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Барысаў (Belarusian)
Борисов (Russian)
Central Square in Barysaw
Central Square in Barysaw
Flag of Barysaw
Coat of arms of Barysaw
Barysaw is located in Belarus
Location of Barysaw
Coordinates: 54°14′N 28°30′E / 54.233°N 28.500°E / 54.233; 28.500
VoblastMinsk Voblast
RaionBarysaw Raion
 • City45.97 km2 (17.75 sq mi)
169 m (554 ft)
 • Estimate 
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+3 (MSK)
Postal code
Area code+375 01777
License plate5
WebsiteOfficial website

Barysaw (Belarusian: Барысаў, pronounced [baˈrɨsaw]) or Borisov (Russian: Борисов, pronounced [bɐˈrʲisəf]) is a city in Belarus near the Berezina River in the Minsk Region 74 km north-east from Minsk. Its population is around 145,000.


Barysaw is first mentioned in the Laurentian Codex as being founded (as Borisov) in 1102 by the Prince of Polotsk Rogvolod Vseslavich, who had the baptismal name of Boris. During the next two centuries, it was burned and then rebuilt south of where it was before.

Half a millennium as part of Lithuania[edit]

From the late 13th century to 1795, the town was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was itself involved in many unions – the Union of Krewo (1385) and Union of Lublin (1569).

In 1500, during the Lithuanian–Muscovite War, Alexander Jagiellon resided in Barysaw Castle. In 1563, it was granted Magdeburg town rights by King Sigismund II Augustus.

Coat of arms in 1792


In the last years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, troops were stationed here, including the 4th Lithuanian Vanguard Regiment, and King Stanisław August Poniatowski established the town's coat of arms (decree #17435), the top half containing the coat of arms of Minsk, while the lower half had two stylized towers on a silver background with a passage between them and Saint Peter above the towers holding a key in his hand.

Barysaw became part of the Russian Empire in 1793 as a result of the Second Partition of Poland.

19th century[edit]

After the Partitions of Poland, Barysaw was an uyezd town in the Minsk Governorate.

Napoleonic Wars[edit]

In 1812, Barysaw became a crucial location when Napoleon's troops crossed the Berezina river. The French feinted a crossing at the town itself, but successfully escaped the pursuing armies by building two wooden bridges north of the city, at Studianka. This event is reenacted by military locals during town festivals. A cannon from the Napoleonic era is kept by the town's museum.

Railway station in the 19th century

In 1871, the railway between Brest and Moscow passed near Barysaw, and a station was built there. In 1900 the area around the station was annexed the town.

Barysaw in the early 20th century

20th century[edit]

World War I and Polish-Soviet War[edit]

During World War I, after the fall of Tsarist Russia, fights broke out for control of the city and it changed owners several times. In November 1917 the area became a part of Soviet Russia, from early 1918 it was occupied by Germany, in December 1918 it fell to the Soviets again, from 1919 to 1920 it was controlled by Poland, before being captured by the Soviets for the third time.


Soviet rule was recognized by the Peace of Riga in 1921 and the city was included in the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Barysaw ca. 1941-1944

World War II[edit]

During World War II, Barysaw was occupied by Nazi Germany from 2 July 1941 to 1 July 1944,[2] and most of the city was destroyed. More than 33,000 people were killed in six death camps which were constructed around the town.

Recent period[edit]

Since May 1948 the city has been home to the headquarters of the 7th Tank Army, which became the 65th Army Corps and then the North Western Operational Command of the Armed Forces of Belarus in 2001. In 2000s the Head of City Administration, or Mayor, was Vassily Burgun.[3]

Historic architecture of Barysaw (examples)
From top, left to right: Catholic Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Orthodox Church of the Resurrection of Christ, castle ruins, former treasury building, old school buildings


After World War II, Barysaw became a major industrial centre; as of 2002 there are 41 large factories exporting their goods to Russia, the CIS, and worldwide. The railroad is still an important artery, but now it is powered by overhead electric lines.

The following industries are prominent in town: Borisov Plant of Motor-and-Tractor Electric Machinery, Borisov Plant Avtogydrousilitel, Borisov Aggregate Works, Ekran Company, Dzerzhynski Crystal Works, Borisov Plastics Plant, the 140th Repair Works, the 2566th Plant on Radioelectronics Equipment Maintenance, the Rezinotekhnika Company, Borisov Meat Packing Plant, Borisov Plant of Polymer Package Polimiz, the Belarusian-German joint venture Frebor, the Lesokhimik Company, the Metallist Company, the Paper Factory of the state emblem department under the Finance Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, the Borisovdrev Company, the Borisovkhlebprom Company, Borisov Bakery, Borisov Sewing Factory, the Shveinik Company, Kischenko Crafts Factory, Borisov Dairy, Borisov Tinned Plant, others. The total industrial staff reaches 31,019 people.[4]

The largest factories, in no particular order, are:

  • BATE (electricity automobile parts)
  • AGU (avto-gidro-usilitelpower steering in Russian)
  • Pharmaceutical plant (medpreparatov)
  • Turbocompressors plant (agregatov)
  • Match factory (Borisovdrev)
  • BoriMak (factory producing pasta, spaghetti)
  • Zdravushka (Dairy products)
  • Rezinotechnika (Rubber factory)
  • Meat processing factory
  • DOC (Wood products manufactury)

Modern living[edit]

Prospect Revolutsii

The town is divided by the river into old and new parts connected by two bridges. The railway station, international road, Ispolkom (ex-KPSS Gorispolkom), military staff headquarters and the central square are in the new part. As usual for this region, families live mostly in flats in large, modern apartment buildings, but there are some single-family homes on the outskirts, some of which do not yet have indoor plumbing. The water comes from an artesian well and is very clean and healthy.


  • President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko on 9 January 2009 assigned Vladimir Miranovich to the position of Head of Regional Administration (Ispolkom).[5]


Main sport sites: 2 stadiums, 3 swimming pools, 14 shooting galleries, and 8 sports-grounds.

The city has its own football team, BATE Borisov. The team won the Belarusian Premier League 15 times, and competed in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League. There is also a famous basketball team Berezina-RCOR. European basketball championship for women (division B) was organized in Barysaw.


  • Borisovskiye Novosti newspaper: privately owned independent media on both languages. A recent scandal related to an attempt by the Mayor to stop distribution of the paper, recently overturned by a court[6]
  • Official “Adzinstva” newspaper in Belarusian.
  • Local TV company "Skif" [7]

Notable residents[edit]

Railway station

International relations[edit]

Barysaw is twinned with:


  1. ^ Численность населения на 1 января 2015 г. и среднегодовая численность населения за 2014 год по Республике Беларусь в разрезе областей, районов, городов, поселков городского типа [Population as of 1 January 2015 and 2014 year-average population in regions, raions, towns of Republic of Belarus] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2015-05-15.
  2. ^ "Exultant Salvos: Moscow Hails Borisov". The West Australian. 2 July 1944. p. 5. Retrieved 23 February 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ В Борисове составлен свой список невъездных чиновников [Its own list of members of authorities who are not eligible to leave the country was created in Barysaw] (in Russian). Правозащитный центр «Весна».
  4. ^ "Industry - Economy - Borisov Region/Borisov/Borisov News/Borisov Region News/Borisov Regional Executive Committee". Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  5. ^ Назначение [appointment] (in Russian). Борисовский райисполком. 10 January 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Борисовские новости" — в новый год с новыми проблемами ["Borisovskiye Novosti" - entering new year with new problems] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 7 April 2009.
  7. ^ Телерадиокомпания "СкиФ" [Teleradiocompany "Skif"] (in Russian).
  8. ^ Маракоў, Леанід. "Рэпрэсаваныя лiтаратары, навукоўцы, работнiкi асветы, грамадскiя i культурныя дзеячы Беларусi. 1794-1991: Адамовіч Язэп" [Repressed writers, scientists, educators, public and cultural figures of Belarus. 1794-1991: Jazep Adamovič, by Leanid Marakou]. (in Belarusian).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°14′N 28°30′E / 54.233°N 28.500°E / 54.233; 28.500