Belarus, officially known as the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country located in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. The capital and largest city is Minsk.

Belarus has a population of over 9.3 million people and covers an area of 207,595 square kilometers. The country’s official languages are Belarusian and Russian, although most people speak Russian as their first language. Belarus has a diverse population, including Belarusians, Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews.

Belarus has a rich history that dates back to the 9th century, when the region was inhabited by Slavic tribes. The country was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth before it was annexed by the Russian Empire in the late 18th century. After World War I, Belarus became a part of the Soviet Union, and it remained so until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Belarus declared its independence on August 25, 1991.

Belarus is known for its beautiful landscapes, including dense forests, pristine lakes, and rolling hills. The country is also home to numerous historic landmarks, including castles, churches, and other architectural treasures. Minsk is a bustling modern city, with a vibrant cultural scene, including museums, theaters, and galleries.

Despite its rich cultural heritage, Belarus has faced political turmoil and economic challenges in recent years. The country has been ruled by President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, and his government has been criticized for human rights abuses and suppressing political opposition. The Belarusian economy has struggled due to corruption, outdated infrastructure, and a lack of foreign investment.

Iin September 2021, the most recent significant current event happening in Belarus is the ongoing political crisis and crackdown on dissent following the disputed presidential election in August 2020.

In that election, President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory with over 80% of the vote, which sparked widespread protests and allegations of vote-rigging. The opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, fled to Lithuania, where she continues to lead the opposition movement.

Since the election, the Belarusian government has cracked down on dissent, arresting thousands of protesters and opposition figures, and accusing them of inciting violence and terrorism. The government has also been accused of torture and mistreatment of detainees.

International condemnation and sanctions have been imposed on Belarus, including by the European Union and the United States. The situation remains tense and ongoing, with opposition protests continuing and the Belarusian government cracking down further on dissent.

best places to visit in Belarus

Belarus is a country with a rich history and culture, offering visitors a range of interesting places to visit. Here are some of the best places to visit in Belarus:

  1. Minsk – the capital city of Belarus, which boasts impressive Soviet-era architecture, museums, and galleries, as well as parks and lakes.
  2. Mir Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is a beautiful example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, located in the town of Mir.
  3. Nesvizh Palace – another UNESCO World Heritage site, which is a stunning 16th-century palace with beautiful gardens, located in the town of Nesvizh.
  4. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park – one of the largest remaining primeval forests in Europe, with abundant wildlife, including bison, elk, and lynx.
  5. Brest Fortress – a historic site that played a crucial role in the defense of Brest during World War II, which now serves as a museum and memorial.
  6. Braslav Lakes – a scenic area with over 30 lakes surrounded by lush forests, offering hiking, boating, and other outdoor activities.
  7. Grodno – a historic city with a charming Old Town, including the 12th-century Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier and the New Castle of Grodno.
  8. Polotsk – one of the oldest cities in Belarus, with a rich history and a number of historic landmarks, including the St. Sophia Cathedral.
  9. Vitebsk – a cultural hub and the birthplace of the famous artist Marc Chagall, with a range of museums and galleries, including the Marc Chagall Art Center.
  10. Minsk Sea – a man-made lake that offers recreational activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing, located just outside of Minsk.

These are just a few examples of the many interesting and unique places to visit in Belarus.

best known delicacies in Belarus

Belarusian cuisine is influenced by its neighboring countries, including Russia, Poland, and Ukraine. Here are some of the best-known delicacies in Belarus:

  1. Draniki – Belarusian potato pancakes made with grated potatoes, onions, and flour, often served with sour cream.
  2. Kholodets – a traditional Belarusian aspic made from meat broth and gelatin, with vegetables and meat added, often served cold.
  3. Machanka – a hearty dish made with pork and served with thick sauce made from sour cream and flour.
  4. Solyanka – a thick soup with meat, vegetables, pickles, and sour cream.
  5. Zrazy – meat cutlets stuffed with mushrooms, onions, and other ingredients, often served with mashed potatoes.
  6. Kletski – potato dumplings with meat, mushrooms, or cheese filling, served with sour cream.
  7. Krambambula – a traditional Belarusian alcoholic drink made with honey, spices, and vodka.
  8. Krendel – a sweet bread made with sugar, eggs, and flour, often served with honey or jam.
  9. Babka – a traditional Easter bread made with yeast dough and often flavored with raisins, nuts, and other ingredients.
  10. Sushki – small, crispy, ring-shaped biscuits that are often served with tea or coffee.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious and unique dishes and delicacies that can be found in Belarus.

In conclusion, Belarus is a fascinating country with a rich history, beautiful landscapes, and a diverse population. While it faces significant political and economic challenges, it remains an important player in Eastern Europe and a unique destination for travelers and history buffs alike.

To know more about Belarus, here are some websites for you to explore

  1. Belarus Tourism Website
  2. Belarusian State Tourism Agency:
  3. Visit Belarus
  4. Minsk Tourism
  5. Belarus Tour Service

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