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Generally flat and contains much marshland


Cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime


Nationality: Belarusian(s)
Population: 9,625,888 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Belarusian (official) 23.4%, Russian (official) 70.2%, other 6.4% (includes small Polish and Ukranian speaking minorities) 1999 census


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


As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus had a relatively well-developed industrial base; it retained this industrial base, which is now outdated, energy inefficient, and dependent on subsidized Russian energy and preferential access to Russian markets, following the breakup of the USSR. The country also has a broad agricultural base which is inefficient and dependent on government subsidies.

Living Conditions

About 75 percent of all the housing in Belarusian cities and villages was destroyed during World War II (1939–45). Housing shortages were even worse after 1986, when there was a very serious accident at the nuclear power station at Chernobyl in Ukraine. Thousands of people in Belarus had to move because their homes were contaminated with radiation. Most Belarusians living in cities have small apartments in high-rise apartment buildings.


Republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship

US Military Presence/Support






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