Belorussia the old name,
meaning White Russia. The name Belarus was adopted when the country became
independent from the Soviet Union as the USSR disintegrated in 1991.
leadership was keen to maintain political and economic links with Moscow and
was a leading proponent of the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent
States - a loose alliance of ex-Soviet republics that came into being
shortly afterwards and whose headquarters were in the Belarusian capital of
Belarus's close links with
Russia has led the country into deeper international isolation. Today, the
majority of all industry remains under the control of the state and is
heavily regulated. Foreign investment has been limited due to an unfriendly
business environment. Belarus's human rights record since President
Lukashenko came to power in 1994 has been poor.
Despite this, Belarus does
not deserve its reputation as a transit area on the way to or from Russia.
Wide plains, picturesque villages, ancient castles and monasteries, deep
forests, scenic landscapes, and thousands of lakes await nature-lovers,
culture fans and sport enthusiasts. One-third of the Belarusian territory is
covered with forests where birches, oaks, maple and pine trees dominate with
a rich and diverse fauna: here one can find European bison, elk and deer,
wild boar and wolf, bear and fox, beaver and lynx ând
not to mention myriad birds. With a unique history Belarus also has rich
cultural heritage and hundreds of architectural monuments dating back to the
Belarus landscapes can mainly be distinguished
with uplands and lowlands. The uplands of Belarus were created during the
Ice Age. The limit of the last advance of the ice-sheet lay across the
country and is marked by a line of terminal moraines,............
Belarus has moderately continental climate, a transitional form from
maritime to continental climate with mild and humid winters, warm summers
and damp autumns. During last decades the continental component has become
less pronounced with winters becoming warmer..........
The publishing of Belarus has
had a notable impact on the region: Belarusian bibles were some of the first
books to be printed in Eastern Europe, and the 17th century Belarusian poet,
Symeon of Polatsk, introduced the Baroque style of literature to Russia............
Archeological evidence points
to settlement in today's Belarus at least 10,000 years ago, but the recorded
history begins with settlement by Baltic and Slavic tribes in the early
centuries A.D. With distinctive features by the ninth century, the emerging
Belarusian state was then absorbed by Kievan Rus' in the 9th century...........