Belarus: area, composition of the population, history. President of Belarus
The Republic of Belarus is a young state in Eastern Europe. It appeared on the political map of the planet only in 1991. By area, Belarus takes 84th place in the world and 14th - within Europe. Where is the country located? How many people live in it? Who is the president of Belarus? Our article will answer these and many other questions.
What do we know about Belarus?
The Republic of Belarus (or Belarus) is an independent state in the eastern part of Europe. One of the former republics of the USSR. Quite often there are disputes over how to write and speak correctly: Belarus or Belarus. Perhaps we should answer this question at the very beginning of our article.
A country like Belarus, according to the international registry of UN countries, does not exist in the world. For the correct (official) name of this state is the Republic of Belarus.That is how the Belarusians themselves call their country. However, the name “Belarus” has taken root in the Russian language since the Soviet times. Its use is very common and generally acceptable in informal speech.
By area Belarus can be attributed to the middle countries. In terms of population, it ranks 93rd in the world. In Belarus they speak two languages - Russian and Belarusian (both have state status). The capital and largest city of Belarus is Minsk.
10 interesting facts about the country
- Belarus is the only European country that does not belong to the Council of Europe (this, in turn, means that Belarusians cannot appeal to the Strasbourg court to protect their rights);
- only in Belarus can bison be found in a wild habitat that is natural to it;
- “As it is heard, and it is written” - this principle is suitable for most Belarusian words;
- the death penalty has not yet been abolished in this country (however, it cannot be assigned to a woman);
- Belarusian medicine - cheap and very high quality;
- phenomena such as “corruption” and “blat” have been practically eradicated in Belarus;
- the country boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe;
- Belarus is the largest relic forest in Europe;
- one of the founders of the prestigious Oscar was born here;
- of all the countries of the planet Belarus suffered the most during the Second World War.
Geographical location and area of Belarus
The Republic is located in Eastern Europe. Common borders with Belarus have five states. These are Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The longest border with Belarus in Russia is 1283 km.
Belarus refers to the list of countries that are landlocked. However, it has a very favorable geographical position. It is through Belarus that important transport corridors pass, connecting Asia with Europe.
The total area of Belarus (in thousand km2) is 207,595. By the way, in this country there is one of the geographical centers of Europe. This point is located near the town of Polotsk.
The relief of the republic is predominantly flat, with rare elevations in the central part. The country completely lies in the zone of temperate continental climate. The western part of Belarus is most susceptible to the effects of moist air masses from the Atlantic.
Republic of Belarus: state system, president and currency
Belarus - a unitary presidential republic.The country's president is elected by direct general election for a term of five years. He forms and leads the government. From 1994 to today, President of Belarus is Alexander Lukashenko.
Such a long tenure of one person in the presidential chair largely served the reason for the fact that Belarus today is often called the “last European dictatorship”. The “unfree country” also called the republic an international human rights organization Freedom Hous, referring to the norms of its current Constitution.
The modern currency of Belarus is the Belarusian ruble. It is curious that in the beginning of the 90s some public figures suggested a different name for Belarusian money - thaler. However, the Supreme Council of Belarus rejected it. Another name of the currency of Belarus - “bunny” - took root in the people. Why? The thing is that the hare was depicted on the first ruble banknotes of the country.
Administratively, the territory of the republic is divided into six areas:
The capital of Belarus (Minsk) is an independent administrative unit and is not included in any of the regions.
Symbols of Belarus: coat of arms, flag and anthem
The republic has three state symbols: the emblem, the flag and the anthem. The coat of arms of Belarus was approved in 1995. On it you can see the green contour of the republic superimposed on the golden rays of the sun, which rises above the globe (on the globe depicts the northern regions of Eurasia). The coat of arms is crowned with a red five-pointed star and framed with a wreath of wheat ears with flax flowers (right) and clover flowers (left). The wreath is intertwined with a red-green ribbon, in the central part of which the phrase “Respublika Belarus” is often inscribed in gold.
The flag of Belarus is a rectangular panel with a 1: 2 aspect ratio. It consists of two horizontal stripes: red (top) and green (bottom). And two-thirds of the width of the cloth takes a strip of red. A red-and-white ornament, vertically based on the “Rising Sun” folk pattern of 1917, is vertically positioned near the shaft.
Among the modern symbols of all the post-Soviet republics, the flag of Belarus is closest to the Soviet version. It is important to note that from 1991 to 1995, the country had another flag - white-red-white.This banner also served as a symbol for the so-called BNR (Belarusian People’s Republic), which existed from March 1918 to February 1919.
The national anthem of the republic is the composition “We Belarusians”. The music for it was written in 1955 by the famous composer Nestor Sokolovsky.
Pages of history of Belarus
Belarus is one of the most favorable countries for human life, if we talk about natural and climatic factors. This is confirmed by archaeological finds. The first man settled on this land 100 thousand years ago.
The history of Belarus has more than one century. Suffice it to recall the fact that Minsk is much older than Moscow. However, until 1991 (with the exception of a very short period at the beginning of the twentieth century) the country was never independent. From the XIII century it was ruled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and from the middle of the XVI century - as part of the Commonwealth. In 1772, the Belarusian lands were divided between three states: Prussia, the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian empires. From 1921 to 1991, Belarus was part of the Soviet Union.
The years of the Second World War are the worst period in the history of the country.The war claimed the lives of more than two million Belarusians. During the fighting, more than 200 Belarusian cities and about 9,000 villages were destroyed. No less tragic page in the history of the country - the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Belarus suffered most of all from the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The population of Belarus: general characteristics
As of the end of 2016, 9.5 million people live in the country. The population of Belarus is slowly but growing. Moreover, it is distributed unevenly across the territory of the republic: approximately 28% of Belarusians live within the Minsk city agglomeration.
Belarus is a country with a fairly high level of urbanization. The share of urban population here is 77%. The composition of the population of Belarus is as follows:
- Belarusians (83.7%);
- Russians (8.3%);
- Poles (3.1%);
- Ukrainians (1.7%).
There are also quite a lot (over 5,000 people) of Jews, Armenians, Tatars, Gypsies, Azeris and Lithuanians.
In Belarus, the official two official languages - Russian and Belarusian. However, the situation with the development and preservation of the latter is very bad. According to the 2009 census, 53% of the inhabitants of the country consider Belarusian as their mother tongue. But only 6% of Belarusians use it at home all the time.Most often, Belarusian speech can be heard in villages and small towns of the country, but not in the capital or regional centers.
What makes Belarus?
BelAZ dump trucks, tractors, trolleybuses, potash fertilizers and foodstuffs - this is how the five main articles of Belarusian exports look. The country is most developed: energy, heavy machinery, chemical industry, as well as the production of building materials.
Planned economy as such is absent in Belarus. Although the state regulates the prices of some (socially significant) groups of goods.
Agriculture of Belarus gives up to 7% of the national GDP of the country. The most popular crops are wheat, sugar beets and potatoes. Dairy farming is very developed in the country.
The capital of Belarus and other major cities
The city of Minsk is the capital of the Republic of Belarus. Every fifth Belarusian lives here. The population of Minsk is actively growing and has almost reached the 2 million mark. The city is conveniently located in the center of the country. Minsk is an important industrial, educational and cultural center of Belarus.
Other major cities of the republic:
Gomel (535 thousand inhabitants) is the second largest city in the country by population. It is located in the south-eastern part of Belarus. Gomel is the most important center of engineering and food industry.
Vitebsk (378 thousand inhabitants) is the fourth largest city in Belarus in the north-eastern part of Belarus. This is one of the oldest settlements of the country. The city was founded in the tenth century.
Grodno (366 thousand inhabitants) is a city in the west of Belarus, near the border with Poland. A major tourist center of the country. The ancient city is known for its museums and numerous architectural landmarks.
Mogilyov (380 thousand inhabitants) is the third most populated city in the country, located on the banks of the Dnieper. This is an important center of the chemical industry of Belarus. The enterprise Mogilyovkhimvolokno operates in the city - Europe's largest producer of polyester fibers.
Brest (340 thousand inhabitants) is a city in the southwestern part of Belarus with a heroic past. It is here that the famous fortress is located, which went down in history with its dedicated defense in June 1941.
Belarus can hardly be called a tourist country. Nevertheless, the number of foreign travelers visiting the republic increases every year. About 70% of tourist traffic falls on citizens of the CIS. Many tourists come to Belarus from Poland, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania.
The country is developing cultural (visiting historical and architectural sights), medical, ecological and rural tourism. The country has no access to the sea, however resorts located on the coast of Naroch are very popular here. Tourists also love the Braslav region of lakes.
The key attractions of Belarus are castles, ancestral estates, monasteries, Gothic temples and unique reserves.
10 main attractions of the country
The list of the most interesting tourist sites and monuments of Belarus may look like this:
- Brest Fortress.
- Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".
- Nesvizh Castle.
- The historic center of Vitebsk.
- Memorial complex "Khatyn".
- Castle in Grodno.
- Spaso-Evfrosinievsky monastery in Polotsk.
- Palace Rumyantsev-Paskevich in Gomel.
- Mir Castle Complex.
- The historic district "Trinity Suburb" in Minsk.
In the eastern part of Europe there is a beautiful and in many respects unusual country - Belarus. The area that it occupies is small: 207.6 thousand square meters. km About 9.5 million people live in this area. The Belarusian people are famous for their accuracy and hard work. The country itself is distinguished by a low level of corruption, an almost complete absence of unemployment, and a well-developed medicine.