Gomel oblast lies to the southeast of Belarus and borders on Briansk oblast /Russia/, Kiev , Chernigov and Zhitomir oblasts /Ukraine/.

The territory of Gomel oblast is 40,400 square kilometers. One third of the territory is covered with forests; the biggest rivers – the Dnepr, the Sozh, the Berezina and the Pripiat – are the most important navigable ways of Belarus .

There is the national park Pripiatskiy and the Polesye radiation-ecological reserve in the oblast.

Today there are 23 museums and 4 theaters and philharmonic societies in Gomel oblast numbers.

The region has 2,540 monuments, 1,360 of them are monuments of history and culture, 140 – of architecture and 1,040 – of archeology. And if the latter /they include ancient settlements and burial places/ are of interest only to archeologists and historians, the other places stir deep interest of the people who appreciate architectural masterpieces and are fond of the Belarusian history.

Belarus-Russia Union State funding for social sphere 16% up over last five years

MOSCOW, 18 February (BelTA) – The amount of money the Union State of Belarus and Russia spends on social sphere has gone up by 16% over the last five years. The fact was pointed out at a session of the Social and Youth Policy, Science, Culture, and Humanitarian Affairs Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Moscow, BelTA has learned.

Participants of the session discussed results of implementation of programs, projects, and measures in the scope of the commission’s work in 2014-2018. It was noted that although the Union State budget has not been increased, the amount of money spent on financing social security, healthcare, education, culture, and sport increased by 16%.

Representatives of the Standing Committee of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the ministries of culture, labor and social protection of Belarus and Russia, the Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry, members of the Youth Chamber under the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia took part in the work of the commission. While discussing plans to implement Union State social sphere events in 2019, the MPs drew attention of representatives of the Belarusian Culture Ministry to the organization of the international art festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk. They also recommended that the Union State project to create a sculpture composition for the Rzhev memorial for Soviet soldiers in Russia’s Tver Oblast should be implemented and a tour of the Belarusian-Russian symphonic orchestra should be organized. Apart from that, the MPs will keep an eye on preparations for a festival of young writers, which is due in 2019. The Union State budget is expected to increase funding for the festival. The number of participants is expected to grow.

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Development, informational and technical support: BELTA, 2006