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The international rumor mill is in overdrive after Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday skipped festivities celebrating the ex-Soviet country's state symbols.

Lukashenko, a close ally of the Kremlin, has led Belarus since 1994, earning him the notoriety of being "last dictator in Europe."

Despite so many years before the public, the 68-year-old leader has not been seen in public for the past five days.

On Sunday, the former Soviet country paid tribute to three state symbols including its flag and anthem but the country’s leader was nowhere to be seen.

Standing in a central Minsk square, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko congratulated Belarusians on behalf of Lukashenko during a televised ceremony.


During the May 9 "Victory Day" celebrations in Moscow, Lukashenko was seen talking to Vladimir Putin and, according to Russian news sources, Lukashenko had requested that a car come to carry him the 100 meters to where a flower laying ceremony was to take place.

Putin is seen then calling to an assistant. Russian government news reports, unceremoniously, wrote on May 9 that after the event, the visiting foreign leaders had lunch - but "Lukashenko was not there."

Many journalists noted that Lukashenko looked tired in Moscow and skipped a lunch hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and attended by the leaders of Armenia and Central Asian countries.

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Andrei Kolesnikov, a Kremlin pool reporter for the Russian newspaper Kommersant, wrote that Lukashenko looked "unwell" and had to be driven near the Kremlin in an electric car.

It is thought that Lukashenko headed straight to the airport after the parade so that he could be flown back to Minsk.

Lukashenko is rumored to suffer from a wide number of ailments, including with his heartand is said to have had a heart attack a couple of years ago.

One Belarussian opposition campaigner told the Kyiv Post that around April 24-25, Lukashenko's former 2020 presidential election rival, Viktor Babariko, who is a political prisoner, had been taken to the hospital.


The opposition campaigner said Barbariko was rumored to have been hospitalized due to injuries received during a government ordered beat-down. Eliminating opponents before a transition of power would be consistent with how politics are played in the dictatorships of the post-Soviet space.

Around the same time, Lukashenko's public appearances became scarcer and observers noticed bandages on the 68 year-old's hand. The bandages led to a wide number of rumours, including that the ailing dictator had some form of cancer and that the bandages were meant to hide where chemotherapy would enter his body.

Lukashenko's spokespeople have not commented on his recent whereabouts.

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Comments (6)
Larry Jones
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Well do all the Damage you can to o Russia. We as Americans are Behind you. Wish we could do more. Make Russia a 4th world power.
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The plot sickens
Justan Anonymousguy
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Putin also didn't want Sweden or Finland to ever be part of NATO, but he sure made it and absolute fact because he isn't thinking with the right head. Seems the Soviets were successful and finally made a true doomsday weapon; they combined the James Bond-like #MeToo movement villains with Napoleon's DNA. Problem is, Putin can't stop thinking with his little head.
Olaf Lieser
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I don't believe that Putin wants Lukashenko to die or lose his presidency. It might be the last thing he want now, because the Belarus people are strongly against the war Russia wages in Ukraine, let alone assisting Putin! Estimates are from 75% to 95% against!

And Lukashenko, propped up by Putin himself some years ago, has been able to walk that line for him and provide Belarus infrastructure and ammunition.
Putin does not necessarily have the military means to prop up his next puppet in Belarus, should Lukashenko die now. Which security forces would he use?

I believe Lukashenko is "ill in his own right", not by poisoning, but rather due to his heart issues he's had before. It may actually be a serious illness.

So maybe - just maybe - we may be in for a positive surprise that the whole Lukashenko regime gets toppled with someone more democratic and anti-Russian or pro-Ukraine taking over!
William Spillman
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Because he has resisted (in ever so minor a fashion) Putin's desires, he is lucky he hasn't been near an open window lately.
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Probably poisoned by Putin for not joining the war.

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@Mark, my thoughts exactly.