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Extra resources for BELARUS AND MOLDOVA, COUNTRY STUDIES
The Belorussian region became an agricultural appendage to a more industrial ized Poland, and unemployment and land hunger were wide spread. Between 1925 and 1938, some 78,000 people emi grated from this part of Poland in search of work, mainly to France and Latin America. In May 1926, war hero Marshal Jozef Pilsudski established an authoritarian regime in Poland. The following year, when the Belorussian Peasant-and-Workers' Union spearheaded a widespread protest against the government's oppressive poli cies in the Belorussian region, the regime arrested and impris oned the union's activists.
Northern Belarus has a picturesque, hilly landscape with many lakes and gently sloping ridges cre ated by glacial debris. In the south, about one-third of the republic's territory around the Prypyats' (Pripyat' in Russian) River is taken up by the low-lying swampy plain of the Belaru sian Woodland, or Palyessye (Poles'ye in Russian). Belarus's 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 Dzvina Zakhodnyaya (Zapadnaya Dvina in Russian) and Nyoman (Neman in Russian) rivers and the south-flowing Dnyapro (Dnepr in Russian) with its tributaries, the Byarezina (Berezina in Russian), Sozh, and Prypyats' rivers.
The average temperature in January is -6°C, and the average temperature for July is about 18°C, with high 28 Belarus humidity. Average annual precipitation ranges from 550 to 700 millimeters and is sometimes excessive. Environmental Concerns The most notorious legacy of pollution from the communist era is the April 26, 1986, accident at the Chornobyl' nuclear power plant in Ukraine. , voblasts'), or counties, in the south and southeast, and 22 per cent of the population. Although more than 2 million people (including 600,000 children) lived in areas affected by fallout from the disaster, the Soviet government tried to cover up the accident until Swedish scientists pressed for an explanation of the unusually high levels of atmospheric radiation in Sweden.