Official Name: Republic of Belarus
Established: 25 March 1918 (Independence from Russia)
Population: 9,408,400 (2020 estimate)
Religion: 48.3% Orthodox Christian, 41.1% atheist, 7.1% is Catholic
Language(s): Belarusian, Russian
Order of Visit: Twenty-Third
First Visit: 16 July 2006
Last Visit: 17 July 2006
Duration: 2 Days
Visit Highlights: Dour and gloomy Minsk
Places Visited: Minsk
Belarus Journal Entry
History and Geography
Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres Belarus is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.
Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including Kievan Rus’, the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in 1917the Byelorussian SSR was created, which became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922. Belarus left the Soviet Union during December 1991.
Following the adoption of a new constitution in 1994, Alexander Lukashenko was elected Belarus’s first president in the country’s first and only free election post-independence, serving as an authoritarian president ever since.
What I experienced
I found Belarus to be a very depressing place, it didn’t help to have colder weather for the short time I visited. Everyone seemed depressed and the architecture was uninspiring. You have to buy alcohol directly from the Government and they seemed to only like tourist for hard (USA or Euro) currency.
The only thing going for Belarus on the surface appeared to be as a throw back experience to the old Soviet Union days. It must be very hard to be a citizen of Belarus. No need to visit in my opinion as unimpressive.