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Belarus History Timeline

Belarus's Information

Flag of Belarus
Land Area 202,900 km2
Water Area 4,700 km2
Total Area 207,600km2 (#84)
Population 9,570,376 (#92)
Population Density 47.17/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic In Name, Although In Fact A Dictatorship
GDP (PPP) $166.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $17,500
Currency Ruble (BYR)
More Information Belarus
Largest Cities


  • (100,000 - 35,000 BC) First signs of settlements in ancient Belarus
900s - 1400s
  • (988) Adoption of Christianity in Kiew Rus
  • (1050) The Sofia Cathedral was first monumental structure built on the Belarusian land
  • (1067) Minsk, Belarus founded
  • (1228) Polish Prince Konrad of Masovia invited the Geran Christian warriors known as the Knights of the Cross to his realm; the Knights made constant military incursions into Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Muscoviet lands
  • (1237) Knights of the Sword and the Knights of the Cross merged into one Teutonic Order
  • (1240-1263) Rule of Mindouh (Mindaugas), consolidated east Lithuanian and west Belarusan territories into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) and Rus', with capital in Navahradak
  • (1392) Grand Duke Vitaut recognized by King Jahaila as the independent ruler of the Grand Duchy
  • (1410) Lithuanian-Polish forces defeated the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Tannenberg, Prussia; halted the Knight's eastward expansion along the Baltic
  • (1410) Mercenaries from Belarus, along with Tartars and Czechs, defeated the Teutonic Kingdom between Grunvald and Tannenberg
  • (1410) War officially ended with Treaty of Thorn
  • (1432) Royal charters established equality of feudal lords of both Catholic and Orthodox confessions
  • (1468) King Kazimir's Code of Laws were first code of criminal and procedural laws of the Grand Duchy of Lithuanian (written in Belarusian) in which punishment is individualized
  • (1480) Muscovy freed of the Tatar dependency
  • (1498-99) Self-government privilege granted to Polacak and Miensk
  • (1500) Beginning of defensive wars of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus', and Samogitia against Muscovy (Moscow)
  • (1517-19) Francisak Skaryna of Polacak translated and published the Bible in the Belarusian native language in Prague
  • (1520) First Belarusian printing shop founded in Vilnia
  • (1529) Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania written in Belarusian
  • (1582) Small Belarusian-Lithuanian force overcame a larger Muscovite force
  • (1803) Vilnia Imperial University founded, became a hotbed of Polish, Belarusian, and Lithuanian youth movements
  • (1810) Military colonies set up in Belarus
  • (1812) Napoleon marched into Russia
  • (1830-31) Gentry revolted in Poland, Belarus, right-banked Ukraine and Lithuania-Zhamojtia
  • (1830-1919) Policy of active Russification in Belarus took place
  • (1839) Abolition of the Union Church in Belarus occurred
  • (1863-64) Massive anti-tsarist uprisings in Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania
  • (1917) First All-Belarusian Congress declared Belarus a republican government in Belarus and was disbanded by Bolsheviks
  • (1918) Belarus declared independence
  • (1921) Belarusian State University established in Minsk; the Treaty of Riga divided Belarus between Poland and Soviet Union
  • (1922) Belarusian SSR became founding member of the USSR
  • (1930's) More than 100,000 people executed in Belarus, thousands sent to labor camps in Siberia
  • (1941) Nazi Germany invaded during the course of World War II; more than one million people were killed during the occupation, including many Jews
  • (1944) Soviet Red Army drove the Germans out of Belarus
  • (1945) Much of western Belarus was amalgamated into the Soviet Union at the end of the war
  • (1960's) Policy of "Russification" pushed through
  • (1986) Belarus was heavily affected by the fallout from the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl in neighboring Ukraine
  • (1988) Belarusian Popular Front formed
  • (1990) Belarusian named official state language
  • (1991) Belarus declared its independence; Soviet Union broke up; Minsk headquarters of the successor to the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States
  • (1994) Alexander Lukashenko became president; introduced policies designed to strengthen ties with Russia
  • (1995) Friendship and cooperation pact signed with Russia
  • (1995) Presidential powers were broadened
  • (1996) Agreement on economic union signed with Russia
  • (1996) President Lukashenko increased his powers again, extended his term in office
  • (1997) Protestors against Lukashenko signed a pro-democracy manifesto "Chapter 97"; Belarus and Russia ratified their union treaty
  • (1998) Belarus ruble value halved; food rationing imposed
  • (1998) Belarus signed an accord with Russia which would see their currencies and tax systems merge

Belarus Trivia

What Languages Are Spoken In Belarus?

Belarusian and Russian are the two most spoken languages in Belarus. Several other minority languages are spoken throughout the country. Some of the most common of these languages include Polish, Eastern Yiddish, and Ukrainian.

Languages Spoken In Belarus

What Kind of Government Does Belarus Have?

The government of Belarus is divided into 3 branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

What Type Of Government Does Belarus Have?

What is the biggest city in Belarus?

Minsk is Belarus’ capital and largest city with 1.97 million people.

The Biggest Cities In Belarus

What is the highest mountain in Belarus?

Dzyarzhynskaya Hara is the highest point in Belarus at an elevation of 1,132 feet above sea level.

The Highest Mountains In Belarus

What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Belarus?

Belarus has a wealth of natural resources including peat deposits, forests, oil, natural gas, brown coal, fertile land, limestone, iron, clay, chalk, and sand.

What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Belarus?

Are There Any UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus?

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus include Mir Castle, Struve Geodetic Arc, and the Bialowieza Forest.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Belarus

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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