Regions of Belarus

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Regions of Belarus
CategoryFirst-level subdivision of a unitary state
  • 1960
Number6 Regions
1 Capital City
Populations(Regions only): 1,018,000 (Mogilev) – 1,987,000 (Minsk)
Areas(provinces only): 25,118.1 km2 (9,698.14 sq mi) (Grodno) – 40,361.6 km2 (15,583.72 sq mi) (Gomel)
  • province government

At the top level of administration, Belarus is divided into six regions and one capital city. The six regions are oblasts (also known as voblastsi), while the city of Minsk has a special status as the capital of Belarus.[1] Minsk also serves as the administrative center of Minsk Region.[2]

At the second level, the regions are divided into districts (raions).

The layout and extent of the regions were set in 1960 when Belarus (then the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union.[3]


At the start of the 20th century, the boundaries of the Belarusian lands within the Russian Empire were still being defined. In 1900 it was contained within all of the Minsk and Mogilev governorates, most of Grodno Governorate, parts of Vitebsk Governorate, and parts of Vilna Governorate.[3] World War I, the independence of Poland, as well as the 1920-1921 Polish–Soviet War affected the boundaries. In 1921, Belarus had what is now all of Minsk Governorate except for the western fringe, the western part of Gomel Region, a western slice of Mogilev, and a small part of Vitebsk Region. In 1926, the eastern part of Gomel region was added. [3]

In the Byelorussian SSR, new administrative units, called oblasts or voblastsi[4] (cognate of Russian word oblast with prothetic v-) were introduced in 1938. During World War II, Belarus gained territory to the west, with the Baranavichy, Belastok (Białystok), Brest, Pinsk, and Vileyka oblasts. In 1944, Belastok was eliminated and the new oblasts of Babruysk, Grodno, and Polotsk were created. At that same time, Vileika oblast was renamed Molodechno Oblast.[3]

At different times between 1938 and 1960, the following oblasts existed:


Regions of Belarus
Flag Region Capital Russian Belarusian Population
Density % of
1 Минск Мінск 1,987,000 305.50 6,606.48 21.44%
2 Brest Brest Брестская Брэсцкая 1,356,000 32,790.68 41.11 14.32%
3 Gomel Gomel Гомельская Гомельская 1,380,000 40,361.66 34.40 14.75%
4 Grodno Grodno Гродненская Гродзенская 1,037,000 25,118.07 40.88 10.91%
5 Mogilev Mogilev Могилёвская Магілёўская 1,018,000 29,079.01 35.24 10.89%
6 Minsk Minsk Минская Мінская 1,464,000 39,912.35 36.86 15.63%
7 Vitebsk Vitebsk Витебская Вiцебская 1,128,000 40,049.99 28.36 12.06%
Belarus Minsk Беларусь 9,370,000 207,617.26 45.34 100.00%

Historical division[edit]

Administrative division of Belarusian SSR by year

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Belarus Regions
  2. ^ Minsk summary, at the website of the Belarus embassy in Russia.
  3. ^ a b c d "Regions of Belarus". Statoids.
  4. ^ "Belarus: Government and society". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  5. ^ Official 2022 census results

External links[edit]