Europe

Belarus Human Geography

Belarus, colloquially often Belarus, officially Respublika Belarus, German Republic of Belarus, landlocked country in Eastern Europe with (2019) 9.5 million residents; The capital is Minsk.

Geography

Vegetation

According to 800zipcodes, over 40% of the state’s area is covered by forests (mostly mixed forests). In the north the spruce trees dominate as typical representatives of the Eurasian coniferous forest taiga, together with birch trees; Pine trees are prevalent everywhere. In a central zone, the warmth-loving hornbeams step next to the pines, before spruces and oaks. Polesia in particular is heavily forested in the south. Only pine is found here in conifers, oak and hornbeam are predominant. Among the numerous moor areas, especially in Polesia, the fens on rivers, lake banks and in flat valleys predominate. Raised moors occur in the entire area. The most important nature reserve is the Beloweschskaja Puschtscha (Bialowiezer Heide) in the west of the country.

Environment: The Chernobyl reactor disaster (Ukraine) on April 26, 1986 had devastating effects on Belarus. About 70% of the radioactive fallout fell over Belarus, especially over the southeast of the country. 40% of the radioactive particles fell on the Gomel area alone; The regions south of Mogilev, around Minsk and the areas on the upper reaches of the Memel were also badly affected. About half of the territory of the Republic of Belarus was contaminated. At that time around 130,000 people were evacuated from highly polluted areas. Since then there has been a slow return migration.

National symbols

In 1995 the flag and coat of arms of the former Belarusian SSR became valid again without the Soviet symbols, after a different flag and coat of arms were used in 1991-95. The national flag is horizontally striped red over green in a ratio of 2: 1. On the leech it is provided with a white stripe with a red ornament. The white stripe takes up 19 of the flag width. In the flag version that has been in effect since 2012, the red ornament completely covers the white stripe, previously the ornament was framed in white.

Today’s coat of arms shows two sheaves of corn, wrapped in a ribbon in the national colors, decorated with flowers and field crops, the tips of which converge in a red star. They surround a section of the globe, above it a rising sun, the rays of which are reflected in the outline of the country; under the sun the official name of the country is written on a tape.

National holiday: July 3rd (Republic Day) commemorates the liberation of the capital Minsk from Nazi occupation in 1944.

Law

The jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, which has existed since 1994 (12 judges with a term of 11 years, half elected by the Council of the Republic and half appointed by the President), is essentially limited to the abstract control of norms; a constitutional complaint is not envisaged.

The ordinary jurisdiction consists of regional or city courts, regional courts (which also includes the Minsk City Court) and the Supreme Court; she is responsible for civil, criminal and administrative matters. Any court can be the first instance. There is a cassation appeal against the decision, which concludes the instance (first instance judgments of the Supreme Court cannot, however, be further checked). As a supervisory body, the next higher court can revise the decision of the lower instance ex officio after it has become legally binding. In addition to the ordinary jurisdiction, there is a military and commercial jurisdiction. The latter consists of the Supreme Commercial Court (mostly acting as a supervisory authority and, in special cases, acting as the entrance authority) and the commercial courts at regional level (consisting of entrance, cassation and supervisory college).

Belarus is the only European country where the death penalty is still imposed and carried out under strict secrecy.

Economy

The service sector generates a share of (2017) 47.6% of GDP; 59.0% of the gainfully employed work in it. It mainly covers the areas of trade and transport, administration and finance, education and social affairs.

Tourism: Due to its unique landscape, Belarus has potential for near-natural tourism. There is also a large number of historical and cultural monuments. Among the most important are the Mir and Nesvish Palace complexes (UNESCO World Heritage Sites).

The number of tourists is currently still low, mainly due to the poorly developed infrastructure and restrictive entry regulations. The number of foreign visitors reached 217 400 in 2016; almost four fifths of them came from Russia.

Belarus Human Geography