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Belarus (official name: the Republic of Belarus) is a landlocked country of Eastern Europe and shares its borders with Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. It cover an area of 207,600 km² and has a population of 9,755,000. Minsk is the capital city and other major cities are Brest, Grodno, Gomel, Mogilev and Vitebsk. About one-third of the country is covered by forests and three major rivers flow through the country. Moreover, there are at least 11,000 lakes in the country. The climate ranges from harsh winters (average January temperatures are in the range −8 °C(18 °F) to −2 °C (28 °F)) to cool and moist summers (average temperature 15 °C (59 °F) to 20 °C(68 °F)).

Although Belarus has remained for much of its history as a part of other bigger countries, it could maintain a distinct culture and tradition of its own. During its history it has remained a part of countries like the Duchy of Polatsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire. It became a part of the former Soviet Union as was called the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. On 25 August 1991, it became a sovereign country.

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[1] Belarus Travel Guide

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