Minsk ( ; ; ), is the capital and largest city in Belarus, situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers. Minsk is also a headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is also the administrative centre of Minsk voblast (province) and Minsk raion.The earliest references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067). In 1242, Minsk became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and it received its town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodship in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was annexed by Russia in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919–1991, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian SSR.
Geography and climate
Minsk is located on the southeastern slope of the Minsk Hills, a region of rolling hills running from the southwest (upper reaches of the river Nioman) to the northeast - that is, to the Lukomskaye lake in northwest