LATEST: Ukrainian Intelligence: Belarus Dictator Lukashenko Only Suffering a Viral Infection

A Russian politician has confirmed that Alexander Lukashenko is ill but played down how sick the Belarus dictator is, saying “he needs some rest, that's all.”

Konstantin Zatulin, first deputy head of the Russian Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, told a Russian news outlet that “a man is just sick”.

He added: “There's nothing supernatural there; it's not a covid.

“Even though the man was ill, he considered it his duty to come to Moscow and then, in the evening of the same day, he held events in Minsk. Probably, he needs some rest, that's all.”

The international rumor mill went into overdrive last week after Lukashenko skipped festivities celebrating the ex-Soviet country's state symbols on Sunday.


Standing in a central Minsk square, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko congratulated Belarusians on behalf of Lukashenko during a televised ceremony, while Lukashenko himself was nowhere to be seen and has not appeared in public for five days.

Earlier last week, during the May 9 "Victory Day" celebrations in Moscow, Lukashenko was seen talking to Vladimir Putin and, according to Russian news sources, he requested getting a car to carry him the 100 meters to the flower laying ceremony site.

Russian government news reports, unceremoniously, wrote on May 9 that after the event, the visiting foreign leaders had lunch - but "Lukashenko was not there."

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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.

Andrei Kolesnikov, a Kremlin pool reporter for the Russian newspaper Kommersant, wrote that Lukashenko looked "unwell" and had to be driven to 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's spokespeople have not commented on his recent whereabouts.

The mustachioed former collective farm boss has been in power in Belarus since 1994. He won a sixth term in a 2020 election that looked so rigged that hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest, AFP reports.

With Putin's help, Lukashenko crushed the historic protest movement, jailing or pushing into exile all key opposition figures.

When Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022, Lukashenko threw his firm support behind the Kremlin chief. He allowed Putin to use Belarusian territory as a staging ground for Russia's intervention in Ukraine and welcomed wounded Russian soldiers for treatment in the ex-Soviet country.

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