|Oh no, they're talking about|
“”Better to be a dictator than gay.
|—An actual and unironic quote from Lukashenko.|
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko (1954–), also known as Putin's puppet boy, is the president of Belarus, and the only president of Belarus since the office's creation. He was elected in 1994, 3 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Despite initially presenting himself as a nationalist reformer during his first election, Lukashenko has kept Belarus locked in its Soviet past by retaining Soviet-era symbolism and economics and increasingly subordinating his nation to the interests of Russia's leader Vladimir Putin.
Prior to Russia's slide into absolute tyranny, Western media frequently labeled Lukashenko "Europe's last dictator." This was for good reason, as Lukashenko ruled his nation as a personal fiefdom. He frequently has his political rivals imprisoned and harassed, and his government has firm control over the economy and the media. His rule is upheld in part by the efforts of his secret police force, the KGB. No, really. (We weren't kidding about his keeping Belarus locked in the past).
Lukashenko endured a significant popular backlash against his rule in 2020 after he had opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's husband jailed for blogging. Belarusian police loyal to his regime met protestors with brutal violence which resulted in sanctions from the EU, UK, and US. The decisive factor in ensuring Lukashenko weathered the uprising was the assistance of Vladimir Putin, a noted expert on brutalizing protestors. By providing funding and heavy Russian police presence across Belarus, Putin kept Lukashenko in power and made clear his position as Russia's proxy.
After propping up 'Lil Luka in 2020, Putin quickly called in the favor owed by using Belarus to station troops and launch its ill-advised 2022 invasion of Ukraine. This very possibly occurred without Lukashenko's foreknowledge, and Belarus' involvement in the war pits Lukashenko's country against its second-largest trading partner. As the war went on, it became increasingly obvious that Lukashenko was losing his ability to make decisions about his own country's foreign policy, ceding his nation's future to the whims of the Kremlin. What a pathetic fate for a man who once presented himself as a nationalist strongman.
Early political career
Lukashenko was born on a farm and worked as farmer (an origin that he plays up heavily in his political speeches, as well as photo-ops of him harvesting potatoes in his underwear). He served in the Soviet border troops as an instructor from 1975 to 1977, and in the Soviet army from 1980 to 1982.
Lukashenko has made various bigoted statements on Jews, such as saying that "the world grovels to the Jews", and has cracked down heaily on Belarus's Jewish community, stating that he wants "all Jews in Belarus to be under control".
Lukashenko heavily opposes and suppresses dissent, such as arresting an activist who did a teddy bear protest, and arresting counter protestors who did the same. Among other incidents, Lukashenko is theorized to be responsible for ordering the death of a Belarusian activist who fled to Ukraine and was later found hung from a tree in Kyiv after he went out for a jog.
Being a communist dictator who later became a fascist dictator as well, Lukashenko has had positive relations with Vladimir Putin. From supporting Putin's invasion of Ukraine to promising to arm Russia in the event that the West ever attacks Russia.
- Belarus's Lukashenko: "Better a dictator than gay" (March 4, 20122:19 PM) Reuters.
- How Belarus Became Putin’s Lackey. The New Republic.
- "Why Belarus is called Europe’s last dictatorship", Economist, 2021 May 25
- Europe’s last dictator: The rise and (possible) fall of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Atlantic Council.
- Belarusian leader Lukashenko replaces heads of KGB and security council: Belta. Reuters.
- Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko under fire. BBC News.
- "Belarus: Police unleash appalling violence on peaceful protesters, Amnesty International, 2020 August 10
- While Ukraine is resisting Putin, Belarus is becoming his puppet. Al Jazeera.
- Metropolitan Pavel: Lukashenka is a normal Orthodox person. Euroradio.
- Lukashenka Collects 70 Sacks Of Potatoes, Wears Hat (August 17, 2015 14:40 GMT) Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.