Thursday, May 20, 2010

BELARUS - Country profile




The current national flag of Belarus (Belarusian: Сцяг Беларусі, Stsyah Byelarusi) was formally adopted on June 7, 1995, following the result of a referendum voted on by the Belarusian people in the previous month. This new design replaced a historical flag used by the Belarusian People's Republic of 1918, before Belarus became a Soviet Republic, and again after it regained its independence in 1991. The current flag is a modification of the 1951 flag used while the country was a republic of the Soviet Union. Several flags used by government officials and agencies were based on the national flag.


"My Belarusy" (Belarusian : Мы, беларусы) is the unofficial title of the national anthem of Belarus and the first line of its lyrics. Officially, "My Belarusy" is titled "the State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus" (Belarusian : Дзяржаўны гімн Рэспублікі Беларусь). The anthem was originally written and adopted in 1955 for use in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. The music of the Byelorussian SSR anthem was composed by Niescier Sakałoŭski and the lyrics were written by Mikhas Klimkovich. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the music composed by Sakałoŭski was kept and the lyrics were discarded. New lyrics, which were written by Klimkovich and Uladzimir Karyzny, were adopted by a presidential decree issued on July 2, 2002. The lyrics of the anthem now sing of a friendly Belarus, honoring past military battles and looking forward to the future. The music was kept due to the historical connections it has to Belarus.


Official Name:
Respublika Bielarus
int'l long form: Republic of Belarus
int'l short form: Belarus
formerly: Belorussia, Byelorussia

ISO Country Code: by

Capital City: Minsk

Other Cities: Baranovichi, Bobruysk, Brest,
Gomel, Grodno, Hrodna, Mogilev, Polotsk, Vitebsk.

Type : Republic
Independence : 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union).

Location : Eastern Europe.
Area : 207 600 sq. km. (80 100 sq. mi.)
Terrain : Landlocked, generally flat with thick forests, much marshland and fields.

Climate : Cold winters, cool and moist summers, transitional between continental and maritime.

People :
Nationality: Belarusian
Population: 10 million; urban 72%; rural 28%.
Ethnic groups: Belarusian (81%), Russian (11%), Polish, Ukrainian, other (8%).
Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Protestant, Autocephalous Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim) 20%.
Language: Belarusian, Russian (official).
Literacy: 98%.

Natural resources : Forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay.

Agriculture products : Grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk.

Industries : Metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators.

Exports partners : Russia 47%, UK 8.3%, Netherlands 6.7%, Poland 5.3% (2004)

Imports partners : Russia 68.2%, Germany 6.6%, Ukraine 3.3% (2004)

Currency : Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)

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