[bel] 2,230,000 (2011 census). The majority of Belarusans speak Russian [rus] as their L1. Ethnic population: 7,960,000 (2009 census). Total users in all countries: 2,560,170. Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1994, Constitution, Article 17(1)), largely symbolic use. Alternate Names: Belarusan, Belorussian, Bielorussian, Byelorussian, White Russian, White Ruthenian. Autonym: беларуская мова (Biełaruskaja mova). Dialects: Northeast Belarusian (Polots, Viteb-Mogilev), Southwest Belarusian (Grodnen-Baranovich, Slutska-Mazyrski, Slutsko-Mozyr), Central Belarusian. Linguistically between Russian [rus] and Ukrainian [ukr], with transitional dialects to both. Classification: Indo-European, Balto-Slavic, Slavic, East. Comments: Christian, Muslim.
[rus] 6,978,000 in Belarus, all users. 6,670,000 (2011 census). Russian [rus] is spoken by most of the population in Belarus as their L1. 308,000 (Arefyev 2012). Ethnic population: 785,000 (2009 census). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national working language (1998, Languages Act, Article 2(1)). Classification: Indo-European, Balto-Slavic, Slavic, East.