Howdy all, and happy Friday wherever you may be. Perhaps you might be in Belarus, the country where they basically denied Corona Virus existed and had no lockdown of any sort. And by “they” I really mean the President, Alexander Lukashenko, who has been President since independence and has a remarkable track record at the polls.
I went to fair Belarus last year and visited the capital of Minsk, and you know I really liked it even if it was brutally cold every single day I was there. However, as far as the politics of the country goes, it’s perhaps not the most democratic country in the world.
I should say it’s not unique either that elections can be held and the leader gets an unrealistic and unbelievable percentage of the vote. Even in North Korea they go through the motions and proclaim the leader at the time as having 99.9% of the vote. I wonder what happened to the one guy who apparently didn’t vote for Kim Jong-Un. I don’t think they have an opposition or any other candidates, so I guess it was a donkey vote?
So anyways, the Belarus election has seen two different opposition party leaders arrested. Two presidential candidates behind bars. Just before an election. Don’t think this is Belorussian idea, it’s also happened more than once in you know where – Russia. The wife of one candidate took his place on the ballot, and in footage seen in this video I’m sharing from NFKRZ, you’ll see that people voting for her where a wrist band, because polling is not allowed and so they wanted something visible to show that when the results come in, she must have surely got more than 10% of the vote as the results claimed, and Lukashenko apparently had 80%.
The video says it better than I can, and it’s got more facts for you too. Now protests have broken out, resulting in violence and arrests. It’s really sad to seeing knowing that less than 12 months ago I was there and I really liked the place. It has a young vibe and to me is real ’emerging’ destination. Let’s all hope this is resolved as quickly and as peacefully as possible.
Thanks for stopping by today, and although it may be going mostly unnoticed with everything else that’s happened in 2020, do spare a thought for the people of Belarus, who surely deserve better.
And there above is where I was going to leave it, but then another video dropped and I thought I’d better include it. It seems things are going from bad to worse.
May the Journey Never End.
8 thoughts on “Lukashenko’s Shadow over Belarus”
Since visiting former Soviet-occupied countries, I’ve become fascinated with visiting more of them, including the Ukraine and Belarus. The latter is especially interesting, because I’m an American and I’d need to directly in and out of Minsk International Airport to be granted a 30-day visa-free stay. All the same, it looks like it’d be a unique adventure, and I appreciate you sharing your journey there!
I thought the new 30-day arrangement meant you could cross from other countries but I could well be wrong there. Certainly last year it was a 5-day stay and you had to be in and out through Minsk airport. I have long wanted to go to Ukraine but the visa restrictions were annoying to say the least but I believe in the last 12 months finally Aussies can visit visa free like many other including Americans. If ex-Soviet states are your go, I highly recommend Central Asia which is diverse and brilliant IMO!
Come to think of it, you’re right. I’m looking up information online about the visa process for Americans choosing to enter Belarus, and I’m pretty much I recall that it was more restrictive than 30 days; 5 days sound more like it. All the same, it’s better having at least a few days in the country than none at all! And I really do hope to visit Central Asia some time. 🙂
About Belarus, I’m baffled that a leader would want to hold a country to ransom. Just shocked! Like see what happened in Beirut after the ghastly explosions, the leaders stepped down from office because in a way, they were responsible. I think Lukashenko doesn’t want to acknowledge the demands of his people in this trying pandemic times. Sad!
Finally, good you mentioned Russia, I read that a lead opposition leader may have been poisoned. I really don’t know what it is about politics that it brings out the worst in people!
Well I think this is all about power rather than politics. It ceases to be politics once you lock the opposition leaders up, right? It seems many of the ex-Soviet states became virtual one-party states after the break up, especially Russia, all about keeping the establishment where they are. and they are sadly ruthless and care not for the actual people who live in their country.
Sad again. Thanks for expanding Andy.
In fact, it is slipping unnoticed amidst the din of Trump and Biden. But do you think the implications of this insurrection in Minsk replicate those of Kiev?
Time will tell on that. Probably not yet to the same extent.