Like many nations, Belarus is younger than some people. I knew the trigger for World War II was the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia. I didn't know there had been a Polish-Soviet War in 1919-1921 in which Poland, fearful of German and Russian imperialism, had looked to push its borders as far east as possible. Belarus was a newly formed country, declared independent after the Russian Revolution of 1917. It lost half its territory to Poland. World War II didn't end with a reversal of how it started, i.e. an independent Poland. The modern borders of Belarus were formed in 1939 with the Soviet Invasion of Poland. In 1945, the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations. Independence was declared in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. "Europe's last dictatorship", Alexander Lukashenko has served as president since 1994.