Minsk is the capital of the Republic of Belarus and the centre of the region and district of the same name. It lies over the Minsk Hills upon the both banks of the river Svisloch. Minsk covers an area of 256 square kilometers. Population is 1728,9 thousand persons. Minsk is divided into 9 city districts and includes also 1 urbanized settlement Sokol. The city of Minsk is granted a special status of the capital, its charter, coat of arms and hymn.
Minsk is a city of quite an ancient history. It was firstly mentioned in chronicles in 1067 A.D. In 1974 Minsk obtained a title of City-Hero in the commemoration of its citizens’ services in their struggle against Nazism during World War II. At the present moment the residence of the executive committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States is located in Minsk. The Government and the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus are there too.
Staying at the strategic crossroads from East to West and from North to South, from Moscow to Warsaw and from Vilnius to Kiev, Minsk is an important transport junction with several bus and railway stations, 2 airports (1 national) and metro network.
Within a system of the united economic complex of Belarus the city possesses developed industry, science and scientific services, transport and management and finances. Industry is represented in the following fields: machine building, electronics, textile, construction, food industry and others. More than 300 industrial enterprises are registered there. City’s share in the Republican industrial output overcomes 22 %.
Minsk, the industrial centre of the Republic of Belarus, is specialized in the economic system of the Republic in such fields like industry, construction, science and scientific services. Minsk enterprises give 1/5 of the total volume of the industrial production of the country. Near 60% of this production are exported abroad. The basic industrial export positions are tractors, camions, metal-working machine-tools, refrigerators, TV sets, moto-cycles and bicycles. Minsk products are exported to more than 100 countries of the world. The volume of foreign trade in 2006 was USD 18,1 billions including USD 6,6 billions for export.
The main consumers of Minsk products are in Russia, Ukraine, Baltic States, Germany, Great Britain and Netherlands.
The biggest enterprises of Minsk whose production is well known all over the world are the following: Minsk Automobile Plant, Minsk Wheel Trailers Plant, Minsk Tractor Plant, bearing plant, Minsk Motor Plant, Open Joint-Stock Company “Amkodor”, Open Joint-Stock Company “Motovelo”, heating installation plant, electro-mechanical plant, “Atlant” Refrigerators Plant, “Gorizont” TV-sets Plant, Semi-conductors Plant, Transistor Plant, Optical-mechanical Plant, Research-and-Production Association “Agat”, the Closed Joint-Stock Company “Milavitsa”, Open Joint-Stock Company “Keramin”, Open Joint-Stock Company “Elema”, Open Joint-Stock Company “Beloruskie Oboi”, Open Joint-Stock Company “Belmedpreparaty”, Open Joint-Stock Company Minsk Watch Plant, aviation repairing plant, etc.
Minsk is an important transport junction with several bus and railway stations, 2 airports (1 national) and metro network.
The airport “Minsk-1” located in the city is designed for inner flights. The second one “Minsk-2” serves for the aircraft reception from all parts of the world.
In the city there are two metro lines with 25 stations on them, wide network of bus and trolleybus communications. The suburbs are connected with the city with trains and buses.
Science and Education
There are 34 higher educational establishments in Minsk. The most significant among them are the Belarusian State University, Belarusian State Polytechnic Academy, Minsk State Linguistic University and others. Besides 28 specialized vocational schools are in function, 258 vocational schools, and more than 500 preschool institutions.
Minsk is a huge centre of science and technology. 164 scientific research centers are concentrated there with the National Academy of Sciences.
Intellectual potential concentrated in the city is widely represented by the staff of educational and scientific institutions in all fields of academic and practical science. Minsk is an important scientific centre of Belarus and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Here there are more than 160 scientific and research establishments with the National Academy of Sciences among them. The city numbers about 30 higher educational establishments and the same quantity of vocational schools. The research institutions are orientated to the demands of industry, transport and communications. More than 60% of specialists and resources are engaged in these spheres.
Culture and Mass Media
Minsk is famous for its cultural component. 17 museums, which include National Arts Museum, Museum of History and Culture of Belarus, Museum of history of Great Patriotic War. 12 Theatres among them State Russian Drama Theatre and Belarusian Academic Theatre, National Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Besides that there are 16 cinemas, 114 libraries in the city. About 1500 mass communication media, including 900 periodical editions, 24 radio and 16 TV programs, 9 informational agencies registered and founded in Minsk.