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The present borders of Belarus were established during the turmoil of the Second World War. The former Soviet republic was occupied by the Nazis between 1941 and 1944, when it lost 2.2 million people, including almost all of its large Jewish population.

In the Soviet post-war years, Belarus became one of the most prosperous parts of the USSR, but with independence came economic decline. President Lukashenko has steadfastly opposed the privatisation of state enterprises, and the country is heavily dependent on Russia for its energy supplies (BBC, 2020).

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0 % seats held by women in single or lower houses of parliament in 2020 (increased from 9.1% in 2000)
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