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Chapter Summary

The country has been officially called the "Republic of Belarus" (short version - "Belarus") only since the independence of the former Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) from the Soviet Union in 1991. The Belarusian language was declared to be the state language, and the Statute required all court proceedings and documentation to be conducted in Belarusian. The process of eventual independence of Belarus from the USSR began with the Declaration of State Sovereignty, adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR, then the legislative body of the country, on 27 July 1990. The new Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, which proclaimed Belarus a presidential republic, was adopted by the Supreme Soviet on 15 March 1994 and entered into force on 30 March 1994. Further amendments to the text of the 1994 Constitution were introduced following the referendums of 1996 and 2004.

Keywords: Belarus; Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR); Soviet Union; USSR



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