There has been much speculation about the health of the Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko over the last few days, with even some suggestions that he had died.

In an exclusive comment to Kyiv Post, Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, appears to have quashed the rumors. He said: “Alexander Lukashenko has health problems: a cold and a virus.

“He has serious problems with his voice, so singing and speaking in public is problematic for him, but most likely in a few days the public will be able to see him again.”

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

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A Russian politician confirmed, later that day, that Lukashenko was ill but played down how sick the Belarus dictator was, 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.”

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.

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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's spokespeople have not commented on his recent whereabouts.

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