- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: "Daddy" бацька Dictator
- Official Title: President
- Years Left in Office: To 2017; re-election possible
- Political Classification: Extreme-right
- Education: University degree
- Age: 65 (born August 30, 1954)
Alexander Lukashenko Facts and Information
- Alexander Lukashenko is the President of Belarus, and proudly refers to himself as the last “living dictator.”
- Alexander Lukashenko can rule indefinitely; he lifted term limits and has caused all opponents to surrender.
- Alexander Lukashenko has not brought any sense of economic or political freedom since he became president in 1994.
- Alexander Lukashenko expresses little concern for the lack of economic stability in Belarus, and takes no responsibility for its fluctuations.
- Alexander Lukashenko fears falling under Moscow’s control, which results in a less-than-warm relationship with Putin.
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko: the man, the myth, the legend… or maybe not quite so much. If you’re like me, you are only just now coming into a state of mind where you actually know who this individual is and care what his actions do with regard to the rest of the world. HORRAY for broadening horizons!
Okay so the basics. Belarus was once part of the BSSR, or Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic during the days of past soviet regimes. Though the nation has seemingly come a ways from that time, many are not so sure. Alexander Lukashenko is the current leader or better, President of Belarus, a nation where corruption is as common as big macs are in the U.S. By the way, if you thought “dictator” when I said president then hey! Congrats! You’re right on the money. The man is an all-around full-fledged dictator of a nation trying to grow alongside his oppressive tendencies in the 21st century. Lukashenko proudly boasts his notoriety as the last European dictator, among other things. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Europe’s last dictator is an ass who is more or less hated by the majority of the world.
This man is not only the longest-serving ruler of a European nation, but is up for “re-election” in 2017, which will undoubtedly provide for the continuance of his power over Belarus. I mean the man has been “president” of Belarus since the fall of the Soviet Union aka 20 freaking years aka there hasn’t been anyone but him since Belarus broke apart from the BSSR many years ago. A referendum was passed that lifted his term limits. You’re probably wondering, “well what if someone ran against him?” Nope! That’s not an option. Those who oppose the president conveniently realize their errors and go away.
Since 1994, Lukashenko has put a damper on parliament, corruption in law and politics has skyrocketed (which is saying something), and many in opposition to his cause have seemingly lost their initiative… because they’re in exile… or more than likely in the bottom of some icy river somewhere. Belarus is currently an unstable nation where opposition (both large and small movements) as well as power over police and media outlets is commonplace. Things are not looking up at the moment. I mean literally the KGB, which is only alleged to in many prior soviet entities, is literally still referred to as the KGB, casually there (Rice-Oxley). Is that cray or is that cray?
Further, Lukashenko doesn’t like competition and rivalry; so what? A lot of people don’t. Don’t worry, there are other things that make this guy an ass. For example, his stance on human rights, or Belarus’s lack thereof. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he was asked about his “alleged abuse of human rights”. He waved off the question and said that he granted the most important right of all—the right to live! Boy oh boy, don’t you feel proud to be an American now? While we’re over here using our freedom of speech to talk about our right to bear arms, there are people in Belarus just thanking Lukashenko for granting them the right to live.
Also, as if it were a casual change in Belarusian policy, “Lukashenko announced he intended to bring back “serfdom” to “teach the peasants to work more efficiently”(Rice-Oxley). Like you’ve got to be kidding me. Serfdom? Even using the terms serfdom and peasant is so outdated the last time I heard them I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur.
Alright! So, enough talk about what makes Alexander Lukashenko royal pain in the ass (well, maybe not royal, more of a republican pain in the ass). It is time to talk about what the president of Belarus is doing in the world. It is time to talk about why he matters to us today, right now.
The latest on Lukashenko can be seen at the beginning and majority of every news program each night regardless of the obscure or important nature of his musings. When he is not oppressing the masses, ya boy can be found traveling around various spots of the globe trying to impress upon the outside world that his way of running Belarus is all hunky dory. Seems legit. Most see right through this, but hey can we blame him for trying? I mean even when it comes to his beloved ice hockey, the sacred of all sacred sports to the self-appointed ‘Batka’ (father of the nation), no one in the opposition will even have the chance of ruining it for him as they will be rounded up and put into jail for some unknown amount of time… (Rice-Oxley).
Right now, the West feels uncomfortable about Lukashenko’s role as a dictator. Why? Well, you know the whole sending Sannikov to prison thing and the comment on human rights thing? They all relate. In the last election, there were several politicians who ran against President Lukashenko, all of whom were apprehended by Lukashenko’s security forces. Seriously, politicians were picked up from their homes a placed in jail. Naturally, the United States and the European weren’t too cool with that idea and tightened sanctions on Lukashenko. Further agitating the Belarusian president, the Justice Ministry closed down Viasna (the office for the organization of human rights) after the head, Ales Beliatski, was tried guilty for a tax evasion. Said “tax evasion” charges are flimsy at best. These imprisonments also become a problem, as they are cyclical. A protestor gets thrown in for being an opposing force. When he gets out he protests his treatment and being thrown in there in the first place. Where do you think he will be for the next unknown amount of years? Yep, that’s right… back in jail. Who would have thought?
Even more concerning is the fact that in addition to be hostile toward the West, his relationship with Putin is less than warm and friendly. Lukashenko fears being trapped as one of Moscow’s satellites again, so he tries not to rely on Russia for economic assistance—despite the economic inter-dependency between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. However, in 2012, Belarus had a debt $12-billion, and in desperation for bail out and turned to Russia. Still, Lukashenko does not want to have to rely on Russia in economic crisis. He hopes to make a deal with the IMF to help pay the anticipated debt. Even if the deal goes through, Belarus will have to find ways to back the IMF, as Belarus has been in severe economic crisis for years.
However, Lukashenko claims at times that he and his people are still buddy-buddy with the Russians, even best friends… However, he notes that regardless of who tries to fight him (Russian or not) that he will fight back. The people are not so keen on the idea of fighting, as Belarus has been riddled historically with invasion, bloodshed and utter destruction.
Rumor has it, Alexander Lukashenko is grooming his eldest son to assume his position. The president denies it, but who knows? He may want to continue a family legacy of being the last European dictator. Seems like something he would do.