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A virtual guide to Belarus. The former Soviet republic is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia in northeast, Ukraine in south, Poland in west, by Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.

With an area of 208,000 km² Belarus is the largest landlocked country in Europe, compared it is somewhat smaller than the island of Great Britain (229,848 km²), or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Kansas.

Belarus has a population of 9.5 million people (in 2016). Capital and largest city is Minsk. Spoken languages are Belarusian (official) 24%, but 70% speak Russian (official), there are small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities. Ethnic Belarusians, who speak an East Slavic language closely related to Russian and Ukrainian, make up more than three-quarters of the population.

This page aims to give you a broad overview of Belarusian art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.

Republic of Belarus | Respublika Bielarus

Country Profile

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 1995 as the country's first president, Alexander LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means.

The Constitution revision by national referendum of 24 November 1996 gave presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996, revised again 17 October 2004 removing presidential term limits.
Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion continue.


Official Name:
Respublika Bielarus
int'l long form: Republic of Belarus
int'l short form: Belarus
formerly: Belorussia, Byelorussia

ISO Country Code: by

Time Zone: Eastern European Time
Local Time = UTC +2h (summer +3)
Actual Time: Thu-Apr-19  14:51

Country Calling Code: +375

Capital City: Minsk

Other Cities: Baranovichi, Bobruysk, Brest,
Gomel, Grodno, Hrodna, Mogilev, Polotsk, Vitebsk.

Type: Republic (in fact a dictatorship)
Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union).

Location: Eastern Europe.
Area: 208,000 km² (80,100 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Landlocked, generally flat with thick forests, much marshland and fields.

Climate: Cold winters, cool and moist summers, transitional between continental and maritime.

Nationality: Belarusian
Population: 9.5 million (2016)
Ethnic groups: Belarusian (81%), Russian (11%), Polish, Ukrainian, other (8%).
Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Protestant, Autocephalous Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim) 20%.
Language: Belarusian, Russian (official).
Literacy: 98%.

Natural resources: Forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay.

Agriculture products: Grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk.

Industries: Metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators.

Exports partners: Russia 39%, UK 11.2%, Ukraine 9.5%, Netherlands 4.3%, Germany 4.1% (2015)

Imports partners: Russia 56.6%, China 7.9%, Germany 4.6% (2015)

Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Belarus

Presidential Administration Belarus
The Presidential Administration of the Republic of Belarus.

National Centre of Legal Information
Belarus legal information exchange.

Ministry of Foreign Affaires
Official website of MOFA Belarus.

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the UN
Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations.
Embassy of the Republic of Belarus
Washington D.C.

National Statistical portal of the Republic of Belarus
Belarus in numbers.

The official Belarusian weather.


 Map of Belarus
Political Map of Belarus.

Google Earth Google Earth Belarus
Searchable map and satellite view of Belarus.
Google Earth Google Earth Map of Minsk
Searchable map and satellite view of the capital of Belarus, Minsk.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.


Belarus has been heavily criticised by rights bodies for suppressing free speech, muzzling the press and denying the opposition access to state media. (BBC)

News agency
Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA)
Official Belarusian news agency.

Sovetskaya Belorussiya (Советская Белоруссия)
Soviet Belarus - main government daily.
Respublika (РЭСПУБЛIКА)
Public affair - Council of Ministers daily.
Narodnaya Gazeta (Народная газета)
The People's newspaper - National Assembly daily.
Zvyazda (Звязда)
Star - Belarussian daily, sponsored by National Assembly and Council of Ministers.

BDG Delovaya Gazeta (БДГ Деловая газета)
The business newspaper - private, business daily.

Narodnaya Volya (Народная воля)
"The People’s Will" - independent newspaper founded by Iosif Seredich, a opposition daily; banned from government-run distribution network, printed in Russia.

BelGazeta (БелГазета)
Bel is an analytical weekly. Published since September 1995 in Minsk.

BelaPAN (БелаПАН)
Belarus news partly also in English.

Monthly business magazine. (in Russian)

Belarus TV
Belteleradiocompany, government run network.
Nationwide TV (ONT)
Joint venture with Russia's Channel One.

Radio Belarus
The government-run Belarussian Radio operates three national networks.


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Arts & Culture

Bella Belarus
Bella Belarus is an online art gallery of Belarusian contemporary art.

Belarus Forum
Belarus community partly in German.

The National Academic Theatre of Republic of Belarus
The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus.

NAVINKI International Performance Art Festival
The Performance Festival includes artists from Belarus, Poland, Iceland, Japan, and Switzerland.

National Art Museum
National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

National Library of Belarus
The Library houses the largest collection of Belarusian printed materials.

Palace of the Republic
Venue of the Department of the state, special and cultural-entertainment actions, located in Minsk.
Minsk - capital city of Belarus
Minsk - the Capital City of Belarus
Photo: Sergej Melnik

Business & Economy

National Bank of the Republic of Belarus
The Central Bank of Belarus.

Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Official pages of the Belarusian CCI. (in English and Russian)


Belarusian Airlines
Belarusian National Airlines, the flag carrier of Belarus.
Minsk-2 National Airport
Minsk National Airport is the main air gateway to the Republic of Belarus.

Belarusian Railway
The Belarusian Railway is one of the leaders of the national economy. 75% of all cargo and 45% of all passengers of the country are transported by the Belarusian Railway.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination Belarus - Travel and Tour Guides

Belarus related Sites

The National Tour Operator of the Republic of Belarus.

great site Belarus Guide
The Virtual Guide to Belarus, an extensive compilation of information about Belarus.
A Guide to Belarus.
General Information about Belarus.

Official website of the capital city.

Minsk In The Fifties
It's like a slow timemachine.

Official website of Brest.

Official website of Gomel.

Grodno (Hrodna)
Grodno Online (in Russian).
Information on the City of Hrodna.



Belarusian State University
Minsk, founded in 1921.
Brest State University
Brest State University named after A.S.Pushkin (BrSU) was founded in 1945 as Brest State Teachers' Training Institute. It is located in the center of Brest.
Gomel State University
University Homepage (in Russian)
The National Academy of Sciences
Scientific research, founded in 1929.
Belarus: Science and Education
Comprehensive list of links to Belarus science and education.

Environment & Nature

BelAL - Belarus Agricultural Library
BelAL is the national information centre for agriculture, food and forestry in Belarus.
Belarusian Nature
Site with information about Belarusian Nature.
Priroda.Org - The Nature
Belarus ecology informational portal. (in Russian)


History of Belarus
About Belarus' history by the National Tourism Agency.
Ancient Cities of Belarus
The Ancient Cities of Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev and Polotsk.
History of Belarus (Great Litva)
Comprehensive information about the History of Belarus.
History and Famous Personalities
Linklist of history recources.

History of Belarus
Wikipedia article describes the history of Belarus.


Open Directory Project: Belarus

Country Profiles:

Amnesty International: Belarus

BBC News Country Profile: Belarus
HDR - Human development index Belarus
FAO: Belarus
UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
FCO: Belarus
A UK Foreign Office country profile.
Human Rights Watch: Belarus Belarus
UNDP - Human Development Indicators: Belarus
Wikipedia: Belarus
Worldbank Data: Belarus
The World Factbook -- Belarus
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