General Information About Belarus
The Republic of Belarus
The Republic of Belarus is the state in Eastern Europe. At the beginning of 2016 the population is 9,498,700 people, the area is 207,600 km². Belarus is on the 93rd place due to the population and on the 84th due to the area in the world. The capital and the largest city of the country is Minsk. Official languages are Belarusian and Russian. Unitarian state, presidential republic. On the 20th of July 1994 the presidential post was taken by Alexander Lukashenko, who afterwards won the elections of 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2015. Belarus is divided into 6 regions, Minsk has a special status of the city of the republican subordination.
The area of Belarus is 207,600 km² (the 86th place due to the area among the world countries). It is situated in Eastern Europe. Belarus is the largest by the area European country (among entirely situated in Europe), which is landlocked. Belarus verges (from north-east clockwise) upon Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Belarusian climate is moderately continental, transitional from maritime to continental, formed under the influence of air masses of the Atlantic. In winter thaw is not frequent. The average summer temperature varies from +17° С in the north (July) to +18-19° С in the south. Precipitation is evenly, with an increase from south to north - from 500 mm in the south to 800 mm in the northwest. The maximum amount of precipitation usually falls in the autumn-winter period. In forest areas the thickness of snow cover may be 1-1.2 m.
Forests cover near 2/5 of the territory of the country. However, there are relatively few large woodlands on the territory of Belarus (2 largest are Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Nalibokskaya Pushcha), but there are no woodless areas.
Fauna combines the animals of broadleaved forests, taiga and wooded steppe. The most predominant in the animal world are wild boars, hares, elks, beavers. The most popular and dangerous foresters are wolves, bears, foxes and lynxes.
Storks, thrushes, herons, crows, sparrows, tits, orioles, bullfinch are the birds, that present the variety of Belarus.
There are many species of fish, as the country is rich in water resources: rivers, lakes and reservoirs. The most predominant among fish are pikes, roaches, breams, crucian carps, perches.
Bisons, pond turtle, lynxes, river beavers and pine martens are under the state protection. The insects are overall widespread.
Bees, wasps, ladybirds, butterflies and earthworms are the insects that are widely spread in the country.
Agriculture is a historically important sector of the local economy, that gives more than 7% of national GDP, provides working places of more than 9 % of the population. The main agricultural branch is farming and dairy husbandry. The main foodcrops are potato (6.9 million tones), sugar beat (4.8 million tones), wheat (2.5 million tones). Forest industry that is traditional for the republic in the past plays a minor role in the external trade – in 2013 forest products and services for $ 144,8 million were exported (0,39 % of the country export).
Transport, infrastructure, communications
Railway and automobile transport are the main ways of transport communication in the country. The railway network is focused on the main road, passing through Orsha, Minsk and Brest, which connects Belarus with Moscow in the east and with Warsaw in the west. Route miles are 5, 512 km. There are more than 83,000 km of open roads and near 200,000 km of departmental ones (agricultural, industrial, forestry and others.), including 10 000 km in cities and localities. The intensity of the rural hard-surface roads is rather low – 337 km per 1,000 km². There are 261 cars per thousand of residents in Belarus. River fleet carries out transportation on 1,500 km navigable waterways (mainly in the Dnepr basin). Air transport is relatively weakly developed; the largest airport in the country is located near Minsk. There are 7 international airports in the country.