Bielsk Podlaski (Більськ; Bilsk). Map: I-4. A county town, known in Ukrainian as Bilsk (2007 pop 26,577), in northern Podlachia, located in Podlachia voivodeship, Poland. The town was the former capital of the Bilsk land, which was famous from the 13th century and was of some importance in the 16th to mid-17th century. Bielsk county lies on the Ukrainian–Polish–Belarusian ethnic border. The Ukrainian population, part of which was forcibly resettled in 1945–6, lives in the eastern part of the county and in the neighboring counties of Siemiatycze (Semiatychi) and Hajnówka (Hainivka). There is a low level of national awareness in the county, and it is officially considered ethnically Belarusian.
[This article was updated in 2013.]