Belarus Destination Guide & Country Overview
Republic of Belarus | Рэспубліка Беларусь
Belarus declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but to this day remains as a key friend and ally of Russia. Many consider Belarus to be Europe’s last dictatorship, including President Lukashenko himself saying that “an authoritarian ruling style is characteristic of me.” On top of that, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) rates the Democracy Index of Belarus to be the lowest in Europe, after Russia moved up on the scale.
Still, Belarus is a country that offers a glimpse back in time for travelers. It’s a section of Europe that still feels and looks as if it is still part of decades-gone Soviet Union. Most (around 80%) of the population of just under 10 million reside in urban areas.
Belarus has four designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Nesvizh Castle, the Mir Castle Complex, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha (with Poland), and the Struve Geodetic Arc (shared with Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Moldova, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine).