Belarus Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Belarus (Geography)

The country consists to the north of a hilly moraine landscape with many depressions filled with bogs and small lakes. In the middle of the country, an east-west slope extends with heights up to 300 m. In this area, the natural drainage is best, and here is good agricultural land. To the south lies a belt of sandy soils, which is replaced by vast swamp areas. The wetlands cover about a third of the total territory and are drained by the Dnieper in particular with the tributaries Pripyat, Berezina and Sozh. To the SW, the Bug is the border river with Poland; to the west flows Neman (Belarusian. Njoman, Lithuanian Nemunas) and Western Dvina (Daugava) to the Baltic Sea. In addition to a diversity of small lakes, there are the larger lakes Narotj and Osvejskoje. The rivers are navigable over long distances, and together with a fairly dense road and railway network, they form a well-developed infrastructure. The pattern, together with the Belarusian part of the Soviet pipeline network, reflects the historical expansion and the continued close ties with Russia.

Belarus has few raw material resources; there is a small production of oil and oil shale and small deposits of rock and potassium salts, brickworks and coal. One third of the area is covered by mixed forest. Several areas are designated for nature parks; best known is the primeval forest Belovezhskaya Pushcha with several rare animal species, including the European bison.

The climate is cool temperate and humid. The proximity to the Baltic Sea means that the winters are relatively mild with an average for January of -6 ° C; in summer it is 18-19 °C. The annual precipitation of 550-700 mm corresponds to Denmark.

Population and occupation

The population density is highest in the central part of the country, and 72% live in cities. 81% of the population are Belarusians, 11% Russians, 4% Poles, 2% Ukrainians and 1% Jews (1999). The Russians and Jews are predominantly residents of the cities.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Belarus? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

In Soviet times, Belarus, along with the Baltic republics, was one of the most economically developed. Important industries were machinery, oil, chemical products, electronics, wood and food industry. Within the Soviet Union, the country was a leader in the production of large trucks, harvesters, tractors, motorcycles, ball bearings, knitwear, linen and several other products, which were exported on a large scale. After the collapse of the planned economy, the industry has ended up in a deep crisis, and a large part of the companies are finding it difficult to cope with the new market conditions.

Almost half of the area is suitable for various types of agriculture, and the majority is laid out for agriculture. The main crops are wheat, rye, flax and potatoes; in addition, sugar beets, fruit and vegetables are grown, and beef cattle, milk, pigs and poultry are obtained from livestock farms. The conversion of agriculture from state and collective farms to private farms is slow and is associated with major ideological and even greater practical problems. In 2005 there are virtually no private farms, but on the private plots the traditions from the Soviet era are continued with the production of potatoes (90% of the total production), vegetables (85% of the production), fruit and poultry. For culture and traditions of Belarus, please check aparentingblog.

Despite its independence, Belarus’s economy remains deeply integrated into Russia’s, but the negative effects of the transition from a planned to a market economy are even more pronounced here than in Russia. Among other things. Against this background, strong forces in Belarus are seeking not just an economic but also a political integration with Russia.

Belarusian culture was for centuries up to its incorporation into Russia in the 1700’s. under the strong influence of cultural and religious currents from Western Europe. However, there is no doubt that culture today is far more Russian than Western, in contrast to, for example, the Baltic states, which have a comparable history.

In 1986, Belarus was the country most exposed to the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Ukraine. 70% of the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl affected 20% of Belarus’ land area with a population of 2.5 million, including the cities of Gomel and Mogilev. However, the consequences for the environment and the health of the population are still hotly debated.

Belarus – language

The dominant language is Russian, spoken by 6.67 million, while Belarus, which in the early Soviet period was made the official language alongside Russian, is spoken by 2.23 million. (2011). After independence in 1991, Belarus became the only official language, but from 1994 Russian is again equated with Belarusian. The urban population, especially in the capital Minsk, speaks almost exclusively Russian, while mainly Belarusian is spoken in the countryside; in addition, Polish and Ukrainian are spoken.

Belarus – literature

From approximately 1000-1300-t. Belarus was integrated into the common East Slavic culture. The literature was religious and the language Slavic. French Skaryna (approximately 1485-approx. 1540), whose Bible translations and commentaries had a touch of the vernacular, founded the first East Slavic printing presses, but only in 1500’s memoirs is a well-developed, secular Belarusian literature seen.

From 1569 a massive Polish cultural influence set in. Two anonymous satires: Mjalesjka’s speech (approximately 1630) and A letter to Abukhovich (1655), aimed at Polish administration and way of life, are bright spots in an otherwise pronounced period of decline. The similarly anonymous poem A Lament on the Death of Abbot Lavon Karpovich (1620) is a poetic goldmine first discovered in 1974. Simiaon Polatski (1629-80) contributed to Belarusian poetry before enrolling in Church Slavonic/Russian literature. as Simeon Polotsky.

The Belarusian drama has its origins in the Jesuit and Orthodox clergy seminars. In the so-called “school dramas”, comic interludes were introduced over time, where it was customary for high-ranking people to speak Latin and Church Slavonic, respectively, while low-ranking people – including the Devil – spoke Belarusian. As in Ukraine, puppetry was a viable, popular counterweight to cultural oppression.

In the early 1800’s. national resistance grew. The poet and playwright Vikentij Dunin-Martsinkevich (1807-84), like many others, was subjected to constant censorship, and Polish sentimentalism or pre-romanticism was all-dominating. Pauluk Bakhrym (1831-91), the country’s first peasant poet, was a notable exception. Frantsishak Bogushevich (1840-1900) is often described as the father of modern Belarusian literature, with collections of poems such as The Belarusian Flute (1891) and with his nationally and socially conscious narratives.

The years 1906-15 are called “Nasja niva” (Our Cornfield) after the leading magazine. Janka Kupala created the plays and poems that made him the country’s much – loved national poet. Jakub Kolas’ (1882-1956) novels, the trilogy At the Crossroads (1923-54), can be described as an “encyclopedia of pre-revolutionary Belarus”. Ales Kharum (1887-1920) and Maksim Bogdanovich (1891-1917) gave poetry new, refined expressions. Belarus’s first literary history, published in 1920, was written by novelist Maksim Kharetski (1893-1939). For another decade there were lively feuds over the “true, revolutionary literature”, but in 1932 all factions were disbanded and the writers forced into the newly formed Soviet Writers’ Association.

Stalin’s terror also hit Belarus’s writers. Some fled abroad and continued their work in emigration. After the thaw, prose in particular had a renaissance, led by Janka Bryl (1917-2006), Ivan Sjamjakin (1921-2004) and Ivan Melesj (1921-76). From the mid-1980’s, Vasil Bykov became a leading figure in the struggle for glasnost and a decade later for the whole of Belarusian culture, which again saw itself threatened by dictatorship and annihilation.

Belarus Geography