The first mention of Polotsk in chronicles dates back to 862. In the middle of the X century the Principality of Polotsk was formed - the most ancient state formation of the era of feudalism on the territory of Belarus, its borders significantly exceeded the modern borders of Polotsk region.

At the end of the 10th century, Christianity began to spread in Polotsk region, before which a pagan system of beliefs reigned. In contrast to Kiev, the baptism of Polotsk residents was not of a violent nature and the adopted Christianity for a long time was an external formality. The positions of Christianity were strengthened after the construction of the Sofia Cathedral by Vseslav the Sorcerer in the 50s of the 11th century and the founding of a number of monasteries by him and his heirs, the first of which can be considered Belchitsky, Spaso-Efrasinievsky, Borisoglebsky, Predtechensky.

The educational activities of such ascetics as Euphrosyne of Polotsk contributed to the strengthening of Christian values among the local population.

In the middle of the 11th century, the center of ancient Polotsk was moved to the right bank of the Western Dvina. Since that time, the city has received a new impetus for development. During the reign of Bratislav Izyaslavich (1003-1044) and Vseslav the Sorcerer (1044-1101), the Polotsk principality reached its peak.

The events of 1067, in particular the battle on Nemiga and the captivity of Vseslav the Sorcerer, led to significant consequences: Polotsk principality for some time lost its independence and its prince (a Kiev governor was appointed instead), the center of Polotsk region was economically weakened, and foreign policy activity decreased.
1158 is the first chronicle information about Belchitsa as the residence of Polotsk princes.

The twelfth century in the history of Polotsk land was even more tragic and passed in the conditions of the internecine struggle of the princes. At the end of the century, internecine quarrels gradually subsided and in 1180 there was a joint campaign of six princes of Polotsk region against Drutsk to strengthen the unity of the principality.

In the middle of the 13th century, Novogrudok began to unite Belarusian lands. Polotsk lost its historical place.

In the XIII-XVI centuries. Polotsk was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.1504 - creation of the Polotsk Voivodeship. 1563 - construction of castles in the village of M. Sitno, Turovlya. On August 30, 1579, the Polish king Stefan Batory captured Polotsk, and Polotsk land was again united with Belarusian lands, but already as part of a new state - Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The results of the Livonian War were disastrous for the region, which had been a theater of active military operations for more than 20 years. The population declined, economic life came to a complete collapse: the villages were burnt and deserted, the arable land was overgrown with weeds. First half of the 17th century was mostly peaceful for Polotsk region.

In 1654, the Russian tsar began a war against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The first victim was Polotsk. For 13 years, Russia ruled over Polotsk lands. Weakened by the long war, the warring parties concluded an armistice according to which Polotsk and the Polotsk voivodeship in 1667. returned to the Commonwealth.

The consequences of the war were terrible. According to some estimates, if before the war 162,478 people lived in the Polotsk Voivodeship, then after it - 40,930. Population losses were 75%. In the surrounding villages, losses were even greater. For example, in the town of Ekiman, they accounted for 90%.

The events of the Northern War (1700-1721) did not pass by. The peaceful life that came to Polotsk land for a long time was not easy and calm for its inhabitants.

All power in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 18th century. belonged to the gentry. Weak royal power was powerless in the fight against the gentry anarchy. Until the end of the XVIII century. Rzeczpospolita entered a period of deep crisis. The state was dying. Russia, Austria and Prussia watched as the Commonwealth was losing its last strength.

In 1772 they carried out the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1772, the right-bank part became part of the Russian Empire. On August 14, 1776, the Polotsk province was formed with the center in the city of Polotsk.

In 1793, the left-bank part of Polotsk land became part of the Russian Empire.

In 1842 in the Polotsk county there were 2 copper smelters, 1 tile plant, 2 brick plants, 3 tanneries, 1 potash plant. Since 1866, the movement of trains began on the Riga-Orel railway on the Vitebsk - Polotsk - Dinoburg section.

According to the first general census of the population of the Russian Empire in 1897, 141,847 people lived in the Polotsk county.

In 1904 the Polotsk group of the RSDLP was created. In 1917, the county peasant meeting was held. In 1918 the first congress of workers', peasants' and soldiers' deputies took place. From February 25 to November 21, 1918, part of the Polotsk county was occupied by German troops. On March 3, 1924, Polotsk land became part of the BSSR.

On August 15, 1924, Polotsk region was formed.

Since July 16, 1941, the region has been occupied by the Nazi invaders. The territory of the region was included in the zone of the army rear of the Army Group Center.

In August 1941, Polotsk party and Komsomol underground began to operate. In June 1942, the underground workers who went into the forests and united into a partisan detachment, created the 3rd Belarusian Partisan Brigade. In September, the Vetrino underground region committee of the LKSMB and the RK KP (b) B was created. In the autumn of the same year, the Polotsk - Lepel partisan zone was created. In total, 2 separate partisan detachments, 7 detachments of the 3rd Belorussian brigade, 16 detachments of the "Elusive" brigade, Chapaev and K.Voroshilov brigades (6 detachments), Krivsky brigade (3 detachments), Smolensk partisan regiment, 6 special groups for special purposes operated on the territory of the region.

June 29 - July 7, 1944 the Polotsk offensive operation took place. The troops of the 1st Baltic Front liberated Polotsk region.

During the occupation, the German invaders destroyed all regional institutions, burned 194 settlements, burned 6584 collective farmers' houses, 17117 various collective farm buildings.

In Vetrino region, Turovlyany, Semenets, Navlitsy, Voronichy, Gorodok and Babynichy village councils, where there was a partisan zone, were especially suffered from the Nazi. All the collective farm buildings and houses of farmers were burned down, the cattle were driven to Germany, the private property of the collective farmers was plundered. In Vetrino region, the Germans destroyed 93 settlements, 2711 collective farmers' houses. From Polotsk and Vetrino regions, 2723 men and 1791 women were driven into German slavery.

As of 01.01.1945, 23,300 people remained in Polotsk region. Of the 55,082 who lived there before the war, 18,941 were in Vetrino region out of 34 564. During the German occupation, all crews of industrial cooperation of the two regions were thoroughly destroyed, 2 state farms and 6 MTS were completely destroyed. 13 settlements were burnt down along with all the inhabitants (3 of them were rebuilt after the war). 195 settlements were destroyed with a part of the population (152 were rebuilt in the post-war period).

Thousands of natives of the region fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. They defended Moscow and Leningrad, participated in the Stalingrad and Kursk battles, liberated their native Belarus, the peoples of Europe, and stormed Berlin. They made a great contribution to the defeat of the enemy and to the achievement of the Great Victory.

8 fellow countrymen - Heroes of the Soviet Union - glorified Polotsk land. These are Boreiko Arkady Alexandrovich, Valentik Dmitry Danilovich, Konashenko Stepan Nikolaevich, Kornev Leonid Semenovich, Marinenko Tatiana Savelyevna, Minin Alexander Alexandrovich, Podsadnik Nikolai Georgievich.

In 1954, Polotsk oblast, which existed for 10 years, became part of Vitebsk oblast. In 1960, part of Vetrino region became part of Polotsk region. In 1962, the territories of the Babynichy and Voronichy village councils were transferred from Ushachy region to Polotsk region.