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Belarussian Cities - Minsk (capitol)


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General Information*

Slav Origin
"Little is known of  the origins of  Slavs. Philologists and archaeologists theorize that the Slavs settled very early in the Carpathian Mountains or in the area of present-day Belarus. By A.D. 600, they had split linguistically into southern, western, and eastern branches. The East Slavs settled along the Dnepr River in what is now Ukraine; then they spread northward to the northern Volga River valley, east of modern-day Moscow, and westward to the basins of the northern Dnestr and the western Bug rivers, in present-day Moldavia and southern Ukraine. "
--The Library of Congress  Country Studies

Belarus in the 21st. Century
"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; Belarus has agreed on the framework for implementation of the accord. " -- CIA World Factbook  


Archives of  Belarus contain extensive information on the historical, genealogical, spiritual life  of the Belarusian people.

History of Belarus

External Links to: Pictures from Belarus

Using this link to Belarus:
You Will Read About Her Culture: Religion, Architecture, Science Diversity Education, Music, Fine Arts, Crafts, Clothing, Ceramics, Poetry Cinematography, Sports, Heraldry, Game, Theatre, Recipes, Glorious Past and Her Present-Day Resources. Moreover, See Pictures of Belarus, Map of Belarus and more.
Culture of Belarus

See Photos of many Churches
Pictures of Belarus

Photos from Belarus:
Author Ira, 16 y.o., Volcovysk, Belarus (2001)

Pictures of Belarus Villages:

External Links to: Belarussian History :

Abridged history of Belarus: White Russia

One of the most informative sites on the Web. Timeline of Belarussian History

One of the best Websites:
The Virtual guide to Belarus

Another Good Site
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the United Nations

The Polish-Lithuanian alliance exerted a profound influence on the history of Eastern Europe (see fig. 3). Poland and Lithuania would maintain joint statehood for more than 400 years, and over the first three centuries of that span the "Commonwealth of Two Nations" ranked as one of the leading powers of the continent."

Read about the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

BSU Republic of Belarus Univesity

Links to: Belarussian Language

The Belarusian Language:

Belarusian Language:

Great Men and Women:
Some External Links to: Belarussian Born, of Belarusian Descent or People Connected to Belarus


This Website contains the most concise directory of Belarussian info.
People Born in Belarus:

Belarus: People and Society

Another Website With a List of Famous Belarussian

Encyclopedia/Dictionary Online


Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland

Map Reference: Commonwealth of Independent States

Boundaries: Latvia 141 km, Lithuania 502 km, Poland 407 km, Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Kansas

Area Land: 207,600.0 sq km,  Area Water: 0.0 sq km

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

Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland

Natural Resources: forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas

Population: 10,366,719 (July 2000 est.)

Ethnic groups: Byelorussian 77.9%, Russian 13.2%, Polish 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.9%, other 1.9%

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

Languages: Byelorussian, Russian, other

Government type: republic

Currency: Belarusian ruble (BR) 

Belarus has seen little structural reform since 1995, when President LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of "market socialism." In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO reimposed administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprise. In addition to the burdens imposed by high inflation and persistent trade deficits, businesses have been subject to pressure on the part of central and local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, retroactive application of new business regulations, and arrests of "disruptive" businessmen and factory owners. A wide range of redistributive policies help those at the bottom of the ladder. Close relations with Russia, possibly leading to reunion, color the pattern of economic developments. For the time being, Belarus remains self-isolated from the West and its open-market economies.

GDP -- purchasing power parity -- $85 billion (2002 est.)
GDP -- composition by sector: -- agriculture 15%, industry 40%, services 45% (2002 est.)
Labor force: -- 4.8 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation: -- industry and construction NA%, agriculture and forestry NA%, services NA%
Industries: -- metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, television sets, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators



Belarusmap.gif (12385 bytes)

See the location on the  Map of Europe

Society > Ethnicity > Slav

National Weather Service
Internet Weather Source  Belarus and the World
RAIN_4~1.JPG (2552 bytes)

A Little of Belarussian & Slavic History 

Early Belarussian History

"Belarus's origins can be traced from the emergence in the late ninth century A.D. of Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state. After the death of its ruler, Prince Yaroslav the Wise, in 1054, Kievan Rus' split into a number of principalities, each centered on a city. One, Polatsk (Polotsk, in Russian), became the nucleus of modern-day Belarus.

In 1240, after the Tatar overthrow of Kiev, the dominant principality of Kievan Rus', Belorussia and part of Ukraine came under the control of Lithuania. The resulting state was called the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus', and Samogitia (see fig. 3). Because territories inhabited by East Slavs made up about 90 percent of the Grand Duchy, they exerted a great cultural influence on the new state. Official business was conducted in a Slavic language (a predecessor of both Belorussian and Ukrainian) based on Old Church Slavonic (see Glossary), and the law code was based on that of Kievan Rus'."

Belarussia, Poland, and Catholicism
"The Union of Krevo (1385), which joined Poland and the Grand Duchy in a confederation, hinged on Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila's conversion from paganism to Roman Catholicism and his subsequent marriage to twelve-year-old Queen Jadwiga of Poland. Thus he became Wladyslaw II Jagiello, king of Poland. Poland and Lithuania were later united into a single state, the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth, by the Union of Lublin (1569).

When Roman Catholicism became the official religion of Lithuania shortly after Jagiello's conversion, the Lithuanian and Belorussian nobilities began converting from Orthodoxy to Catholicism and assimilating Polish culture (including the language), a process accelerated by the Union of Lublin. As a result, the Belorussian peasantry was ruled by those who shared neither their language nor its religion, Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Union of Brest (1596), which united the Roman Catholic Church with the part of the Orthodox Church that was within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was viewed favorably by both the Polish king, Sigismund III, and a number of Orthodox bishops, clergy, and faithful. The new Uniate Church (see Glossary) acknowledged the supremacy of the Roman Catholic pope and accepted articles of Roman Catholic religious doctrine. In return, the Uniate Church retained its traditional Orthodox rites and customs as well as a measure of autonomy in nondoctrinal matters; it was also given the same rights and privileges as the Roman Catholic Church. However, fear of the new church's becoming Latinized and Polonized (see Glossary) caused many of the Orthodox faithful to reject the union, and the Orthodox Church continued to exist alongside the Uniate Church in an often bitter struggle.

In the aftermath of the Union of Brest, both civil and religious authorities persecuted the Orthodox Church and supported the Uniates in their takeover of Orthodox property. Social conditions deteriorated, there was a large-scale revolt against Polish landowners in 1648-54 (coinciding with the Khmel'nyts'kyi rebellion in Ukraine), and many Belorussians fled to the Ukrainian steppes to join the Cossacks (see Glossary). There was little economic development in Belorussian lands, and the vast majority of the Belorussian population lived on subsistence agriculture.

-- The Library of Congress/Country Studies  

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