Key information

Geography
Item Description
Area 81,000 square miles
Natural resources Potatoes, grains, flax, and sugar beet are grown. There are no significant natural resources apart from wood and peat, the main local source of fuel.
People
Item Description
Population 9.626 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic groups Belarusians 84%, Russians 8%, Poles 3%, Ukrainians 2%, others 3%. People in the southern area of Belarus with a mixed Belarusian-Ukrainian identity and dialect are called Poleshchuks.
Religions Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)
Languages The Belarusian language belongs to the eastern branch of the Slavic group of the Indo-European family of languages. It is written in an adapted form of the Cyrillic script that is used for Russian. Although the official state language is Belarusian, the language in most common use is Russian.

 

Government
Item Description
Capital Minsk
Type Presidential republic
System of government In formal terms, Belarus has evolved from a parliamentary into a presidential republic. In practice, the political system is a presidential dictatorship with a strructural democratic veneer.
Head of state Alexander Lukashenko (1994-present)
Currency Belarusian Ruble