Belarus PM replaces Lukashenko at ceremony, sparks hypothesis






Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

FILE PHOTO: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a gathering of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus on the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia April 6, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin by way of REUTERS

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has not been seen in public since Tuesday, didn’t seem on Sunday at a ceremony within the capital, Minsk, triggering hypothesis that the veteran chief is critically ailing.

The BelTA state information company reported that Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko learn a message from Lukashenko throughout an annual ceremony at which younger individuals swear allegiance to the ex-Soviet state’s flag.

The company gave no cause for Lukashenko’s absence 5 days after he appeared unwell and skipped components of commemorations in Moscow marking the Soviet Union’s World Warfare Two victory over Germany.

Lukashenko additionally didn’t converse at an occasion in Minsk marking the anniversary for the primary time in his lengthy presidency. That occasion was the final time he was seen in public.

Lukashenko’s workplace has declined to remark.

In response to the opposition information outlet Euroradio, Lukashenko was taken to an elite Minsk clinic on Saturday.

A Russian on-line publication, Podyom, quoted a senior member of the Duma decrease home of parliament, Konstantin Zatulin, as saying that “(Lukashenko) has merely fallen ailing … and possibly wants a relaxation.”

Russia’s each day Kommersant additionally printed a narrative about Lukashenko’s well being, citing Zatulin and Belarusian opposition media. Russian media hardly ever publish tales concerning the well being of the leaders of Russia or its allied neighbors.

Lukashenko, 68, has led Belarus since 1994, utilizing police to place down protests, whereas courts closed dissident media retailers and imposed lengthy jail phrases on opponents, and activists fled the nation en masse.

Lukashenko obtained backing from Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in squashing protests, and final yr he allowed his nation’s territory for use as a part of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia calls the invasion a “particular operation”.

Belarus’ international minister Sergei Aleinik is anticipated on Monday to start out this three-day go to to Moscow, Russia’s international ministry mentioned final week.


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