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Belarus, a landlocked, generally flat country (the average elevation is 162 meters (531 ft) above sea level) without natural borders, occupies an area of 207,600 square kilometers (80,200 sq mi), or slightly smaller than the United Kingdom or the state of Kansas. Its neighbours are Russia to the east and northeast, Latviato the north, Lithuania to the northwest, Poland to the west, and Ukraine to the south. Its extension from North to South is 560 km (350 mi), from west to east is 650 km (400 mi)
Belaruss mostly level terrain is broken up by the Belarusian Range (Byelaruskaya Hrada), a swathe of elevated territory, composed of individual highlands, that runs diagonally through the country from west-southwest to east-northeast. Its highest point is the 346-meter (1,135 ft) Mount Dzyarzhynskaya, named for Felix Dzerzhinsky, head of Cheka. Northern Belarus has hilly landscape with many lakes and gently sloping ridges created by glacial debris. In the south, about one-third of the republics territory around the Pripiac River is taken up by the low-lying swampy plain of Palyessye, shared with Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
Glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its numerous lakes.
Belaruss 3,000 streams and 4,000 lakes are major features of the landscape and are used for floating timber, shipping, and power generation. Major rivers are the west-flowing Western Dvina and Nyoman rivers, and the south-flowing Dniapro River with its tributaries, Berezina River, Sozh, and Prypyat rivers. The Prypyat River has served as a bridge between the Dnepr flowing to Ukraine and the Vistula in Poland since the period of Kievan Rus. Lake Narach, the countrys largest lake, covers eighty square kilometers.
Nearly one-third of the country is covered with pushchas, large unpopulated tracts of forests. In the north, conifers predominate in forests that also include birchand alder; farther south, other deciduous trees grow. The Belavezhskaya Pushcha (shared with Poland) in the far west is the oldest and most magnificent of the forests; a reservation here shelters animals and birds that became extinct elsewhere long ago.
Because of the proximity of the Baltic Sea (257 kilometers or 160 miles at the closest point), the country has temperate continental climate. Winters last between 105 and 145 days, and summers last up to 150 days. The average temperature in January is −6 °C (21 °F), and the average temperature for July is about 18 °C (64 °F), with high humidity. Average annual precipitation ranges from 550 to 700 millimeters (21.7 to 27.6 in) and is sometimes excessive.

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