The Republic of Belarus is located in the center of Europe. It borders Lithuania in the northwest, Latvia and Russia in the north, Russia in the northeast and east, Ukraine in the south, Poland in the west. The length of the border is 2,969km.
The country stretches 560km from north to south and 650km from west to east. The total area is 207,600 square kilometers. Belarus is bigger than such European countries as Greece, Portugal, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the Czech Republic.
Belarus has a moderate continental climate. It is defined by the location of the country in mid-latitudes, the absence of mountains, and the relative vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean. July is the hottest month of the year, January is the coldest month.
There are more than 20,000 rivers and rivulets in Belarus. The biggest rivers are the Dnieper, Western Dvina and Neman. Belarus is called “the blue-eyed country” because there are more than 10,000 lakes in the country. The biggest lake is Lake Naroch with the total area of 79.6 square kilometers; the deepest lake is Lake Dolgoye with the depth of 53.6 meters.
Arable lands constitute as much as 41.3% of Belarus’ territory, forests – 42.1%, lakes, rivers and swamps – 6.2%, other lands – 10.4%.
There are six administrative regions (oblasts) in Belarus – Brest Oblast, Vitebsk Oblast, Gomel Oblast, Grodno Oblast, Mogilev Oblast, and Minsk Oblast. They are further divided into 118 districts.
As of the beginning of 2016, the population of the Republic of Belarus was 9,498,400, with 77.6% of the Belarusians living in urban areas. One fifth of the population, or 1,959,800, live in the capital city of Belarus, Minsk.
Ethnic Belarusians make up more than 80% of the population. Belarus is home to many other nationalities such as Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, Lithuanians and others.
Belarusian and Russian are the official languages of Belarus.
The Republic of Belarus is a unitary, democratic, and welfare state based on the rule of law. The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus was adopted in 1994 and amended at the national referenda on 24 November 1996 and 17 October 2004.