BIAŁYSTOK Former voivodship (Województwo białostockie) in northeastern Poland, named after its capital (Belostok or Byelostok in Russian).
The city was founded in 1320 with the extension of Lithuania into the Podlasia region. In the final partition of Poland in 1795 it became part of Neupreussen in the Kingdom of Prussia and in 1807 part of the Russian province of Grodno.
In 1921 Communist Russia recognised that it belonged to Poland, though in 1939 it was occupied by Soviet troops. In 1941 it was annexed by Nazi Germany.
In between-the-wars Poland the Białystok voivodship was extensive: it included Suwałki in the north, Grodno (now Hrodna) and Wołkowysk (Vawkavysk) in the east and Łomza in the west, with the River Bug as its southern boundary.
The eastern districts of the former voivodship were added to the Soviet Union in 1939 but the southeasternmost area of East Prussia was included in the restored Bialystok voivodship after the war.
In 1975 the voivodship was split up between the new voivodships of Białystok (east), Łomza (west) and Suwalki (north). In 1999 the pre-1975 voivodship was restored, without the East Prussian territory, but with the old regional name of Podlasie. Białystok is the capital.