Belarus is a landlocked country located in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by several countries, including Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine. Until the 20th century, Belarus was far from being an independent and autonomous state. As a matter of fact, all territories of the modern-day Belarus were territories of previous states including Lithuania and Russia. It was only in the early years of World War II that an independence movement was formed which led to the creation of the Belarusian Republic.
Politics is the country is based on that of the former Soviet Union. Most companies are state-owned, and political opposition is not allowed. Existing opposition movements are badly and violently oppressed. Although elections are held, they are perceived by Western observers to be unfair and the results are manipulated in favor of the ruling party.
Belarus wants to be a part of the NATO, but its political leadership, policies, as well as human rights records is a considered as a huge hindrance to that end. Corruption, too, is a problem that has been afflicting the country for decades, and that has had crippling effects to its economy and its people.
Religion in the country is varied, including Christian Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. A large part of the population is considered irreligious – in other words, they adhere to no religion.
Population. Ranked 90th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 75th in 2012.
202,900 sq km
Sq. km. Ranked 80th in 2008.