White Russia

of these articles is occupied with the State of white Russia. For the tractor mark Belarus, see Minsker of tractor works.
РэспублікаБеларусь (white soot.)
Respublika Belarus
РеспубликаБелоруссия (soot.)
Respublika Belorussija
Republic of Belarus
Flagge Weißrusslands
Wappen Weißrusslands
(detail) (detail)
office languages Byelorussian, Russian
Capital Minsk
system of government republic with strong position of the president
president Aljaksandr Lukaschenka
Prime Minister Sjarhej Sidorski
surface 207,595 km ²
number of inhabitants 9.849.100 (1. January 2004)
Population density of 47 inhabitants per km ²
independence proclamation 1991, explanation 1990
currency of Byelorussian roubles
time belt UTC + 2
national anthem My Belarusy (Мы, беларусы)
Kfz characteristic BY
Internet TLD .by
preselection +375
Geografische Lage von Belarus
Karte von Belarus

white Russia (Byelorussian Беларусь, Belarus; Russian Белоруссия, Belorussija) - in the German linguistic area and officially also Belarus - is a state in Eastern Europe,between Poland, which Ukraine, Russia, Latvia and Litauen are appropriate. In former times the country also Weissruthenien was called and in GDR - the linguistic usage Belorussland.

Table of contents


13 literature 13,1, is since the Middle Ages deliveredand became in 19. Century generally usually, is translated however with „white Rus “inaccurately.Rus was the ostslawische name for Scandinavian - slawische rule areas like that the Kiewer Rus, to which the country of the establishment to belonged. „Bely “meantin the Middle Ages in the geographical sense “west” or “north”, Belarus therefore „western Rus “. Besides there are opinions over other possible meanings in white Russia also (see the two English articles to Belarus and White Russia). The use of the word Belarus offersitself thus on, in order to avoid ambiguity. However the designation white Russia is traditionally common in German. The belarussischen authorities like also the German diplomacy prefer also in German-language texts the name Belarus, around the distinction from Russia toclarify.


the largest expansion of the country of the west eastward amounts to 650 km - from north to south there is 560 km. Under the European states Belarus is surface moderate thereby at 13. Place.

The state borders to Russia and Ukraineconstitute ever about 1000 km and altogether two thirds, during on Poland, Lithuania and Lettland the last third are void. The course of the border is irregular and follows only to Poland partly waters, primarily however over sump - and hill country.

The distance of the capital Minsk up to the capitals neighbour states amounts to:

  • after Wilna: 215 km
  • after Riga: 470 km
  • to Warsaw: 550 km
  • after Kiew: 580 km
  • to Moscow: is appropriate for 700

km Belarus in the Eastern European level andbecomes from hill chains of the ice-age Endmoränen (Byelorussian elevator back) and broad, nature-left rivers pulled through. About 70% of the country drain to the south to the Prypjat and to the Dnjepr, which continues to flow by the Ukraine in the black sea.

In the southlies the Palessje - sumps (Russian: Polesje). 30% of the country are wooded. In the forests live deer, deer, moose, bears, wolves, Hermeline, Dachse, foxes and squirrels. The highest collection is those Dsjarschynskaja Hara (345 m) in the Byelorussian elevator back, the deepest river valleys lie about 50 meters over the sea.

The largest rivers of Belarus are Dnjepr (belarussisch Dnjapro), Beresina (belarussisch Bjaresina), Prypjat (belarussisch Prypjaz) and Memel (belarussisch Njoman).Largest lake is the Naratsch in the north of the country, the close border to Lithuania.

Belarus possesses a pronounced continental climate with cold, snow-rich winters and dry summers. (Lain central) the capital Minsk is considered as “bad weather city” with frequent precipitation.


White Russia has 9.7 millions Inhabitant (estimated, conditions 2005). In the multi-ethnical and multi-denominational country representatives of more than 100 nationalities and many religions live together.

Ethnical groups

defiance of the immigration of many Russians and the Deportation tenth out that Belarussen under Stalin is the portion of the Belarussen in the population 81.2%. The largest minority are followed the Russians with 11,4%, of 3,9% Poland and 2.4% Ukrainern. Many further ethnical groups divide the remaining 1.1%, under it Letten, Gypsies (predominant Jerli), Litauer, Slowaken, Selonen, mol duration, Jeni, Ruthenen, German.


the largest group of denominations in Belarus is the orthodox Christianity, that approx. 80% of the population belong - above allBelarussen, Ukrainer, Moldawier and Russian. Furthermore groups of orthodox Ruthenen, which came from the Karpaten because of pursuits by catholics here. The remaining 20% of the population distribute themselves on several denominations (under it Roman-catholic, Protestant, Jewish and moslemisch):

Roman catholic is thosemost Poland and Litauer, as well as the Belarussen in the west and the north of the country. Altogether the catholic church covers about 7% of the population. The Letten and Jerli (also Sinti, Lowara, Manusch, Roma and Calderasch) admititself predominantly to the Evangelical-Lutheran church, likewise a slowakische minority, whose ancestor fled after the dreissigjährigen war after Belarus. Altogether 2.6% of humans are Evangelical-Lutheran. Most Germans are Evangelist and the Selonen main Waldenser.

Population statistics

the population growth amount toto time about 0.15%. The life expectancy in the population is at 68.14 years, with men 62.06 years and with women 74.52 years. The Alphabetisierungsquote is with 98% almost European standard.

Largest cities

(inhabitant 1. January 2004)

  • Polazk - 82,769
  • Schlobin - 72,791
  • Swetlahorsk - 71,661
  • Retschiza - 66,213
  • Sluzk - 62,278
  • Schodzina - 60,836
  • Slonim - 51,586
  • Kobryn - 50,751
  • Waukawysk - 46,839
  • Kalinkawitschy - 37,876
  • Smarhon - 36,738
  • Rahatschou - 34,727
  • Asipowitschy - 34,685
  • Horki - 33,974
  • Nawahradak - 30,803

see: List of the cities in white Russia


white Russia has to offer a rich cultural inheritance from the time of the affiliation to the large principality Lithuania. For this important locks in the west countthe country like the lock me and baroque church buildings. In addition a rich people culture comes.

A further culturally coining/shaping factor was the large Jewish subpopulation existing for many centuries. Probably one the most well-known culture-creative from white Russia is a painter Mark Chagall, thatin Wizebsk one bore and are later enough time in France lived. Furthermore admits became the Schutzheilige of white Russia, Euphrosyne von Polazk.

Important writers are and/or. were Franzischak Skaryna, Wasil Bykau, Ales Adamowitsch and Swjatlana Aleksijewitsch.


major item: History of white Russia

the area of the today's Republic of Belarus belonged in the early Middle Ages to the Kiewer Rus. Gradually the area was conquered however by the large principality Lithuania. Its ruler led the title magnus dux Littwanie, Samathie et Rusie (see also Golden age (white Russia)). The two peoples call themselves in their languages Litauer (lietuvis and/or. litwin). Due to the population portions the office language was to a large extent belarussisch in this time. After the union from 1386 Belarus became as part of LithuaniaA component of the double state Poland - Lithuania, with that it up to the end 18. Century remained.

With the first and second division of Poland the area of the today's Belarus arrived until 1793 completely under Russian rule.

After the invasion of the German armyin Minsk at the beginning of of 1918 existed occasionally a nominal independent belarussische republic. In the years 1919/1920 Belarus between the again-developed Polish state and Soviet Russia was contests and became 1920 after the victory of the Polish troops over the Red Armypartly attached at Poland. From the Soviet part the Belarussi socialist Soviet republic was formed, which became 1922 initial member of the Soviet Union. Just as the Soviet part was settled also the Polish part by the majority Byelorussian.

At the beginning of the Second World War 1939 becamethat to Poland belonging region of Soviet troops occupies before and into Belarussi CSSR integrated. In the summer 1941 Belarus was conquered completely by the German armed forces. The German crew rule arranged large material destruction and led to the death ofapprox. 25% of the population, under it nearly the entire Jewish population of Belarus. Belarus was from 1941 on also over 1000 groups a main area of the Soviet partisan fight against the German Besatzer. By at the end of on 1943 the country of that becameThe Red Army back-conquers and applied in the summer 1944 as completely from the German crew released.1945 were Belarus initial member of the United Nations.

About 8 to 9% all murdered European Jews originated from Belarus. Nearly all cities of the countrywere completely destroyed. The industrial companies had decreased/gone back around 85%, the industrial capacity around 95%, the seed surface around 40 to 50%, the livestocks around 80%. There were 3 million homeless people after end of war. Before the Second World War lived inBelarus 10 million humans. Only toward end of the 1980er years the belarussische population had grown this Vorkriegszahlen.

Belarus was strongly concerned by the disaster of Tschernobyl to 26. April 1986 in the Ukrainian Tschornobyl, in whose consequence farParts of the country by radioactive fall out were radioactively contaminated.

Since at the end of of 1991 the country is its own state. 1991 to 1994 it by Stanislau Schuschkewitsch were governed. Since that time Aljaksandr Lukaschenka leads the Regierungsgeschäfte authoritarianly. Lukaschenka floated by its anti-democratic tendencies andthe refusal of the western restaurant way the country into the international isolation. To the few partners of the country today other succession states of the USSR belong, as well as beside Russia, with which one - in the reality ineffective - was tried “union formation”,Iran. The parliamentary elections of 19. March 2006 are called of western international observers to a large extent unanimously undemocratic. Representatives of the GUS states specified opposite opinions.


foreign policy

white Russia are member in the advice for collective security and form with Russia those Russian Belarussi union. Friendly connections are maintained beside it to Iran, to North Korea, to China and to Cuba. The relations with NATO - states are considered as strained, those to the Ukraine as ambivalence.

Home policy

president Lukaschenka already is since 1994in the office. According to the earlier belarussischen condition it might not actually participate no more in the presidency election 2006, but by referendum it let the condition change in October 2004 in such a way that to it no more restrictions of the terms of office apply. The agencyand legislation organ of the Republic of Belarus is the parliament - the national assembly. It consists of two chambers, the representative chamber and the advice of the republic. The representative chamber consists of 110 delegates, in general, free, same, direct and secret choiceto be selected are. The advice of the republic is the chamber of the territorial-referred agency. For each Woblast and the city Minsk eight delegates are selected each of the advice of the republic in secret tuning. Eight members are appointed by the president.

Off thatFormalia applies for white Russia to European Union and the USA as momentarily only dictatorship of Europe, into also substantial violations of human rights takes place <ref>http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/blr-summary-eng< /ref> <ref>http://de.rian.ru/world/< /ref>. Elections are manipulated, according to opinion of the west, substantial, murdered oppositionals and censored media.

Elections 2006

inthe meantime agreed the opposition parties on Aljaksandr Milinkewitsch as common candidates for the elections 2006. Some observers had the fear before the elections that his (promising) candidacy with legal cheat be forbidden could; by political attendance in Russia and European Union - Countries sought to secure itself Milinkewitsch in the apron. Its competitor Aljaksandr Kasulin and Sjarhej Hajdukewitsch in opinion of observers no real choice chances were granted from the beginning. The elections accompanied of the announcement of the secret service against opponents of the government alsoto proceed life imprisonment and even death penalties. <ref>http://www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/meldungen/0,1185,OID5333712_REF3,00.html< /ref> The elections and their process were not criticized from Russian side. Also in the evaluation of the policy Lukaschenkos Russia stands contrarily to European Union and the USA. After Lukaschenka with the presidency elections to19. March 2006 according to governmentnear Institut EKOOM, which only Meinungsinstitut 80% of the voices certified of the authorities to have gotten is, have after locking of the polling stations up to 10.000 humans at the central October place in Minsk against the presidentand the election fraud demonstrates. <ref> http://www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/meldungen/0,1185,OID5339922_NAV_REF1,00.html </ref> <ref>http://de.rian.ru/world/< /ref>. Still in the choice night the chairman gave which result of 82,6% well-known for office holders Aljaksandr Lukaschenka and six per cent for the opposition candidate Aljaksandr Milinkewitsch to the electoral committee, Lydia Jermoschina. Thatfinal election result to 25.03.2006 published <ref>http://de.rian.ru/world/< /ref> Milinkewitsch called the choice farce, said the fact that the opposition had defeated the fear and announced not to recognize the choice and to aim at also with international assistance a cancellation of the choice.<ref>http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,406838,00.html< /ref>

Administrative arrangement

Belarus is divided into six administrative districts (Woblaste) with 118 circles (Rajone). The capital Minsk does not have a special status and belongs the Woblaste.

Die weißrussischen Verwaltungsbezirke
  1. City Minsk
  2. Woblast Brest
  3. Woblast Homel
  4. Woblast Hrodna
  5. Woblast Mahiljou
  6. Woblast Minsk
  7. Woblast Wizebsk



Belarus is due to its situation an important transit country between Central Europe and Russia - 50% of the Russian oil and 25% of the natural gas flow over belarussische routes. Because of political conditionsone evades however increasingly on Northern Europe or the Ukraine . 2005 were decided the building of a pipeline by the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. This will have also effects on the gas transit by white Russia.

Railway and road

for Russia are Belarus (together with Lithuania) the main transit country to its Exklave, the Oblast Kaliningrad. The main traffic axle of (Western Europe - Warsaw -) Brest over Baranawitschi - Minsk - Baryssau after Orscha (- Moscow) runs from southwest to northeast crosswiseby the country. It consists of an electrified railway line operated by the national belarussischen railway Belaruskaja Tschyhunka also parallel more running motorway-like developed freeway. Approximately over Minsk exists a motorway ring with Ausläufern after Lithuania/Hrodna and after Babruisk - Homelin the southeast of the country. In addition Polazk over Wizebsk and Orscha as well as Mahileu over Babruisk are attached to Minsk. The railroad tracks are coming from Poland up to the Byelorussian border in standard gauge (1435 mm of track width), off there however in Russian Breitspur(1524 mm) implemented, what entails a stay lasting several hours in Brest for the replacement of the rotary stands.


in the east of the country crosses in north south direction of the Dnepr Belarus. In east west direction the country in the south is crossed by the Pripjat.

Air traffic

with Minskare more internationally and a national airport, besides different regional airports exist. National airline is the Belavia.



the Byelorussian economy was not converted into a free-market economy, since the planned economy is preferred by the government. Due to very muchgood trade relations to Russia (strong export, reduced in price raw material import), the economic situation is stable. Industry and agriculture are to a large extent in state hand. Thus the economy of white Russia belongs to the few state-capitalistic national economies of the world.

The agriculture, on 15% thatOccupation is void, by collectivization with two main branches is controlled: the cultivation of potatoes and cattle breeding. Important branches of industry the textile industry and the wood working are historically seen. Since 1965 mechanical engineering (tractors, refrigerators) was developed strengthened. Within that Soviet Union belonged to white Russia to the partial republics developed furthest. Economically the country engages itself beside the GUS in the Eurasi Economic Community and in the Russian-Byelorussian union.

Characteristic data

with the introduction beginning of free market structures in the year 1990 restaurant production sank.1996 began again a growth phase, whereby 2001 both in the agriculture and in the industry the values of 1990 were again reached. The gross domestic product of the yearly 2005 was with 77.77 billion US Dollar, which corresponded approximately to 7,600 dollar per head.In the year 2005 material growth lay with approximately 8 to 9% with an inflation rate of 10%. White Russia has the highest standard of living in the GUS states according to the UN - the average monthly income grew from 20 US-$ to 225US-$ within the last 10 years. The unemployment rate lay according to data of the Byelorussian government 2005 with approximately 2%. Experts say however that the actual rate is higher. The other problem of the economy is however the national currency. This is sinceindependence the Byelorussian rouble. Due to the Russian-Byelorussian union there were negotiations over a monetary union. According to the Russian press agency ITAR TASS the past national currency is abolished and the Russian rouble to the 1. January 2008 to be introduced.

Public expenditures

between 1992 and 2000 were the portion of the public expenditures for

training system


largest universities

the universities and universities are majority in the capital:

University contacts abroad

somethousand young Belarussen study in Germany and a somewhat larger number in Russia or countries of the west.

With the first mentioned three universities the international relief fund of European Union and Germany opened partnerships into the west. The often deplored isolationwas painful for Belarus already at times of the Soviet Union. Since the independence of the country grew the hope of the universities for co-operation, which hardly succeeded however because of the authoritarian state politics.

The 1992 created only private university, which became “European Humanisti university”in August 2004 on national pressure closed. It had financed, to a large extent from western means, European studies, speaking and political sciences had offered. There also Institut for Germany studies was. The university was again-opened in June 2005 in the exile in Vilnius (Lithuania).

Spreadingfrom HIV infections and AIDS

to first April 2004 officially 5751 HEAVE - infections, 107 AIDS - cases and 439 AIDS-dead in the Republic of Belarus announced. HEAVE dipped 1996 for the first time under the squirting drug-dependent in Svetlogorsk (Woblast Gomel)up. Until Septembers 1998 were officially registered in the same city of 2173 HIV cases. This constitutes 81 per cent of all announced cases in the entire country at this time. The number of the infected drug-dependent rose to 74 per cent. HIV tests are obligation forBlood donor, prison passenger, patient with sexually transferable diseases, drug-dependent and prostitute. The HIV cases, in which the infection cause was documented, list for the year 2003 that itself 76% (in the previous year: 64%) through did not sterilize syringes with the drug consumption and 23% (in the previous year: 35%) by heterosexual contacts infected.2002 lived mainly drug-dependent on the 319 documented cases of a heterosexual infection 52% with risk partners. How also in Russia the illness is not in the entire country directly distributed, but showsthe highest numbers in the Woblast Gomel (3380 cases, or 224.5 to 100.000 inhabitants) and in Minsk (823 cases, or 47.3 to 100.000 inhabitants).

After child dispatch the Tschernobylkatastrophe

after the reactor disaster of Tschernobyl in Germany many private relief organizations were based,which to the children from the areas of recuperative vacations concerned by the radioactive fall out offer. Thus the immune system of the children is strengthened and the people communication is promoted. By the state Belarus and by the German message are supported these recuperative vacations. There one the population forwardsthe “harmful” influence of the west to protect, departure possibilities particularly for younger people ever more would like to become difficult more difficult (e.g. Recuperative vacations for children from radioactively loaded regions, student exchange) - a contribution for the isolation of the country, however the departure of the “Tschernobylkinder” was problem-freepossible.

Further articles


Specialized literature

  • Abramova, Olga: Integration between reality and simulation. The belarussisch russländischen relations since 1991, investigations of theMain point of research conflict and co-operation structures in Eastern Europe at the University of Mannheim (FKKS) 19, Mannheim, 1998
  • book, Claudia M.: Currency reforms in the comparison: monetary strategies in Russia, white Russia, Estonia and the Ukraine, Kieler Studies 270, Tübingen, 1995
  • Bugrova, Irina; Naumova, Svetlana: Parliamentaryelections and foreign policy orientations OF Belarus, in: Vector - Belarusian journal OF internationally Politics, 1/1, S. 2-7, 1996
  • Förster, Heinrich Linus: From the dictatorship to the democracy - and back? An argument with the problem of the system transformation by the example thatformer Soviet republic Belarussland., Hamburg, 1998
  • Lindner, Rainer: Historian and rule nation formation and historical politics in white Russia in 19. and 20. Century, order systems 5, Munich, 1999
  • Lindner, Rainer: Präsidialdiktatur in white Russia: Economics, politics and society under Lukaschenko, in: Eastern Europe 47/10 11,S.1038-1052, 1997
  • Sahm, Astrid: Creeping coup d'etat in Belarus. Background and consequences of the condition referendum in November 1996, in: Eastern Europe, 47/9, 1997, S. 475-487
  • Scharff, Roland: Belarus between Europe and Russia, Osnabrück, 2001
  • cutters, Eberhard: The first man of white Russia: StanislauSchuschkewitsch, in: Eastern Europe, 43/12, 1993, S.1147-1151
  • Zaprudnik, January: Historical dictionary OF Belarus, London, 1998

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Coordinates: 51°-56° N, 23°-33° O


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