Belarus: History

  1. 1795

    Belarus is occupied and controlled by the Russian Empire.

  2. 1918

    Belarus declares its independence as the short-lived National Republic. Soon thereafter, the Red Army invades.

  3. 1919

    The Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic is proclaimed.

  4. 1930s

    Belarus suffers from purges against intellectuals and political opponents ordered by Joseph Stalin, which lead to the killing of over 100,000 people in Belarus.

  5. 1990

    Belarussian becomes the official language.

  6. 1991

    Belarus declares its independence after the Soviet Union falls.

  7. 1995

    A friendship and cooperation pact is signed with Russia and Russian is restored as the nation's official language.

  8. 1996

    Belarus signs an economic union agreement with Russia.

  9. 1998

    The value of the Belarus ruble is halved. Belarus soon agrees to a deal that includes plans to combine its currencies and tax systems with Russia.

  10. 2010

    A dispute emerges between Russia and Belarus over Belarus’s debt owed to Russia. Russia reduces the amount of gas sent to Belarus, leading Belarus to shutdown Russia’s gas pipeline to Europe. The two countries eventually reach an agreement after Belarus pays back the outstanding debt.

  11. 2011

    The government asks the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan of $8 billion. A panic on basic goods ensues.

  12. 2012

    President Lukashenko expels several European Union officials because of EU sanctions on Belarus, prompting the EU to take all its ambassadors out of the country.


BBC News