Belarus is an eastern European country, that was a historical region known before its brief independence in 1918 to most as 'White Russia'. Following a 74-year existence as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, it became independent in 1991 following the USSR's dissolution, and began minting its own coins in 1996, following the adoption of the Byelorussian Ruble (BYB) in 1993. Following a new reevaluation of the currency, a second Ruble (BYR) was issued in 2000, lasting until 2016 at the rate of 1 BYR against 10,000 old BYB. The commemorative coins of Belarus have been issued by the National Bank since December, 1996. The main 4 themes of the coins issued are "Belarus and the world", "History and culture of Belarus", "Sport" and "Environmental protection". Most of the plots for the coins were created by Belarusian designers. There is no own mint in Belarus, thus the National Bank placed the orders in other countries, e.g. Russia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Germany.
See also: Soviet Union