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Belarus Map
Capital
current time and date
currency: Belarusian ruble (BYR)
Population
Official languages
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Area
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Life expectancy
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Belarus profile
landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
Belarus history
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 1994 as the country's first president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion remain in place.
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Conventional long form: Republic of Belarus
Conventional short form: Belarus
Local long form: Respublika Byelarus'
Local short form: Byelarus'
Formerly known as: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
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Belarus's capital city is Minsk
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Belarus Constitution:

15 March 1994;

revised by national referendum 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers;

became effective 27 November 1996;

revised again 17 October 2004 removing presidential term limits
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Belarus population growth rate: -0.18%
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Belarus highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
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Belarus lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
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About 27% of Belarus's land is arable.
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Dnieper River is the Longest River in Belarus
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Belarus birth rate is 11 births/1,000 population
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Belarus infant mortality rate is 4 deaths/1,000 live births
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Belarus fertility rate is 1.46 children born/woman
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Belarus climate:

cold winters, cool and moist summers;

transitional between continental and maritime
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Top 10 cities of Belarus with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Minsk: 1,742,124
2. Homyel: 480,951
3. Mahilyow: 369,200
4. Vitsyebsk: 342,700
5. Hrodna: 317,365
6. Brest: 300,715
7. Babruysk: 220,517
8. Baranavichy: 168,772
9. Pinsk: 130,777
10. Orsha: 125,347
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Belarus ethnic groups:

Belarusian - 83.7%
Russian - 8.3%
Polish - 3.1%
Ukrainian - 1.7%
other - 3.2%
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Belarus Exports:

machinery and equipment
mineral products
chemicals
metals
textiles
foodstuffs
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Belarus Imports:

mineral products
machinery and equipment
chemicals
foodstuffs
metals
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bicameral national assembly or natsionalnoye sobraniye consists of the Council of the Republic or Sovet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members elected by regional and Minsk city councils and 8 members appointed by the president, to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); note - the United States does not recognize the legitimacy of the national assembly

Administrative Divisions:
6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts')
1. Brest
2. Homyel' (Gomel)
3. Hrodna (Grodno)
4. Mahilyow (Mogilev)
5. Minsk
6. Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)

and 1 municipality (horad):
Horad Minsk (Minsk City)
Political parties and leaders:
pro-government parties:

Belarusian Agrarian Party (AP) - Mikhail SHIMANSKY
Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) (BPR) - Nikolay ULAKHOVICH, chairman
Communist Party of Belarus (KPB) - Igor KARPENKO
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) - Sergey GAYDUKEVICH
Republican Party of Labor and Justice - Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANYY

opposition parties:

Belarusian Christian Democracy Party - Pavel SEVERINETS (unregistered)
Belarusian Party of the Left "Fair World" - Sergey KALYAKIN
Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) - Aleksey YANUKEVICH
Belarusian Social-Democratic Hramada - Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH
Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada ("Assembly") (BSDPH) - Anatoliy LEVKOVICH
Belarusian Social Democratic Party People's Assembly ("Narodnaya Hramada") - Nikolay STATKEVICH (unregistered)
Christian Conservative Party (BPF) - Zyanon PAZNIAK
European Belarus Campaign - Andrey SANNIKOV
Party of Freedom and Progress - Vladimir NOVOSYAD (unregistered)
"Tell the Truth" Campaign - Vladimir NEKLYAYEV
United Civic Party (UCP) - Anatoliy LEBEDKO