According to a2zdirectory, Belarus is an Eastern European state. It borders with Poland to the West, with Lithuania and Latvia to the NW, with Russia to the NE and East, with Ukraine to South.
Geologists include the region in the southern part of the Baltic shield from the Precambrian age, although formations from that era only surface in modest relief in the central region; more recent, however, and not of great depth, are the formations in the remaining territory. Everything has been considerably altered by the great Quaternary glaciers which, in the phases of greater extension, went much further to the South of Minsk, and whose action is partly due to having brought the archaic formations back to the surface.
The reliefs are limited to modest hills, along an alignment (Alture della Belarus) that cuts the territory from the SW to the NE, however divided into some series of bumps that take their name from the nearest cities; only in the region of the capital, in the center of the territory, these hills exceed 300 meters.
The climate is distinctly continental, with very cold and long winters and short, hot summers. The region is influenced by the Atlantic air masses and has an annual contribution of about 600-700 mm of precipitation, distributed throughout the year. The annual excursion increases towards the E, where the Atlantic influence is less and where the characteristics of continentality are more marked.
Forests cover almost a third of the territory; to S, deciduous broad-leaved trees (oaks, elms) prevail, making up most of the woodland. Among the Mammals rodents predominate, such as squirrels, but stoats are still numerous; noteworthy is the presence of some specimens of the last European bison in the Białowieża Forest National Park (continuation in the Belarusian territory of the homonymous Polish park).
The territory of the Belarus is rich in lakes, marshes and streams. At the border with Latvia, the Western Dvina flows, bound for the Baltic; just to the West of the eastern border the Dnieper flows for a long stretch, which comes from Russia upstream of the town of Orša and turns to the South, and in the territory of the country it travels for almost 500 km, receiving from the left the Beresina, which receives the waters of the slope Oriental. The southern region, called Polessia, is a lowland largely occupied by the Pripyat Marshes′, Whose name derives from that of the river that flows very slowly from the O towards the Dnieper. An artificial navigable canal crosses the Polessia from the city of Pinsk, in the central part, to Brest, on the Polish border (connecting the Bug with the Dnieper). The outflow from the central Heights collects westwards in the upper courses of the Neman, which just downstream of Grodno enters Lithuanian territory (with the name of Nemunas) and, towards the NW, of the Vilija, which leaves the Belarus just upstream of the capital. Lithuanian Vilnius ; a navigable channel joins the Neman with the Pripyat ′ and the Dnieper. The lakes, due to the glacial excavation, are very numerous, but of very limited extension; the largest is Naroč´ (80 km 2), 150 km NW of the capital.
Population, society and rights
Under Lukashenko, Belarus witnessed the progressive restriction of civil and political liberties. The arrest and intimidation of opposition members and the closing of newspapers critical of the government is a well-established practice. The parliamentary elections of September 2012, judged neither free nor impartial by Osce observers, were not an exception. Workers also do not enjoy full rights, such as strike rights and representation through trade union associations. Religious freedom, which should be guaranteed constitutionally, is also limited and, in fact, there is a privileged relationship between the state and the Belarusian Orthodox Church. Within the country live minorities, especially Poles and Roma, who complain of discriminatory treatment compared to the Belarusian majority.
Despite the substantial failure of the democratization process, when compared with the countries that emerged from the Soviet dissolution, Belarus has a high standard of living. The human development index of the country is the highest among member countries of the Eastern Partnership of EU.