On August 25, 1991 the Republic of Belarus gained its independence from the Soviet Union.The Republic of Belarus had recognized the city of Minsk as its capital.
Landlocked in Eastern Europe, Belarus has a total area of 207,600 sq km, including no appreciable water areas. Belarus has 3,098 km of borderline adjacent to 5 different countries. Belarus is mainly comprised generally of flat land with a good deal of marshland. This land can be dived into 5 land uses: arable land 29%, permanent crops 1%, permanent pastures 15%, forests and woodland 34%, other 21% (1993 est.). Belarus generally has cool and moist summers with cold and sometimes harsh winters. Belarus' main natural resources consist of peat deposits, forests, and small quantities of natural gas and oil. Since Minsk's liberation in 1944 its population has steadily increased from 50,000 to 1,672,000 people as (1995 est.), qualifying it as the largest city in Belarus. Excluding Minsk, Belarus' top 5 cities by population in order are: Homjel’, Mahiljow, Vicebsk, Hrodna, and Br;st (2001 est.). 99.9 % of all electricity in Belarus is produced by fossil fuels while 0.01 % is hydroelectric. Per year, Belarus produces 24.911 billion kWh while the consumption of kWh is at 27.647 billion kWh, forcing Belarus to import 7.1 billion kWh, although Belarus does export 2.62 billion kWh. The only environmental issues plaguing Belarus are soil pollution from excessive pesticide use and nuclear fallout in the south from the 1986 Chernobyl accident.
Belarus has a population of 10,350,194, growing at a rate of -.15% per year. Belarus has a population density of 50.10 people/sq km, currently ranked 147th in the world. Belarus has a mortality rate of 13.97 deaths/1,000 population and a infant mortality rate of 14.38 deaths/1,000 live births. Belarus; ratios are:
under 15 years:1.04 male(s)/female

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