The city of Brest lies at the confluence of the Bug and Mukhavyets rivers in south-western Belarus. Being a major river, rail and road junction it is an important trade centre, with diverse industries including manufacturing, food products, textiles, and metal goods.
Brest has a rich and varied history. Founded in the early 11th century, it has in turn been part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the capital of the Commonwealth state of Poland and Lithuania and part of Russian Empire.
The treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed here in 1918 between the new Soviet government and the Central Powers. In 1921 it became part of Poland, and in 1939 returned to the USSR.
During World War II, Germany occupied Brest; and from 1944 the city was again part of the USSR. Today Brest is in the state of Belarus, independent since 1991, and has a population of 300,600
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