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Averaging only 656 feet above sea level (200 meters), the country is predominately gently rolling fields in the north and marshy lowlands in the south. Some one-third is densely forested with large stands of spruce, pine, oak, and/or beech, everywhere interspersed with beautiful white/silver birch.

It is a land of more than 11,000 lakes the largest, Lake Naroch, lies in the northwest.

Average annual precipitation is 2228; June, July, and August are the wettest months.

Belarus is in the Eastern European Time Zone: GMT 2 hours. Population Last Updated: 11/28/2003 AM Today the population of Belarus is just under 10 million with a declining annual growth rate of negative 0.15percent (2001 est.).

Located between Russia and Poland, the country has changed hands several times over centuries, eventually coming under Czarist Imperial control as a result of the partitioning of Poland in the 18th century.

During World War II, some 30% of the population perished.

It is hoped that the spark is ever present for those who will ultimately not be denied the promises of freedom and independence.

It is from these energies and the continued interests of democratic nations that the future of Belarus will brighten.

Minsk, the capital of Belarus, was founded in 1027.Today, most (70%) of the population lives in urban areas, primarily in Minsk, the capital, and the other major cities along the route from Warsaw to Moscow. Another significant impact of the war is the high percentage of women to men in the adult population. Religion, severely restricted or destroyed under Communism, has had something of a revival in the post-Communist times.The Constitution provides for the freedom of religion, with all denominations equal.The architecturally attractive prewar sections were restored or rebuilt. recognized Belarusian independence on December 25, 1991. works closely with Belarusian academic and humanitarian activities and has an extensive program of engagement with civil society and democratic forces.Radiation from Chernobyl has long since ceased to be a problem outside of the contaminated areas near the Ukraine border, but the medical and social consequences for those affected at the time continue. After the two countries established diplomatic relations, the U. Embassy in Minsk was officially opened on January 31, 1992. A tainted presidential reelection in 2001 further strained relations. Belarus offers a tranquility that belies its terrible history.

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