Belarus History, Politics and Economy

By | November 9, 2021

Belarus (official name, Respublika Belarus, Republic of Belarus). An independent republic of eastern Europe, bordered to the northwest by Lithuania and Latvia, to the northeast and east by Russia, to the south by Ukraine and to the west by Poland. The name of Belarus, a former Soviet socialist republic integrated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), translates as White Russia. The republic occupies 207,595 km² of surface. Minsk is its capital and the most important city.


According to localcollegeexplorer, present-day Belarus traces its history back to the settlement of the first Slavs between the 6th and 8th centuries. Due to its central position in eastern Europe, it was occupied multiple times by the emerging kingdoms: Poland, Lithuania, Russia. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, gave Belarus its historical personality. In the 19th century it was invaded by the nascent Russian Empire, and its territory divided in 1795 between Russia, Prussia and Austria

After the triumph of the Russian revolution, and the defeat of Germany in the First World War, Belarus proclaims its independence. In 1919 he makes his own socialist revolution and in 1922 he is one of the founding members of the Soviet Union.

During World War II it is occupied by Nazi Germany, and liberated by Soviet troops in 1944. The Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic was the first scene of Operation Barbarossa.

The Brest fortress in Belarus to the west of the country received one of the fiercest opening blows of the war, but for its remarkable defense it has been remembered as an act of heroism in the fight against German aggression. Statistically, Belarus was the worst hit Soviet republic in the war as they remained in the hands of the Nazis until 1944.

During that time, the Germans managed to destroy 209 of the 290 cities of the republic, 85% of the industry of the republic, and more than a million buildings. An estimated two to three million people were killed or died from the war (about a quarter to a third of the total population), while the Jewish population of Belarus was devastated during the Holocaust and never recovered. The Belarusian population did not regain its prewar level until 1971.

After the war, Belarus was officially one of the 51 founding countries of the Charter of the United Nations in 1945. Post-war reconstruction began rapidly, during the Soviet period it became the destination of millions of Russians, settled in their territory because of the Stalinist relocation policy. At this time it became one of the main industrial areas of the USSR.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Union began to decompose. Belarus unilaterally proclaims independence on July 27, 1990, before the disappearance of the USSR. After the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established, with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but it is a community that does not last.

Unlike Russia, which is internationally considered the heir to the USSR, Belarus remains somewhat helpless from the international community, which will make it extremely difficult to emerge from the deep economic crisis that the entire region is entering after the fall of the USSR.


Belarus is governed by the 1994 constitution establishing a parliamentary republic.

Executive power: falls to a president of the republic, elected by direct vote every five years. Government responsibilities lie with the prime minister and his cabinet. They are appointed by the President.

The Legislative Power: it consists of two chambers, the National Assembly (lower house) and the Council of the Republic (upper house). The cameras are renewed every four years.

The Judicial Power: falls to independent judges and courts whose highest instance is the Supreme Court. There is also a Constitutional Court.

Administrative division

It is divided into 6 provinces, or voblast, and a special region, the capital Minsk.

  1. Minsk.
  2. Province of Brest, capital Brest.
  3. Gomel province, or Homiel, Gomel
  4. Goradnia province, or Horadnia, capital Goradnia.
  5. Maguiliu Province, or Mahilou, capital Maguilov.
  6. Minsk province, capital Minsk.
  7. Vitebsk province, capital Vitebsk.


Agriculture, which dominated the Belarusian economy for centuries, has been replaced by industry as the main economic sector of the republic.


The agriculture accounts for about 9.3% of GDP and 21% of total occupation. Livestock and cow farming contribute more than half of total agricultural production, but the cultivation of cereals is also important. The main crops include potatoes (potatoes), flax, wheat, sugar beets, and cereals (barley, oats, and rye). A substantial amount of wetlands has been drained and converted to agricultural land, and today they are among the most fertile and productive in the country.


The industry was almost completely destroyed in World War II, but it recovered quickly in the postwar years. Today it accounts for 42% of the gross domestic product and 35% of the total workforce. Belarus produces motor vehicles, chemicals, wood, machinery, and consumer goods such as televisions and bicycles. The manufacture of linen, wool and cotton fabrics is also important. The republic has large deposits of peat, which are used for industrial fuel and in power plants.

Belarus History