Alexander Lukashenko

Alexander Lukashenko
Александр Лукашенко
Аляксандр Лукашэнка
Alexander Lukashenko (2020-09-03) 01(cropped).jpg
Lukashenko in 2020
President of Belarus
Assumed office
20 July 1994
(Disputed since 23 September 2020)[1]
Prime Minister
Preceded byMyechyslaw Hryb
(as Head of state and Chairman of the Supreme Council)
Chairman of the Supreme State Council of the Union State
Assumed office
26 January 2000
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
General Secretary
Preceded byOffice established
Member of the Belarusian Supreme Council
(abolished 1996)
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition ended
(succeeded by: the National Assembly of Belarus)
Personal details
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko

(1954-08-31) 31 August 1954 (age 67)
Kopys, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyIndependent (1992–present)
Other political
(m. 1975)
  • Ekaterina Trofimovna Lukashenko (mother)
  • Politician
  • Army officer
Military service
Years of service
  • 1975–1977
  • 1980–1982
  • 1994–present
Lieutenant colonel[2]

Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko or Alyaksand(a)r Ryhoravich Lukashenka[a] (born 31 August 1954) is a Belarusian politician who has served as the first and current president of Belarus since the establishment of the office on 20 July 1994, making him as the longest-serving and longest current serving European president.[3] Before his political career, Lukashenko worked as director of a state farm (sovkhoz), and served in the Soviet Border Troops and in the Soviet Army.

Lukashenko continued state ownership of key industries in Belarus after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and retained important Soviet-era symbolism, which can be seen in the coat of arms and national flag of Belarus, adopted following a controversial 1995 referendum, which were based on the symbols of the Byelorussian SSR. Following the same referendum, Lukashenko was given more power with the ability to dismiss the Supreme Soviet of Belarus and another referendum in 1996 allowed Lukashenko to further consolidate power. The Russian language was also given the same status as Belarusian, and economic ties with Russia were strengthened, which furthermore led to the creation of the Union State with Russia, which allows Belarusians to freely travel to, work, and study in Russia, and vice versa. However, relations with Russia have not always run smoothly under his tenure, such as during the Milk Wars.[4]

Lukashenko heads an authoritarian government and has referred to himself as "Europe's last dictator".[5] Elections are not considered to be free and fair by international monitors, opponents of the regime are repressed, and the media is not free,[6][7] leading to sanctions on Lukashenko and other Belarusian officials being imposed.[8] His disputed victory in the country's 2020 presidential election led to widespread allegations of vote rigging, which strongly amplified anti-government protests, the largest during his rule.[9] Protesters have faced violent persecution by the authorities. A statement by the United Nations Human Rights Office on 1 September 2020 cited more than 450 documented cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, as well as reports of sexual abuse and rape.[10] Following the contested election, Lukashenko is not recognized by the United Kingdom, the European Union, or the United States as the legitimate president of Belarus,[11][12] although he remains recognized by a number of states including Russia, China, Iran, Armenia, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba.[13]

  1. ^ "Exiled leader calls weekend of protests in Belarus". BBC News. 14 August 2020.
    "Golos platform presents the final report on the presidential election". 20 August 2020 – via
    "EU rejects Lukashenko inauguration as illegitimate". 24 September 2020 – via
    Ljunggren, Josh Smith (29 September 2020). "Britain and Canada impose sanctions on Belarus leader Lukashenko". Reuters – via
    "OSCE Report on the Presidential Elections 2020 in Belarus" (PDF). 29 October 2020 – via
    "Belarus protesters battered, bruised but defiant after 100 days". BBC News. 17 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Lukashenko reveals his military rank". Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Belarus – Government". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  4. ^ "The milk split by the milk war". POLITICO. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  5. ^ Reuters Staff (27 November 2012). "Interview with Belarus President Lukashenko". Reuters. Retrieved 9 November 2021. “I am the last dictator in Europe,” Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has told Reuters in a rare interview.
    Tharoor, Ishaan. "Analysis | Can people power topple Europe's 'last dictator'?". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
    "Profile: Alexander Lukashenko". BBC News. BBC. 9 January 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2014. ' authoritarian ruling style is characteristic of me [Lukashenko]'
    Levitsky, Steven; Way, Lucan A. (2010). "The Evolution of Post-Soviet Competitive Authoritarianism". Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. Problems of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 203. ISBN 9781139491488. Retrieved 12 June 2020. Unlike his predecessor, Lukashenka consolidated authoritarian rule. He censored state media, closed Belarus's only independent radio station [...].
    "One Week After Election, Belarus Sees Giant Protests Against 'Europe's Last Dictator'". Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  6. ^ Jones, Mark P. (2018). Herron, Erik S; Pekkanen, Robert J; Shugart, Matthew S (eds.). "Presidential and Legislative Elections". The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190258658.001.0001. ISBN 9780190258658. Retrieved 21 May 2020. unanimous agreement among serious scholars that... Lukashenko's 2015 election occurred within an authoritarian context.
    Levitsky, Steven (2013). Competitive authoritarianism: hybrid regimes after the Cold War. Cambridge University Press. pp. 4, 9–10, 21, 70. ISBN 978-0-521-88252-1. OCLC 968631692.
    Crabtree, Charles; Fariss, Christopher J.; Schuler, Paul (2016). "The presidential election in Belarus, October 2015". Electoral Studies. 42: 304–307. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2016.02.006. ISSN 0261-3794. S2CID 155377250.
    "Belarus strongman Lukashenko marks 25 years in power | DW | 10 July 2019". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Belarus leader dismisses democracy even as vote takes place". AP NEWS. 17 November 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
    Rausing, Sigrid (7 October 2012). "Belarus: inside Europe's last dictatorship". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
    "World Report 2020: Rights Trends in Belarus". Human Rights Watch. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
    "Human rights by country – Belarus". Amnesty International Report 2007. Amnesty International. 2007. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2007.
  8. ^ "COUNCIL DECISION 2012/642/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Belarus". Official Journal of the European Union. Council of the European Union. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
    Department of the Treasury (5 December 2012). "Belarus Sanctions". Government of the United States. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
    "EU slaps sanctions on Belarus leader Lukashenko for crackdown". BBC. 6 November 2020.
    Ljunggren, Josh Smith (29 September 2020). "Britain and Canada impose sanctions on Belarus leader Lukashenko". Reuters – via
    COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2020/1648 of 6 November 2020 implementing Article 8a(1) of Regulation (EC) No 765/2006 concerning restrictive measures in respect of Belarus
    "Swiss freeze assets of Belarus leader Lukashenko". Reuters. 12 December 2020 – via
  9. ^ "Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko under fire". BBC News. 11 September 2020.
  10. ^ "UN human rights experts: Belarus must stop torturing protesters and prevent enforced disappearances". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 1 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  11. ^ "El Pais interview with HR/VP Borrell: "Lukashenko is like Maduro. We do not recognize him but we must deal with him"". 24 August 2020.
  12. ^ Dave Lawler, U.S. no longer recognizes Lukashenko as legitimate president of Belarus, Axios (24 September 2020).
  13. ^

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