Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko in hospital, reports say

Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko in hospital, reports say

Alexander Lukashenko has disappeared from public view after struggling throughout a go to to Moscow final week by which he skipped a lunch hosted by Russian president Vladimir Putin, prompting unconfirmed studies that the Belarus chief is in hospital.

The unexplained absences and public silence are extremely out of character for a president who has dominated Belarus with an iron fist for nearly three many years and infrequently misses an opportunity to carry forth in public.

Lukashenko, 68, missed an annual ceremony in Minsk on Sunday the place allegiance to the previous Soviet state’s flag is widely known. Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko learn out a message on the president’s behalf.

Lukashenko final week minimize brief his participation within the Victory Day occasions in Moscow marking the Soviet Union’s victory within the second world warfare, throughout which Putin vowed to proceed the battle in Ukraine. Later that day, Lukashenko laid a wreath however in any other case stood silently within the background throughout Victory Day festivities again house in Minsk.

Konstantin Zatulin, a senior Russian lawmaker and deputy chair of the decrease home’s former USSR committee, advised Russian media on Sunday that Lukashenko was unwell.

“There’s nothing supernatural there, it’s not Covid. The person simply received sick,” Zatulin mentioned, based on Podyom, a channel on social media app Telegram. “However regardless that the person received sick, he thought it was a matter of responsibility to come back to Moscow after which maintain occasions in Minsk later that very same day. He in all probability simply wants a little bit of relaxation — that’s all there may be to it.”

Lukashenko was taken to a hospital close to Belarus’s capital on Saturday night, based on Euroradio and different unbiased Belarusian information retailers that didn’t cite their sources. The information has not been confirmed by the nation’s state media.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, advised reporters to “take your cue from official info” and didn’t touch upon Lukashenko’s well being instantly. “There have been no such official statements from Minsk.”

Lukashenko has run Belarus since 1994 when he received his nation’s first presidential election following the break-up of the Soviet Union. He has maintained his grip on the nation regardless of the mass anti-government protests that adopted a contested presidential election in 2020.

The authorities responded with a crackdown throughout which a number of opposition leaders who had denounced the ballot outcome as a sham escaped Belarus to keep away from arrest, together with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who had changed her detained husband Sergei Tikhanovsky as an election candidate. Tikhanovsky was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 2021 for inciting “mass disturbances”.

Though they’ve had a protracted and generally unstable relationship, Lukashenko has been a staunch ally of Putin because the Russian president backed his efforts to crush the protests. He has since provided Belarus as a base for the Russian army to pursue its strikes in opposition to Ukraine and allowed Russia to deploy tactical nuclear weapons there later this yr.

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