Belarus


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Belarus

Area: 80,154 sq mi (207,600 sq km) / World Rank: 85 Location: Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, in Eastern Europe,  east of Poland, west of Russia,  south of Latvia and Lithuania, north of Ukraine Coordinates: 53°00′N, 28°00′E Borders: 1,925 mi (3,098 km) total / Latvia, 88 mi (141 km);  Lithuania,  312  mi  (502  km);  Poland,  376  mi (605 km); Russia, 596 mi (959 km); Ukraine, 554 mi (891 km) Coastline: Landlocked country, Belarus has no coast- line Highest Point: Dzerzhinskaya Mountain, 1,135 ft (346 m) Lowest Point: Neman River, 295 ft (90 m) Longest Distances: 400 mi (640 km) SW-NE / 310 mi (490 km) N-S Longest River: Dnieper, 1,420 mi (2290 km) Largest Lake: Lake Naroch, 30 sq mi (80 sq km) Natural Hazards: None Population: 10,350,194 (July 2001 est.) / World Rank:74 Capital City: Minsk, located in the center of the country Largest City: Minsk, 1.7 million (2002 est.) OVERVIEW The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in east central Europe, about 161 mi (260 km) southeast of the Baltic Sea coastline. The topography is relatively flat (average  elevation  100  ft  /  162 m),  and Belarus  has  no natural borders. The country features thousands of lakes, areas of marshland, and forests. Although its topography is chiefly flat-to-hilly, the country does have five distinct geographic regions. In the north is the Polotsk Lowland, an area of lakes, hills, and forests. The Neman Lowland in the northwest is similar. The lowlands are separated from each other and the rest of  the  country  by  the  Belorussian  Ridge  and  smaller uplands. Plains and grasslands lie in the east and central part of the country. The south is dominated by the Polesye Marshes, a vast swampy area that extends into Ukraine. The swampy plains of the south, the northern lakes, and  the gently sloping ridges were all  the work of glaciers. MOUNTAINS AND HILLS Although its terrain is generally level, the Belorussian Ridge, a region of highlands, runs across the center of the country from the southwest to the northeast. The highest elevation  is  Dzerzhinskaya  Mountain  (Dzyarzhynskaya Hara; 1135 ft / 346 m). INLAND WATERWAYS Lakes Belarus  has  over  4,000  lakes.  Lakes  Drisvyaty  and Osveyskoye are near the northern border. The largest is Lake Naroch  (Narach) covering 50  sq mi  (80  sq km)  in the northwest. Rivers The Dnieper is the longest river in Belarus at 1420 mi (2290 km). It is the third longest river in Europe; only the Volga and Danube are longer. After crossing the Russian border southwest of the Belorussian Ridge, the river bends south and flows across most of eastern Belarus, passing  through  the  city  of  Mahilyow  before  entering Kiev. Main tributaries are the Berezina in the central region and the Pripyat in the south. THE COAST, ISLANDS, AND THE OCEAN Belarus is landlocked and has no coast. CLIMATE AND VEGETATION Tempe rature The Belarusian climate is considered transitional between  continental  and  maritime.  Cool  temperatures and  high  humidity  predominate, with  helpful  influence from the nearby Baltic Sea. In January the average temperature is 23°F (-5°C ); in July, 67°F (19°C ). Sometimes in  the  north,  frosts  of  below  -40°F  (-40°C)  have  been recorded.  Summer  lasts  up  to  150  days,  while  winter ranges between 105 and 145 days. NATURAL RESOURCES Belarus’s major  natural  resources  are  its  forests  and peat deposits. The country also has small quantities of oil and  natural  gas. Manufacturing  and  commerce  are  the most important parts of the economy. ;


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