Republic of Belarus
Note: The transliteration of Belarusan names into Latin script is complicated by language politics within Belarus. Individuals and groups may self-identify with a Belarusan or Russian form of their name; the Belarusan government, however, generally uses Russian forms, as does much of the international media. Belarusan forms are used here, with Russian forms given in parentheses (if different) for key figures.
Political Status: Formerly the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, a constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); declared independence on August 25, 1991; postindependence constitution entered into force on March 30, 1994; amended constitution declared to be in force by the government on November 27, 1996, following approval by national referendum on November 24.
Area: 80,155 sq. mi. (207,600 sq. km).