- "Vitebsk Region government website" (in Belarusian). vitebsk-region.gov.by. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
1. Belarus – Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested and its strongest economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian Peoples Republic, the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost almost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921, during WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years, in 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR. The parliament of the declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled Europes last dictatorship by some Western journalists, Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy. Though not directly espousing communism like the five remaining communist countries of China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and North Korea, in 2000 Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, with some hints of forming a Union State. Over 70% of Belaruss population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas, more than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages, Belarusian and Russian, the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Belarus is the only European country to retain capital punishment in both law and practice, the name Belarus is closely related with the term Belaya Rus, i. e. White Rus. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus, an alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as white, other sources claim that, before 1267, the land not conquered by the Mongols was considered White Rus. The name Rus is often conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, in some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is generally called White Russia to this day. The Latin term Alba Russia was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo, approbo. The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used White Rus to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
2. Vitebsk Region – Vitebsk Region, Vitsebsk Voblast, or Vitebsk Oblast is a region of Belarus with its administrative center being Vitebsk. It is located near the border with Russia, as of a 2011, the region had a population of 1,221,800. It has the lowest population density in Belarus at 30.6 p/km², important cities within the region include Vitebsk, Orsha, and Polotsk/Navapolatsk. Vitsebsk Region covers an area of 40,000 km², which is about 19. 4% of the national total, the northern extreme point of Belarus is situated in Verkhnyadzvinsk Raion of Vitebsk Region, north of Lake Osveya. In 2000 Belarusian scientists Alexey Solomonov and Valery Anoshko published a report in which they stated that the centre of Europe was located near Lake Sho in the Vitsebsk Voblast. The region is known for its numerous lakes, the largest lakes of the Vitebsk Region are, Osveyskoye, Lukomskoye, Drivyaty, Nescherdo, Snudy, Lisno, Ezerische, Strusto, Richi, Losvido, Lepelskoye. The region has more national parks, nature reserves, and wildlife preserves of national importance than any region of Belarus. Braslav Lakes and Naroch National Parks and Berezinski Biosphere Reserve comprise 3, 4% of the regions territory. Vitebsk Region has a number of important transport connections with Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic countries, the number of travel agencies in Vitebsk Region has been growing, from 25 in 2000 to 83 in 2010, most provide both agent and operator activities. The numerous lake resorts attract tourists for several-night stays, polotsk and Vitebsk are the most popular cultural tourism destinations of the region. Administrative divisions of Belarus Viciebsk Region – The Land Of Artists And Terrorists / Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee
3. Sharkawshchyna – Sharkawshchyna is an town in Vitebsk Region of Belarus and the center of Sharkawshchyna Raion. In October 1941,1,900 Jews of the town, many died of disease and starvation. On July 17,1942,1200 Jews were murdered in a mass execution perpetrated by an einsatzgruppen, some managed to escape