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Belarus

Belarus
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"Belarus", ( ; , ), officially the "Republic of Belarus", is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno (Hrodna), Gomel (Homiel), Mogilev (Mahilyow) and Vitebsk (Viciebsk). Forty percent of its is forested,

and its strongest economic sectors are agriculture and manufacturing.

Until the 20th century, the lands of modern day Belarus belonged to several countries, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Russian Empire, and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. As a result of the Russian Revolution, Belarus became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union and was renamed as the Belorussian SSR. The final unification of the modern day Belarusian lands took place in 1939 when lands that were part of the Second Polish Republic were united with the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic as a result of the Soviet invasion of Poland.Клоков В. Я. Великий освободительный поход Красной Армии. (Освобождение Западной Украины и Западной Белоруссии).-Воронеж, 1940.Минаев В. Западная Белоруссия и Западная Украина под гнетом панской Польши.—М., 1939.Трайнин И.Национальное и социальное освобождение Западной Украины и Западной Белоруссии.—М., 1939.—80 с.Гiсторыя Беларусi. Том пяты.—Мiнск, 2006.—с. 449–44 The territory and its nation were devastated in World War II, during which Belarus lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Belorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR.

The parliament of the republic declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 1990, and during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has been the country"s president since 1994. Under his lead and despite objections from Western governments, Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of the economy have been continued. Elections have been unfair, and political opponents have been violently suppressed. Since 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, with some hints of forming a Union State. Belarus also has the highest Human Development Index among members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Most of Belarus"s population of 9.49 million reside in the urban areas surrounding Minsk and other oblast (regional) capitals. More than 80% of the population are native Belarusians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. The Constitution of Belarus does not declare an official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Russian Orthodox Christianity. The second most popular, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following by comparison, but both Orthodox and Catholic Christmas and Easter are officially celebrated as national holidays.
Etymology ===The name "Belarus" derives from the term "White Ruthenia" (White Rus). There are several claims to where the origin of the name "White Rus" came from. An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that was mostly populated by the early christianized Slavs, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, which to a greater extent was inhabited by supposedly pagan Balts.Аб паходжанні назваў Белая і Чорная Русь (Eng. "About the Origins of the Names of White and Black Ruthenia"), Язэп Юхо (Joseph Juho), 1956. Another possible origin for the name is for the white clothing that was worn by the local Slavic population. Another theory suggests that the old Ruthenian lands (Polatsk, Vitsiebsk and Mahilyow) which were not conquered by the Tatars were referred to as "white". Other sources claim that before 126, the land not conquered by the Mongols was considered "White Rus". (W The most traditionalist view is the impressionist tendency in Slavonic cultures to refer to points of the compass by colour, specifically "black" being "south" and "white" indicating "north", insofar as the "White Sea" is to the north and the "Black Sea" is to the south or as Beograd (white capital) is the Serb deference that it is to the north of their true historic capital, Pristina. Ruthenia was originally the name of the mid Dniepr region, the cradle of Kyivan Rus (modern-day Ukraine). Hence the land to its immediate north would be "White Ruthenia" (Belarus). Yet another theory suggests that according to an ancient Baltic tradition, west was referred to as "black" and east as "white", presumably based on the cycle of the sun, and thus Black and White Ruthenia would simply have meant East and West Ruthenia, which well corresponds with the location of these territor

As the names "Ruthenia" and "Rus" have very often been confused with their modern derivative "Russia", White Ruthenia has often been referred to as "White Russia". This misinterpretation has been supported by the Moscovite regents after the fall of Kyivan Rus. The Moskovite dukes, starting with Ivan IV, considered themselves to be the rightful successors of the Ruthenian grand duke dynasty, and their attempts to monopolize the name "Russia" as referring to all former Ruthenian (east slavic) lands became a political weapon and a casus belli for claiming the west Ruthenian territories from Lithuania and Poland. The name first appeared in German and Latin medieval literature. In chronicles written by Jan of Czarnków, he spoke of the Lithuanian grand duke Jogaila and his mother being imprisoned in 1381 at "Albae Russiae, Poloczk dicto". The Latin term "Alba Russia" was again used by Pope Pius VI when establishing a Jesuit Society in 183. His official Papal bull exclaimed "Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo, approbo." Historically, the country was referred to in English as "White Ruthenia". The first known use of "White Russia" to refer to Belarus was in the late-16th century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey, who was known for his close contacts with the Russian Royal Court, which ever considered itself to be the rightful descendent of the great Ruthenian dukes. During the 1th century, Russian tsars used "White Rus" when describing the lands captured from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Belarus was formally named "Belorussia" () in the days of the Russian Empire, and the Russian tsar was usually styled "Tsar of All the Russias", as "Russia" or the "Russian Empire" was formed by all the Russias — the Great, Little, and White. At the time, "Byelorussia" was the only Russian language name of the country; under the Russian Empire, Belarus was generally seen as a part of the Russian nation and the Belarusian language was viewed as a dialect of Russian. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 191, the term White Russia caused some confusion because it was also the name of the military force that opposed the "red" Bolsheviks. During the period of the Belorussian SSR, the term "Byelorussia" was embraced as part of a national consciousness. In the Polish-held Western Belarus, "Byelorussia" became commonly used in the regions of Bialystok and Grodno during the interwar period.

The term "Belorussia" (its names in other languages such as English being based on the Russian form) was only used officially until 1991, when the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic decreed by law that the new independent republic should be called "Belarus" (Беларусь) in Russian and in all other language transcriptions of its name. The change was made to reflect adequately the Belarusian language form of the name. The use of Byelorussian SSR and any abbreviations of that name was allowed from 1991 until 1993. Conservative forces in the newly independent Belarus did not support the name change and opposed its inclusion in the 1991 draft of the Constitution of Belarus.

Accordingly, the name "Belorussia" was replaced by "Belarus" in English, and, to some extent, in Russian (although the traditional name still persists in that language as well); likewise, the adjective "Belorussian" or "Byelorussian" was replaced by "Belarusian" in English (though Russian has not developed a new adjective). "Belarusian" is closer to the original Russian term of "bielaruski." Belarusian intelligentsia in the Stalin era attempted to change the name from "Belorussia" to a form of "Krivia" because of the supposed connection with Russia. Some nationalists also object to the name for the same reason. However, several popular newspapers published locally still retain the old name of the country in Russian in their names, for example "Komsomolskaya Pravda v Byelorussii", which is the localized publication of a popular Russian tabloid. Also, those who wish for Belarus to be reunited with Russia continue to use "Belorussia". Officially, the full name of the country is "Republic of Belarus" (Рэспубліка Беларусь, Республика Беларусь, Respublika Belarus").
History
Ancient History ===Both "Homo erectus" and Neanderthal remains have been found in the region. Later Neolithic modern man that moved into the area established from 5000-2000 BCE Bandkerimik cultures, which predominated. Cimmerians and other pastoralists roamed through the area by 1000 BCE. By 500 BCE, Slavs had taken up residence there, with Scythian pressure on the outskirts of their territories. Various Asiatic "barbarian" invasions passed around the region, including Huns and Avars circa 400-600 CE, but did not dislodge the Slavic presence.Historical Atlas, Ancient and Classical World, by John Haywood,
Middle Ages and Modern Period ===Cross of St. Euphrasyne from
The region that is now Belarus was first settled by Slavic tribes in the 6th century. They gradually came into contact with the Varangians, bands of Scandinavian warriors and traders. Though defeated and briefly exiled by the local population, the Varangians were later asked to return and helped to form a polity—commonly referred to as the Kievan Rus"—in exchange for tribute. The Kievan Rus" state began in about 862 around the city of Kiev or alternatively around the present-day city of Novgorod.

Upon the death of Kievan Rus" ruler, Yaroslav I the Wise, the state split into independent principalities. These Ruthenian principalities were badly affected by a Mongol invasion in the 13th century, and many were later incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Of the principalities held by the Duchy, nine were settled by ancestors of the Belarusian people. During this time the Duchy was involved in several military campaigns, including fighting on the side of Poland against the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410; the joint victory allowed the Duchy to control the northwestern border lands of Eastern Europe.
Position of Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Eastern Europe until 1434.
Map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Belarus was in its structure.

On 2 February 1386, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland were joined in a personal union through a marriage of their rulers. This union set in motion the developments that eventually resulted in the formation of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, created in 1569. The Russians, led by Ivan III of Moscow, began military conquests in 1486 in an attempt to reunite the Kievan Rus" lands, specifically the territories of modern day Belarus and Ukraine.

The union between Poland and Lithuania ended in 195 with the partitioning of Poland by Imperial Russia, Prussia, and Austria. During this time the territories of modern day Belarus were acquired by the Russian Empire, under the reign of Catherine II and held until their occupation by German Empire during World War I.
20th century ===During the negotiations of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Belarus first declared independence on 1918, forming the Belarusian People"s Republic. The Belarusian People"s Republic was created while under German occupation and it was one of the first attempts to "Westernize" Belarus. Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia was proclaimed.(Birgerson 2002:105–106) Immediately after the formation of the BPR Polish–Soviet War was started, and Belarus was torn between resurgent Poland and Soviet Russia, part of Belarus under Russian rule became the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1919. Soon that part was merged into the Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarusian lands were then partitioned between Poland and the Soviet Union after the Polish–Soviet War ended in 1921, and the Belorussian SSR became a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. At the same time Western Belarus remained part of Pol

A set of agricultural reforms, culminating in the Belarusian phase of Soviet collectivization, began in the 1920s. A process of rapid industrialization was undertaken during the 1930s, following the model of Soviet five-year plans.

The Brest Fortress to the War Memorial
Soviet partisan fighters behind German front lines in Belarus in 1943

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Poland, marking the beginning of World War II. Much of northeastern Poland, which had been part of the country since the Peace of Riga two decades earlier, was annexed to the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, and now constitutes West Belarus. The Soviet-controlled Belarusian People Council officially took control of the territories, which had a predominantly ethnic Belarusian population, on October 28, 1939, in Białystok.

Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941the Brest Fortress, which had been annexed in 1939, received one of the fiercest of the war"s opening blows, with its notable defense in 1941 coming to be remembered as an act of heroism in countering the German aggression. Statistically, BSSR was the hardest hit Soviet republic in the war and remained in Nazi hands until 1944. During that time, Germany destroyed 209 out of 290 cities in the republic, 85% of the republic"s industry, and more than one million buildings. Casualties were estimated to be between two and three million (about a quarter to one-third of the total population), while the Jewish population of Belarus was devastated during the Holocaust and never recovered. The population of Belarus did not regain its pre-war level until 191.

After the war ended, Belarus was officially among the 51 founding countries of the United Nations Charter in 1945; along with Ukraine it was given an additional vote at the UN alongside that of the Soviet Union. Intense post-war reconstruction was initiated promptly. During this time, the Belorussian SSR became a major center of manufacturing in the western region of the USSR, increasing jobs and bringing an influx of ethnic Russians into the republic. The borders of Belorussian SSR and Poland were redrawn to a point known as the Curzon Line.(Olson 1994:95)

Belorussian SSR, 1940

Joseph Stalin implemented a policy of Sovietization to isolate the Belorussian SSR from Western influences.

ace:Bèlarusia
af:Wit-Rusland
als:Weißrussland
am:ቤላሩስ
ang:Hwītrussland
ar:بيلاروسيا
an:Belarrusia
arc:ܒܠܪܘܣ
roa-rup:Arusia albã
frp:Bièlorussie
ast:Bielorrusia
gn:Vielorrusia
az:Belorus
bn:বেলারুশ
zh-min-nan:Belarus
be:Беларусь
be-x-old:Беларусь
bcl:Belarus
bi:Belarus
bar:Weißrussland
bo:བྷེ་ལ་རསུ།
bs:Bjelorusija
br:Belarus
bg:Беларус
bxr:Белоросууд
ca:Bielorússia
cv:Беларуç
ceb:Belarus
cs:Bělorusko
co:Bielorussia
cy:Belarws
da:Hviderusland
de:Weißrussland
dv:ބެލަރޫސް
dsb:Běłoruska
dz:བེ་ལ་རུ་སུ།
et:Valgevene
el:Λευκορωσία
es:Bielorrusia
eo:Belorusio
ext:Bielorrússia
eu:Bielorrusia
ee:Belarus
fa:بلاروس
hif:Belarus
fo:Hvítarussland
fr:Biélorussie
fy:Wyt-Ruslân
ga:An Bhealarúis
gv:Yn Velaroosh
gag:Biyaz Rusiya
gd:A" Bhealaruis
gl:Bielorrusia - Беларусь
gu:બેલારુસ
hak:Pha̍k-ngò-lò-sṳ̂
xal:Цаһанорсин Орн
ko:벨라루스
haw:Belarusa
hy:Բելառուս
hi:बेलारूस
hsb:Běłoruska
hr:Bjelorusija
io:Bielorusia
ilo:Belarus
bpy:বেলারুস
id:Belarus
ia:Bielorussia
ie:Bielorussia
os:Белорусси
is:Hvíta-Rússland
it:Bielorussia
he:בלארוס
jv:Belarus
kl:Hvideruslandi
kn:ಬೆಲಾರುಸ್
pam:Belarus
krc:Белоруссия
ka:ბელარუსი
ks:बेलारूस
csb:Biôłorëskô
kk:Беларус
kw:Belarussi
rw:Belarusi
ky:Беларусь
sw:Belarus
koi:Беларусь
kv:Беларусь
kg:Belarusia
ht:Byelorisi
ku:Belarûs
lad:Bielorusia
la:Ruthenia Alba
lv:Baltkrievija
lb:Wäissrussland
lt:Baltarusija
lij:Bieloruscia
li:Wit-Rusland
ln:Bielorusia
jbo:belrus
hu:Fehéroroszország
mk:Белорусија
ml:ബെലാറുസ്
mt:Belarus
mi:Pērara
mr:बेलारूस
arz:بيلاروسيا
ms:Belarus
mn:Беларусь
nah:Belarus
na:Belarus
nl:Wit-Rusland
nds-nl:Wit-Ruslaand
ne:बेलारुस
new:बेलारुस
ja:ベラルーシ
nap:Bielorussia
ce:Белороссе
pih:Belerus
no:Hviterussland
nn:Kviterussland
nov:Belarus
oc:Bielorussia
mhr:Белоруссий
uz:Belarus
pnb:بیلارس
ps:بېلاروس
pms:Bielorussia
tpi:Belaras
nds:Wittrussland
pl:Białoruś
pt:Bielorrússia
kaa:Belorussiya
crh:Belarus
ty:Belarus
ro:Belarus
rm:Bielorussia
qu:Bilarus
ru:Белоруссия
sah:Беларусь
se:Vilges-Ruošša
sa:बेलारूस
sco:Belaroushie
stq:Wietruslound
sq:Bjellorusia
scn:Bielurussia
simple:Belarus
ss:IBhelalasi
sk:Bielorusko
cu:Бѣла́ Роу́сь
sl:Belorusija
szl:Bjołoruś
so:Belarus
sr:Белорусија
sh:Belorusija
fi:Valko-Venäjä
sv:Vitryssland
tl:Belarus
ta:பெலருஸ்
tt:Беларусия
te:బెలారస్
th:ประเทศเบลารุส
tg:Беларус
chr:ᏇᎳᎷᏒ
tr:Beyaz Rusya
tk:Belorussiýa
udm:Белоруссия
uk:Білорусь
ur:بیلارس
ug:بېلورۇسسىيە
vec:Biełorusia
vi:Belarus
vo:Belarusän
fiu-vro:Valgõvinne
war:Belarus
wo:Belaarus
wuu:白俄罗斯
yi:בעלארוס
yo:Bẹ̀lárùs
zh-yue:白俄羅斯
diq:Belarus
bat-smg:Baltarosėjė
zh:白俄罗斯
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REISEPORTAL
"Belarus", ( ; , ), officially the "Republic of Belarus", is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the
"Slonim" (Belarusian: Сло́нім is a city in Hrodna voblast, Belarus, capital of the Slonim District. It is located at the junction of the Shchara and Isa rivers, 143 km southeast of Hrodna. The population in 2008 was 50,800.tymology and
|arname=رهط|meaning=Calm, comfort|founded=1972|type=city|typefrom=1994|stdHeb=|altOffSp=|altUnoSp=|district=south|population=42,200|popyear=2007|area_dunam=19586|mayor=Talal al-Krenawi|pushpin_map=Israel|latd=31 |latm=23 |lats=33 |latNS=N|longd=34
"Pinsk" (, ), a town in Belarus, in the Polesia region, traversed by the river Pripyat, at the confluence of the Strumen and Pina rivers. The region is known as the Marsh of Pinsk. It is a fertile agricultural center. It lies south-west of Minsk. The
"Kobryn or Kobrin" (, ; ; ; ) is a city in the Brest voblast of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn Raion. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet. The city lies about 52 km
"Lida" (, , , ) is a city in western Belarus in , situated 160 km west of Minsk. It is the fourteenth largest city in Belarus.EtymologyThe name "Lida" is derived from the name of the river "Lidzeya", whose origin is associated with the
 
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