The republic of Belarus is situated in the center of Europe on the watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas. The capital is the city of Minsk. Belarus borders on Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine. The total length of the state border makes up 2,969 km. Geographic and climatic conditions favor the development of transport and economic relations.
The distance between Minsk and the capitals of neighboring states is as follows:
- Vilnius -180 km
- Riga - 470 km
- Warsaw - 550 km
- Kiev – 580 km
- Moscow - 700 km
Orthodox Christians (70 per cent)
Catholics (15-20 per cent)
The territory of Belarus totals 207.6 thousand sq km. It stretches from west to east for 650 km and from north to south for 560 km. The republic ranks thirteenth in size among the European states and fifth in population among the CIS countries. In comparison with other European countries, Belarus is slightly smaller than Great Britain and Rumania, 2.2 times as big as Portugal and Hungary and 5 times as big as the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Belarus consists of 6 regions (oblasts’ in Russian, voblasts’ in Belarussian): the Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno, Minsk and Mogiliov regions, which include 118 political units called districts (rayon in Russian) and the city of Minsk.
Climate of Belarus
Belarusian climate is moderately continental, a transitional form from maritime to continental climate with mild and humid winters, warm summers and damp autumns. During last decades the continental component has become less pronounced with winters becoming warmer. The climate’s general properties are conditioned by the country’s location in middle latitudes, domination of flat relief and relative remoteness from the Atlantic Ocean.
Average July temperatures range from +17 C to +18.5 C, January temperatures vary from -8 C to -4.5 C. The period with temperatures above zero lasts about 230-263 days.
Belarus is situated in the zone of sufficient moistening. The average rainfall is 600-700 mm; in the uplands the average is 650-700 mm and in the lowlands it is 600-650 mm. About 70% of yearly precipitation falls on the warm period. Occasional draughts and floods are conditioned by spatial and time precipitation changeability.
Snow is an important feature of Belarusian climate determining its severity and moistening degree. The period with steady blanket of snow lasts 75 days in the southwest and 125 days in the northeast of the country. Average snow depth ranges respectively from 15 to over 30 cm.
Distribution of atmospheric pressure in Belarus is conditioned by general atmospheric processes typical of middle latitudes of the Eurasian continent, by Belarus’ geographic position and relief.
The climate of Belarus was changing throughout the Earth’s history. During the period of instrumental observations (1881-2004) the average annual temperature rose by 1 C and average winter and spring temperatures rose even more. During this period two significant rises in temperature have been observed. The rise of temperature by 3-4 C is forecast by the end of current century.
Republic of Belarus
There are 110 towns and 101 urban-type settlements in the republic. The population of 7 towns numbers from 100 to 200 thousand, 7 cities have the population from 200 to 500 thousand. At present 1.8 million inhabitants live in the capital.
Today 130 nationalities live together with Belarusians, who constitute 81.2% of the country’s population.
Belarusians (81 per cent)
Russians (11 per cent)
Poles (4 per cent)