Get the latest news from RT on Belarus, its capital and largest city Minsk, including breaking news, sports, weather, and travel. Belarus is a country in Eastern Europe which historically has close ties with Russia, even recognizing Russian as an official language. Once called the Byelorussian SSR, it was part of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarus became an independent state, and in 2000, Belarus and Russia established the Union State, signing a treaty for greater cooperation. Find news and details on the history, geography, and culture of Belarus. The economy is based on service industries and manufacturing. Follow RT for news and reports on the economy in Belarus. It is also a member of the UN, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), etc. Visit RT.com to read the news and updates on politics in Belarus, as well as its relations and cooperation with other countries. The current president of Belarus is Alexander Lukashenko, who is also the first president of the country, and has been in power since 1994. He has been criticized for running an authoritarian regime. Follow RT for news and stories about Alexander Lukashenko, his activities and policies. Don’t forget to check out authors’ opinions on the news and current events taking place in Belarus.