus swamps occupy a territory of about 1.7 million hectares. Swamps absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And the marshes are gaining popularity among tourists.

77% of her Belarusians are citizens, but only 23% of her live in the countryside. For this reason, travelers cannot meet anyone when crossing country roads.

Belarus has many deposits. The largest of these is the potash deposit near Soligorsk. It is the largest in Europe and one of the largest potash deposits in the world.

Many foreign celebrities have Belarusian ancestry. For example, Lisa Kudrow, Scarlett Johansson, Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Louis Meyer.

Thanks to Belarusian Boris Keith, who was involved in rocket fuel research, we were able to carry out the Apollo program, the first trip to the moon by humans.

Since programmers are a highly paid profession in Belarus, there are many companies dealing in information technology in the country.