Since I'm in the Baltics and was looking at a map I noticed that Minsk, Belarus is pretty close.
Years ago travelling Europe, Belarus was one of the countries that had a rule similar to Russia, that I had to travel back to my home country to apply for a visa and couldn't get one while travelling around the region. These rules change all the time so I checked again and saw Australia is on the list for visa-free entry, but only later did I see that only applied if I arrive by air at Minsk Airport.
I've noticed similar rules before, they're not rare. In fact I flew here on a Chinese airline via Shanghai, and could stay there up to 144 hours without needing a visa like every other time I was in China.
But do we know the basis for these rules? Why do countries implement it this way? There must be a common reason (or several) for it to be so common.