Belarus is a country with a unique history. For many centuries the Belarusians were strongly influenced by their more politically active neighbors. Several times the nation was on the brink of complete annihilation, but managed to survive, preserve its cultural identity and create a national state.
100,000-40,000 ago First settlers (Homo neanderthalensis) appear in the territory of the modern-day Belarus; first settlements emerge.
862 First written record of Polotsk as the center of the Krivichy tribe in the old Russian chronicle, Tale of Bygone Years.
948 First written record of the Dregovichy tribe.
Late 10th century Christianity is spread across Belarus.
Second half of the 10th century The founding of the Principality of Polotsk.
Late 10th century The founding of the Principality of Turov.
1101-1167 The life and work of Euphrosyne of Polotsk (secular name Predslava), enlightener. Made a saint of Belarus.
1230-1240 The founding of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the capital in Novogorodok (Novogrudok). Novogrudok Duke Mindovg is named Grand Duke. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania becomes a powerful state comprising the lands of modern-day Belarus, Lithuania, Kyiv, Chernigov and Volyn Oblasts of Ukraine and Russia's west from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
1385 The Union of Krewo. The union treaty between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland.
1410 The Battle of Grunwald. The troops of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuanian defeat the knights of the Teutonic Order.
1517 Belarusian enlightener Francysk Skaryna publishes the first Belarusian and Eastern Slavonic book in Prague.
1569 The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Moscow sign the Union of Lublin, giving rise to a new federative state, Rzeczpospolita.
1654-1667 The war between Russia and Rzeczpospolita.
1772, 1793, 1795 The partition of Rzeczpospolita. Belarus is annexed to the Russian Empire.
1812 The Patriotic War of 1812 against Napoleon I. Belarus is the central battleground.
1830-1831 The uprising in Poland, Belarus and Lithuania against the Imperial
Russia; the main demand is restoration of Rzeczpospolita; suppressed by Russian troops.
1861 Manifest on the Abolishment of Serfdom.
1863-January 1864 The uprising in Poland, Belarus and Lithuania against Imperial Russia; suppressed by Russian troops.
1917 Revolutions in Russia; the collapse of the monarchy in February 1917; the October Revolution; the Civil War. The Soviet power is established in Belarus.
3 March 1918 The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed declaring Russia's withdrawal from World War I. Belarus remains occupied by the German troops until December 1918.
25 March 1918 The proclamation of the Belarusian People's Republic.
1 January 1919 The founding of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) with Minsk as its capital.
18 March 1921 The signing of the Treaty of Riga, which puts an end to the Soviet-Polish War of 1920. Western Belarus is annexed to Poland.
Late 1922 The founding of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), with Belarus forming part of it.
1939 The reunification of the BSSR with Western Belarus.
22 June 1941 Nazi Germany's invasion. The start of the atrocious three-year occupation period.
Liberation of Belarus. The capital of the BSSR, the City of Minsk, is liberated on 3 July 1944. During the war, Belarus suffers great losses: every third citizen perishes; all towns, large and medium-sized industrial companies are destroyed.
1945 Belarus becomes one of the 51 founding members of the United Nations Organization.
April 1986 The Chernobyl catastrophe.
July 1990 The Supreme Council of the BSSR adopts the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
25 August 1991 The Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic is given the status of a constitutional law, which, in fact, proclaimed the independence of the BSSR.
19 September 1991 The Republic of Belarus is adopted as the official name of the state.
8 December 1991 The heads of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus meet in Viskuli (Brest Oblast) to announce the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
15 March 1994 The Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus adopts the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.
10 July 1994 The election of the first President of the Republic of Belarus.
7 June 1995 The new State Coat of Arms and State Flag of the Republic of Belarus established by Decree of the Republic of Belarus.
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The Nesvizh Palace of the Radziwills