Where is Belarus
Where is Belarus? It's located in Eastern Europe, and it borders Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Since becoming an independent country after the fall of the U.S.S.R., Belarus has been under the authoritarian kleptocratic rule of Alexander Lukashenko. Belarus has also taken a staunchly anti-western stance, is economically dependent on Russia, and has been repeatedly accused of human rights violations. Elections are frequently rigged, religious and journalistic activity is highly controlled by the state, and citizens, visitors, and expatriates alike have been imprisoned and held without charge for extended periods of time. The KGB still operates in Belarus, for better or for worse, and Belarus remains one of the most poverty-stricken and underdeveloped nations in all of Europe.
Unless you have relatives in the country (or speak Russian very well and feel comfortable holding your own) most people will have no reason to see Belarus. There are few landmarks, even in the capital of Minsk, as 80% of all structures there were destroyed during World War II. Most nightclubs and dancehalls are under the control of criminal organizations. Cybercrime is very prevalent, and, as mentioned, there are few civil liberties to speak of. Demonstrators of any kind can be imprisoned and held for upwards of a month. Gay and lesbian lifestyles are not well tolerated, and anyone can be put under surveillance or wiretapped at any time.
Contrary to some of what you'll find online, food in Belarus is fine and radiation levels are insignificant for short stays, though healthcare is poor and limited only to those who speak fluent Russian. Only the hardiest of travelers should brave Belarus, though there's not much to gain in doing so. My favorite quote for this country is, "A place stuck in the worst of Soviet Russia times."
Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYR)
Electricity Voltage: 220v
Calling Code: 375
Popular Travel Destinations:
- Minsk Lake
- Troitskoye Predmestye
Official Website: www.belarus.by/
*Note* - Some of the graphics on this page were taken from the CIA World Factbook which contains a wealth of information on every country in the world. I highly recommend it.