Alexander Lukashenko


Alexander Lukashenko

Infobox_President
name = Alexander Lukashenko
Аляксандр Лукашэнка
Александр Лукашенко


imagesize =
order = President of Belarus
primeminister = Vyachaslau Kebich
Mikhail Chigir
Sergey Ling
Vladimir Yermoshin
Gennady Novitsky
Sergey Sidorsky
term_start = 20 July 1994
predecessor = Myechyslaw Hryb (Supreme Soviet of Belarus)
nationality = Belarusian
birth_date = birth date and age|df=yes|1954|08|30
birth_place = Kopys, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union

Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko ( _be. Аляксандр Рыгоравіч Лукашэнка, "Aljaksandar Ryhoravič Lukašenka/Alyaksandar Ryhoravich Lukashenka"; _ru. Александр Григорьевич Лукашенко, "Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko", IPA2|alʲɪ'ksandr gri'gɔrjɪvɪtɕ ɫukə'ʂɛnkə) (born 30 August 1954) has served as the President of Belarus since 20 July 1994. [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bo.html Belarus] CIA Factbook] Before his career as a politician, Lukashenko served as a military officer and worked as a director for manufacturing plants and farms.

During his first two terms as President, Lukashenko restructured the Belarusian economy by introducing economic integration with the Russian Federation and building relationships with leaders of the former Soviet Union. His regime is distinguished by a lack of democracy, leading US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to famously describe it as "the last dictatorship in Europe".

Early career (to 1994)

Lukashenko was born on 30 August 1954 in the settlement of Kopys in the Vitebsk voblast of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Lukashenko grew up without a father in his childhood, leading him to be taunted by his schoolmates for having an unmarried mother. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/profiles/3080936/Alexander-Lukashenko-Dictator-with-a-difference.html Telegraph] ] He graduated from the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute in 1975 and the Belarussian Agricultural Academy in 1985. He served in the Border Guard (frontier troops) from 1975 to 1977 and in the Soviet Army from 1980 to 1982. Lukashenko led a Komsomol chapter in Mogilev from 1977 to 1978. While in the Soviet Army, Lukashenko was an officer of the 120th Motorized Rifle "Guard" Division, which was based in Minsk. cite web|url=http://www.president.gov.by/en/press35803.html |title=President Visits New Swimming Complex in Minsk |accessdate=2007-10-13 |date=2007-09-20 |publisher=President of the Republic of Belarus ] After leaving the military he became the deputy chairman of a collective farm in 1982 and in 1985. He was promoted to the post of director of the Gorodets state farm and construction materials plant in the Shklov district. [ cite web|url=http://www.president.gov.by/en/press10003.html |title=Biographical profile of the President |accessdate=2007-10-17 |publisher=President of the Republic of Belarus ]

In 1990, Lukashenko was elected as a Deputy in the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus. He claims to have been the only deputy of the Belarusian parliament who voted against ratification of the December 1991 agreement that dissolved the Soviet Union and set up the Commonwealth of Independent States in its place.cite news | first=Michael | last=Spector | title= Belarus Voters Back Populist in Protest at the Quality of Life |date=1994-06-25 | url =http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9900E0DB1F3DF936A15755C0A962958260&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/L/Lukashenko,%20Aleksandr%20G. | work =The New York Times | accessdate = 2007-10-17 | language = ]

Having acquired a reputation as an eloquent opponent of corruption, Lukashenko was elected in 1993 to serve as the chairman of the anti-corruption committee of the Belarusian parliament. In late 1993 he accused 70 senior government officials of corruption, including stealing state funds for personal purposes including Stanislav Shushkevich. The Speaker of Parliament, Shushkevich lost a vote of no-confidence and resigned. Some believe that the vague nature of the charges indicates they were merely a pretext for removing Shushkevich, who had become increasingly unpopular among the conservative parliamentary majority. [Prof. David R Maples. "Belarus, the black sheep of Eastern Europe?". The Ukrainian Weekly, No. 41, 13 October 1996. [http://www.ukrweekly.com/Archive/1996/419604.shtml] ] [Sven Gunnar Simonsen. "Conflicts in the OSCE area", International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, 2004, p. 179 [http://www.prio.no/files/osce-pdf/osce-belarus.pdf] ]

A new Belarusian constitution enacted in early 1994 paved the way for the first democratic presidential elections in July. Six candidates stood, including Lukashenko, who campaigned as an independent on a populist platform of "defeat [ing] the mafia." Shushkevich and Vyacheslav Kebich also ran, with the latter regarded as the clear favorite. Lukashenko won 45% of the vote while Kebich received 15% and Shushkevich received 10%. Lukashenko won the second round of the election on 10 July with over 80% of the vote.Country Studies [http://countrystudies.us/belarus/39.htm Belarus - Prelude to Independence] . Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 March 2007.]

President of Belarus

First term (1994-2001)

In May 1995, one of the first votes under Lukashenko occurred. Not only were the national symbols of the country changed, it also gave the Lukashenko the ability to disband the Supreme Soviet by decree. [Central Elections Committee of the Republic of Belarus [http://www.rec.gov.by/refer/refer1995.html 1995 Referendum Questions] ru icon] In the summer of 1996, 70 deputies of the 199-member Belarusian parliament signed a petition to impeach Lukashenko on charges of violating the Constitution. [CNN [http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9611/19/belarus/ Concern grows over Belarus power struggle] . Published 19 November 1996.] Shortly after that a referendum was held on 24 November 1996 in which 4 questions were offered by Lukashenko and 3 questions offered by a group of Parliament members. The vote passed, but faced international and internal condemnation. [CNN [http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9611/26/belarus/index.html Belarus president convenes new parliament] . Published 26 November 1996.] On 25 November, it was announced that 70.5% of voters, on an 84% turnout, had approved an amended constitution that greatly increased Lukashenko's power. The United States and the European Union, however, refused to accept the legitimacy of the referendum. [BBC [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3752930.stm Observers deplore Belarus vote] . Updated 14 October 2004.] By most accounts, the new constitution turned his presidency into a legal dictatorship.

After the referendum, Lukashenko convened a new parliamentary assembly from those members of the parliament who were loyal to him. After 12 deputies withdrew their signature from the impeachment petition, only about 40 deputies of the old parliament were left behind by Lukashenko, but they had no place to convene, since the administration closed the parliament building "for remodeling". Nevertheless, for some time, the EU and Council of Europe considered these remnants of the old parliament as the legitimate assembly. [British Helsinki Human Rights Group, a 1997 report on Belarus] At the start of 1998, the Central Bank of Russia suspended trading in the Belarusian ruble, which led to a collapse in the value of the currency. Lukashenko responded by taking control of the Central Bank of Belarus, the sacking of the entire bank leadership and blaming the West for the free fall of the currency. [BBC [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/68004.stm Belarus appoints new central bank chief] . Published 21 March 1998.]

Lukashenko blamed foreign governments for conspiring against him and, in April 1998, he expelled ambassadors from the Drazdy complex near Minsk, offering them another building. The Drazdy conflict caused an international outcry and resulted in a travel ban on Lukashenko from the European Union and the United States. [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty [http://www.hri.org/news/balkans/rferl/1998/98-07-22.rferl.html#21 EU PUNISHES BELARUSIAN LEADERSHIP] . Written by Jan Maksymiuk. Published 22 July 1998.] Although the ambassadors eventually returned after the controversy died down, Lukashenko stepped up his rhetorical attacks against the West. He claimed that Western governments were trying to undermine Belarus at all levels, even sporting, during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. [Associated Press [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/olympics1998/sport/articles/ruler21.htm Poor Showing Reportedly Riles Ruler of Belarus] . Published 20 February 1998.]

Upon the outbreak of the Kosovo War in 1999, Lukashenko suggested to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that Yugoslavia join the Union of Russia and Belarus. [ cite web|url=http://www.serbia-info.com/news/1999-04/15/10890.html |title=The Statement of the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko |accessdate=2007-10-13 |date=1999-04-15 |work=Serbia Info News |publisher=Ministry of Information of the Republic of Serbia ] Following the Iraq war of 2003, the United States intelligence agencies issued a report that announced aides of Saddam Hussein managed to acquire Belarusian passports while in Syria. The same report mentioned it was unlikely that Belarus would offer safe harbor for Saddam and his two sons. [cite news | title=Saddam aides may flee to Belarus: report | date=2003-06-24 | publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation | url =http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2003/06/24/886972.htm | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = ] These policies led Western governments to take a tougher position against Lukashenko. The United States was particularly angered by Belarus's arms trade with Iran and Iraq, and American political leaders increasingly began to refer to Belarus as "Europe's last dictatorship".cite news | title=Profile: Europe's last dictator? |date=2001-09-10 | publisher=BBC News | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/116265.stm | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = ] The European Union was concerned for the security of its gas supplies from Russia, which are piped through Belarus, and took an active interest in the country's affairs. As of 2004, the EU and Belarus share a border over 1000 kilometers in length with the accession of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. [ cite web|url=http://www.mfa.gov.by/eng/index.php?d=publications/smi&id=14 |title=European Union - Belarus: The Time Requirements |accessdate=2007-10-13 |last=Martynov |first=Sergey |date=2002 |work=Belarus in the world |publisher=Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus ]

econd term (2001-2006)

Elections were held on 9 September 2001 with Vladimir Goncharik as his opponent. During the campaign, Lukashenko promised to raise the standards of farming, social benefits and increase industrial output of Belarus.cite news | title=Lukashenko claims victory in Belarus election |date=2001-09-10 | url =http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2001/09/09/belarus.htm | work =USA Today | accessdate = 2007-10-17 | language = ] Lukashenko won in the first round with 75.65% of the vote. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the process "failed to meet international standards". Russia, by contrast, publicly welcomed Lukashenko's re-election. Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Lukashenko and offered a message of congratulations and cooperation. "Jane's Intelligence" surmised that the price of Russian support for Lukashenko ahead of the presidential elections was the surrender of Minsk's control over its section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. [M J A Standish. "Editor's notes." "Jane's Intelligence Digest." 11 January 2006.] In 2004, a referendum was passed that eliminated presidential term limits, allowing Lukashenko to stand again for office in 2006.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Alexander Lukashenko: Dictator with a difference | date=2008-09-25 | publisher=Telegraph.co.uk | url =http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/profiles/3080936/Alexander-Lukashenko-Dictator-with-a-difference.html | work =The Telegraph | pages = | accessdate = 2008-09-26 | language = ] Economically, Belarus grew under Lukashenko, but much of this growth was due to Russian oil which was imported at below market prices and then refined before being sold on to Europe.

2006 presidential election

After Lukashenko confirmed he was running for re-election in 2005, opposition groups began to seek a single candidate. On 16 October 2005, on the Day of Solidarity With Belarus, the political groups Zubr and Third Way Belarus encouraged all of the opposition parties to rally behind one candidate to oppose Lukashenko in the 2006 election. Their chosen candidate was Alaksandar Milinkievič, who was running against Lukashenko and other candidates. [cite news | first=Matthew | last=Collin | title=Belarus opposition closes ranks |date=2005-10-03 | publisher=BBC News | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4304412.stm | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = ] Lukashenko reacted by saying that anyone going to opposition protests would have their necks wrung "as one might a duck". On 19 March 2006 exit polls showed Lukashenko winning a third term in a landslide, amid opposition claims of vote-rigging and fear of violence. The EcooM organization gave Lukashenko 84.2% of the vote and Milinkevich just 2 percent, while the Belarusian Committee of Youth Organizations, gave Lukashenko 84.2% and Milinkevich 3.1 percent. The Gallup Organization has noted that EcooM and the Belarusian Committee of Youth Organizations are government-controlled and both released their exit poll results before noon on election day, although voting stations closed at 8 P.M. [cite news
author = Staff writer
title = Gallup/Baltic Surveys announces impossibility of independent and reliable exit polls under present conditions in Belarus
url = http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/2006/03/20/gallup
publisher = Charter'97
date = 2006-03-20
accessdate = 2007-10-13
]

Belarus authorities vowed to crush unrest in the event of large-scale protests following the election (such as those that marked the Orange Revolution in Ukraine). Despite that, the crowd of demonstrators rallying after the election was the biggest the opposition had mustered in years, with nightly protests and demonstrations in Minsk. The turnout at the biggest protest on election night was about 10,000 according to AP reporters' estimates.cite news
first = Yuras
last = Karmanau
title = Incumbent Declared Winner of Belarus Vote
url = http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/03/19/international/i170349S45.DTL
work = SFGate
publisher = San Francisco Chronicle
date = 2006-03-19
accessdate = 2007-10-13
quote = The gathering was the biggest the opposition had mustered in years, reaching at least 10,000 before it started thinning out, according to AP reporters' estimates.
] Election observers from the Russia-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the UN ad hoc organization Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) differed on the Belarus vote. [cite news
author = Staff Writer
title = CIS, OSCE observers differ on Belarus vote
url = http://english.people.com.cn/200603/21/eng20060321_252162.html
work = People's Daily Online
publisher = People's Daily
date = 2006-03-21
accessdate = 2007-10-13
quote = Election observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declared the Belarus presidential vote open and transparent on Monday. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) did not assess the election positively.
] The OSCE declared on 20 March 2006 that the "presidential election failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections." Lukashenko "permitted State authority to be used in a manner which did not allow citizens to freely and fairly express their will at the ballot box... a pattern of intimidation and the suppression of independent voices... was evident throughout the campaign." [cite web
url = http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/63597.htm
title = Ballots on the Frontiers of Freedom: Elections in Belarus and Ukraine
accessdate = 2007-10-13
last = Kramer
first = David
date = 2006-03-21
publisher = United States Department of State
] In contrast, the CIS observers declared the Belarus presidential election open and transparent. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs declared, "Long before the elections, the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights had declared that they [the elections] would be illegitimate and it was pretty biased in its commentaries on their progress and results, thus playing an instigating role." [cite news | title= West slams Belarus crackdown |date=2006-03-24 | publisher=CNN | url =http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/03/24/belarus.protest/index.html | accessdate = 2007-10-17 | language = ]

Lukashenko himself stated that the "last Presidential elections were rigged; I already told this to the Westerners. [...] 93.5% voted for the President Lukashenko. They said it is not a European number. We made it 86. This really happened. And if [one is to] start recounting the votes, I do not know what to do with them. Before the elections they told us that if we showed the European numbers, our elections would be accepted. We were planning to make the European numbers. But, as you can see, this did not help either." [cite news | title=Лукашенко: Последние выборы мы сфальсифицировали |date=2006-11-23 | publisher=BelaPAN | url =http://news.tut.by/77777.html | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ] Some Russian nationalists, such as Dmitry Rogozin and the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, have stated that they would like to see Lukashenko become President of Russia in 2008. Lukashenko spoke and said he will not run for the Russian presidency; if his health is still good, he might run for reelection in 2011. [cite news
author = Staff writer
title = Rightist Group Promote Belarus Dictator Lukashenko as Russian Presidential Candidate
url = http://www.data.minsk.by/belarusnews/022007/218.html
work = MosNews
date=2007-02-28
accessdate = 2007-07-11
archiveurl = http://rusviews.com/2007-02-28/71.html
archivedate = 2007-02-28
]

Third term

In September parliamentary elections are to be held. Lukashenko has allowed opposition candidates to stand but they have had no access to the media. Television stations have also been threatened with arrest if they film Lukashenko from behind during campaigning, "because he does not want his growing bald patch seen by his people".

Domestic policy

Lukashenko promotes himself as a "man of the people". Due to his style of rule, he is often informally referred to as "bat'ka" ("father"). He was elected chairman of the Belarusian Olympic Committee in 1997. [ cite web|url=http://www.noc.by/eng/nokrb/htdocs/1/ |title=NOC RB |accessdate=2007-10-13 |date=2002 |publisher=National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus ] During a televised address to the nation on 7 September 2004 Lukashenko announced plans for a referendum on whether to eliminate presidential term limits. This was held on 17 October 2004, the same day as parliamentary elections, and, according to official results, was approved by 79.42% of voters. Previously, Lukashenko had been limited to two terms and thus would have been constitutionally required to step down after the presidential elections in 2006.cite news | title=Observers deplore Belarus vote |date=2004-10-18 | publisher=BBC News | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3752930.stm | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = ] Opposition groups, the OSCE, European Union, and United States State Department have stated that the vote "fell significantly short of international standards". An example of the failure, cited by the OSCE, was the pre-marking of ballots.

At the outset, Lukashenko wanted to rebuild Belarus when he took office. [cite news | title=Lukashenko's first term as president |date=2006-03-16 | url =http://brusselsreview.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=211&Itemid=5 | work =Brussels Review | accessdate = 2007-10-21 | language = ] The economy was in a free fall, due to declining industry and lack of demand for Belarusian goods. [ cite web|url=http://countrystudies.us/belarus/30.htm |title=Belarus - Industry |accessdate=2007-10-08 |date=1995 |work=Country Studies |publisher=Library of Congress ] Lukashenko kept many industries under the control of the government and privatization was slowed down. [cite book | last = Karatnycky | first = Adrian | coauthors = Alexander J. Motyl, Amanda Schnetzer | title = Nations in Transit, 2001 | publisher = Transaction Publishers |date=2001 | pages = 101 | id = | isbn = 0765808978 ] Since 2001, Lukashenko wanted to improve the social welfare of his citizens and to make Belarus "powerful and prosperous". [cite news | title=Lukashenko Sworn in as Belarusian President |date=2001-09-21 | publisher=People's Daily | url =http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200109/21/eng20010921_80711.html | work =People's Daily Online | accessdate = 2007-10-17 | language = ] In response to a question about Belarus's domestic policies, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said "We see here a model social state like the one we are beginning to create." [cite news | title=Chavez forges ties with Belarus |date=2005-07-25 | publisher=BBC | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5209868.stm | work =BBC News | accessdate = 2007-10-17 | language = ]

Some critics of Lukashenko use the term Lukashism (lukashenkoism) to refer to the political and economic system Lukashenko has implemented in Belarus. The term is also used more broadly to refer to an authoritarian political ideology based on cult of his personality and nostalgia for Soviet times among certain groups in Belarus. It is not known where the term was first used, though the earliest documented use was in 1998. The use was in the context of opening of a museum to memorialize victims of Communism with a wing dedicated to Lukashism. [cite web
url = http://www.open.by/belarus-now/cont/1998/1117/politics/bg5-pol.html
title = A museum to commemorate victims of communism
accessdate = 2007-10-13
last = Dubina
first = Yuras
year = 1998
publisher = Belarus Now
quote = Belarusian MPs propose to dedicate a section in the future museum to Lukashism
] The term has been used mostly by groups who oppose Lukashenko, such as Zubr. [cite web
url = http://www.zubr-belarus.com/english/index.php?show=oldpress/oldpress058
title = Beware of Lukashism!
accessdate = 2007-10-13
publisher = Zubr
]

Lukashenko continues to face domestic opposition from a coalition of opposition groups supported by the United States and Europe. The United States Congress has sought to aid the opposition groups by passing the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 to introduce sanctions against Lukashenko's government and provide financial and other support to the opposition. [cite web
url = http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/10/20041020-14.html
title = Statement on the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004
accessdate = 2007-10-13
author = Office of the Press secretary
date = 2004-10-20
publisher = The White House
]

Those who support Lukashenko claim that his rule has spared Belarus the turmoil that has beset many other ex-Soviet countries.cite web
url = http://www.data.minsk.by/belarusnews/032006/528.html
title = Belarus protesters go on trial as new rallies loom
accessdate = 2007-10-13
last = Pavlov
first = Nikolai
date = 2006-03-27
work = Belarus News and Analysis
archiveurl = http://web.archive.org/web/20061009213507/http://www.data.minsk.by/belarusnews/032006/528.html
archivedate = 2006-10-09
]

Lukashenko himself commented the criticism on him by saying: "I've been hearing these accusations for over 10 years and we got used to it." Before the polling he said: "We are not going to answer them. I want to come from the premise that the elections in Belarus are held for ourselves. I am sure that it is the Belarus people who are the masters in our state." He warned that anyone joining an opposition protest would be treated as a "terrorist", adding: "We will wring their necks, as one might a duck". [cite news
author = Staff writer
title = Profile: Alexander Lukashenko
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3882843.stm
work = BBC News Online
publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation
date = 2007-01-09
accessdate = 2007-10-13
]

Lukashenko has been noted for making controversial statements. One remark made in 1995 praises Adolf Hitler: "The history of Germany is a copy of the history of Belarus. Germany was raised from ruins thanks to firm authority and not everything connected with that well-known figure Hitler was bad. German order evolved over the centuries and attained its peak under Hitler." [cite news | title= Bigotry in Belarus|date=2007-10-20 | publisher=Jerusalem Post| url =http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1192380606930&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter| accessdate = 2007-11-01 | language = ]

In October 2007 Lukashenko was accused of making blatant anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments. Addressing the "miserable state of the city of Babruysk" on a live broadcast on state radio he stated: "This is a Jewish city, [In 1926 there were 21,558 Jews in Babruysk constituting 42% of the towns population; by 1989 they numbered just over 4%. In 1999 there were 1,360 Jews among a population of 227,000. "See [http://www.jhrgbelarus.org/AboutBelarus_articles.php Jewish Heritage Research Group in Belarus] "] and the Jews are not concerned for the place they live in. They have turned Babruysk into a pigsty. Look at Israel – I was there and saw it myself ... I call on Jews who have money to come back to Babruysk."cite news | first=Ronny | last=Sofer | title= Belarus president attacks Jews |date=2007-10-18 | publisher=Yedioth Internet | url =http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3461548,00.html | work =Ynet News | accessdate = 2007-10-19 | language = ] Members of the United States House of Representatives sent a letter to Belarusian ambassador to the United States, Mikhail Khvostov, addressing Lukashenko's comments with a strong request to retract them.Cite web|url=http://www.house.gov/list/press/il10_kirk/Kirk_Hastings_Call_on_Belarusian_President_to_Apologize_for_Remarks.html|title=Kirk-Hastings Letter Calls on Belarusian President to Apologize for Blatantly Anti-Semitic Remarks|accessdate=2007-11-01|publisher=Office of Rep. Mark Steven Kirk|year=2007] The comments also caused a reaction from Israel. [cite news | title=FM Livni condemns anti-Semitic remarks made by Belarusian President |date=2007-10-18 | publisher=Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs | url =http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2007/FM+Livni+condemns+anti-Semitic+remarks+made+by+Belarusian+President+18-Oct-2007.htm | accessdate = 2007-10-19 | language = ] Consequently Pavel Yakoubovitch, editor of "Belarus Today", was sent to Israel, and in a meeting with the Israel Foreign Ministry said that Lukashenko’s comments were "a mistake that was said jokingly, and does not represent his positions regarding the Jewish people" and that he was "anything but anti-Semitic," and "insulted by the mere accusation." [cite news | title= News in Brief |date=2007-10-31 | publisher=Haaretz| url =http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/918674.htmll| accessdate = 2007-11-01 | language = ] Belarus Ambassador to Israel Igor Leshchenya stated that the president had a "kind attitude toward the Jewish people." Sergei Rychenko, the press secretary at the Belarus Embassy in Tel Aviv, said parts of Lukashenko's comments were mistranslated. [cite news | title= Belarus to send envoy to Israel|date=2007-10-25 | publisher=Jerusalem Post| url =http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1192380645386&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull| accessdate = 2007-11-01 | language = ]

Personal life

Lukashenko has a wife, Halina, from whom he is separated. No known pictures of her exists. He is thought to live with a mistress, with whom "he is alleged to have had a child".

Orders and honors

* The José Martí Order (Cuba, 2000) [cite news | title=А.Г. Лукашенко награжден орденом Хосе Марти |date=2000-09-05 | url =http://www.newsvm.com/articles/2000/09/05/prez.html | work =Вечерний Минск | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Order of the Revolution (Libya, 2000) [cite news | title=Белоруссия |date=2000-11-15 | url =http://www.zatulin.ru/institute/sbornik/018/02.shtml | work =Zatulin.ru | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Order of St. Vladimer first degree (2007) [cite news | title=Александр Лукашенко награжден орденом Святого Владимира I степени |date=2007-06-05 | url =http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/253631.html | work =Патриархия.ru | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Order of St. Donskoy first degree (2005) [cite news | first=Pavel | last=Korobov | title=Патриарх наградил Александра Лукашенко |date=2005-05-11 | publisher=Religare.ru | url =http://www.religare.ru/print17451.htm | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Order of St. Kyril (by the Belarusian Orthodox Church)(2006) [cite news | title=Александр Лукашенко награжден орденом Белорусской Православной Церкви |date=2006-09-26 | publisher=Maranatha | url =http://www.maranatha.org.ua/cnews/index.php?id=28365 | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Honorary citizen of Yerevan, Armenia (2001) [ cite web|url=http://www.yerevan.am/index.php?page=hon_citizens&lang=rus |title=Honorary Citizens of Yerevan |accessdate=2007-10-13 |publisher=City of Yerevan, Armenia |language=Russian ]
* Honor Diploma of the Eurasian Economic Community (2006) [cite news | title=В Минске прошло заседание Межгосударственного Совета ЕврАзЭС |date=2006-06-23 | publisher=President of the Republic of Belarus | url =http://www.president.gov.by/press19427.print.html | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Special prize of the International Olympic Committee «Gates of the Olymph» (2000) [ cite web|url=http://sportpanorama.by/content/advanced/3546/ |title=Олимпийский приз для Беларуси |accessdate=2007-10-13 |date=2006-06-12 |publisher=Пресс-центр НОКа |language=Russian ]
* Medal of the international federation of festival organizations «For development of world festival movement» (2005) [cite news | title=Президент Беларуси Александр Лукашенко удостоен медали “За развитие мирового фестивального движения” |date=2005-07-18 | publisher=Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Russian Federation | url =http://www.embassybel.ru/press/soft/2005/07/18/4334/ | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]
* Winner of the international premium of Andrey Perevozvanovo «for Faith and Loyalty» (1995) [cite news | title=Лауреаты Международной премии Андрея Первозванного «За Веру и Верность». 1993-2005 годы |date=1995 | publisher=Фонд Святого Всехвального апостола Андрея Первозванного | url =http://fap.ru/prem_laur.php?lt=believe&id=1864 | accessdate = 2007-10-13 | language = Russian ]

References

External links

* [http://www.president.gov.by/en/ President's official site] en icon ru icon be icon
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3882843.stm BBC - Profile: Alexander Lukashenko]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7639562.stm "Farming roots of Belarussia's leader"] , BBC, 27 September 2008
* [http://www.belarusembassy.org/political/statement050916.htm Statement at the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly]


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