Belarus

scenery from Belarus

Flag of Belarus

Country The Republic of Belarus   Link to map of Belarus
Continent Europe
Capital Minsk
Population 9.5 Million
Language Belarusian, Russian
Religion Eastern Orthodox (80%)
Terrain Flat with marshland – flatness and its 11,000 lakes were created by glaciers
Sports Biathlon, track and field, soccer.

Supports Olympic training – medal often in each Olympics since their independence in 1994

Animals Elk, deer, wild boar, beaver, wolf, fox
Facts of Interest Traditional folk dancing remains an interest

Belarus has strong scientific and engineering talents.  Zhores Alferov, born in Vitebsk and now a Russian, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000 for his work with semiconductors.

Belarus has had one president, Aleksandr Lukashanko, since his election in 1994.

Concerns The CIA reports that “Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place.  The situation was somewhat aggravated after security services cracked down on protests challenging election results in the capital Minsk following the 2010 presidential election…”

Belarus has many refugees from Ukraine.

Belarus is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking and forced labor, mostly with the Middle East, Russia and the Ukraine.

Mission Well over 60% of the Chernobyl radiation fell on the eastern region of Belarus.  Thyroid cancer is still developing in the youth, and is expected to continue as an issue for years to come.  Several groups are donating medical services and monetary support to help the affected population.  See links in Sources.
Sources CIA.gov, BBC.org, belarus.by, www.missionbelarus.com/, www.belarusguide.com/chernobyl1/chfacts.htm/, www.longshadowofchernobyl.com/photos/chernobyl-victims/, http://www.chernobylinfo.com/howtohelp.php, http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/global/belarus/