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Belarus (bÉ›ləˈruːs/ bel-É™-ROOSS; Belarusian: Белару́сь, tr. BielaruÅ›, IPA: [bʲɛlaˈrusʲ]; Russian: Белоруссия, tr. Byelorussiya; IPA: [bʲɪlɐˈrussɪʲɐ]), officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Hrodna (Grodno), Homiel (Gomel), MahilioÅ­ (Mogilev) and Vitsebsk (Vitebsk). Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested. Its strongest economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus: for example: the Principality of Polotsk (11th to 14th centuries), the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

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