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As a result of the Partitions of Poland, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795.

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In 15 it was the meeting-place of two remarkable councils of regional bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church.

The 1596 council established the Uniate Church (known also as the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church in Belarus and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine).

After the war, once the new boundaries between the USSR and Poland were ratified, the city became part of the Byelorussian SSR and as such was part of the Soviet Union until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Several theories attempt to account for the origin of the city's name.

It might have come from the Slavic root beresta meaning "birch", or "bark".

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), is a city (population 347,576 in 2018) in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet. The city of Brest is a historic site of many cultures.

After World War I, and the rebirth of Poland, the government of the Second Polish Republic renamed the city as Brześć nad Bugiem ("Brest on the Bug") on March 20, 1923.

After World War II the city became part of Soviet Belarus with the name simplified as Brest. Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, first granted Brest a coat of arms in 1554. As a town, Brest – Berestye in Kievan Rus – was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 1019 when the Kievan Rus took the stronghold from the Poles. It was hotly contested between the Polish rulers (kings, principal dukes and dukes of Masovia) and Kievan Rus princes, laid waste by the Mongols in 1241 (see: Mongol invasion of Europe), and was not rebuilt until 1275.

In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth formed in 1569 the town was known in Polish as Brześć, historically Brześć Litewski (literally: "Lithuanian Brest", in contradistinction to Brześć Kujawski).

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