Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko is a Belarusian politician who has been the president of Belarus since the establishment of the office on 20 July 1994, making him the longest-sitting European president.
75 Facts About Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander 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 those of the Byelorussian SSR.
Alexander Lukashenko's 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.
Alexander Lukashenko was born on 30 August 1954 in the settlement of Kopys in the Vitebsk Oblast of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Alexander Lukashenko's maternal grandfather, Trokhym Ivanovich Lukashenko, had been born in the Sumy Oblast of Ukraine near Shostka.
Alexander Lukashenko grew up without a father in his childhood, leading him to be taunted by his schoolmates for having an unmarried mother.
Alexander Lukashenko graduated from the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute in 1975, after 4 years studying there and the Belarusian Agricultural Academy in Horki in 1985.
Alexander Lukashenko served in the Soviet Border Troops from 1975 to 1977, where he was an instructor of the political department of military unit No 2187 of the Western Frontier District in Brest and in the Soviet Army from 1980 to 1982.
In 1990, Alexander Lukashenko was elected Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR.
Six candidates stood in the first round, including Alexander Lukashenko, who campaigned as an independent on a populist platform.
In February 1995, Alexander Lukashenko announced his intention to hold a referendum.
Alexander Lukashenko said he would press ahead with the referendum regardless of opposition in the Supreme Council and threatened to suspend its activities if it did not agree to hold the referendum.
Alexander Lukashenko stated that the referendum would be held despite the rejection by the deputies.
Alexander Lukashenko stated that he personally ordered the evacuation for security purposes.
Alexander Lukashenko was elected chairman of the Belarusian Olympic Committee in 1997.
Alexander Lukashenko responded by taking control of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, sacking the entire bank leadership and blaming the West for the free fall of the currency.
Alexander Lukashenko blamed foreign governments for conspiring against him and, in April 1998, expelled ambassadors from the Drazdy complex near Minsk and moved them to another building.
Alexander Lukashenko stated that Western governments were trying to undermine Belarus at all levels, even sports, during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Under the original constitution, Alexander Lukashenko should have been up for reelection in 1999.
Previously, Alexander Lukashenko had been limited to two terms and thus would have been constitutionally required to step down after the presidential elections in 2006.
Alexander 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 Alexander Lukashenko winning a third term in a landslide, amid opposition reports of vote-rigging and fear of violence.
Some Russian nationalists, such as Dmitry Rogozin and the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, stated that they would like to see Alexander Lukashenko become President of Russia in 2008.
Alexander Lukashenko responded that he would not run for the Russian presidency, but that if his health was still good, he might run for reelection in 2011.
Alexander Lukashenko had allowed some opposition candidates to stand, though in the official results, opposition members failed to get any of the 110 available seats.
Alexander Lukashenko later commented that the opposition in Belarus was financed by foreign countries and was not needed.
Alexander Lukashenko was one of ten candidates registered for the presidential election held in Belarus on 19 December 2010.
On 11 October 2015, Alexander Lukashenko was elected for his fifth term as the president of Belarus.
On mid-September 2017, Alexander Lukashenko oversaw the advancement of joint Russian and Belarusian military relations during the military drills that were part of the Zapad 2017 exercise.
In May 2017, Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on the Foundation of the Directorate of the 2019 European Games in Minsk.
In November 2019, Alexander Lukashenko visited the Austrian capital of Vienna on a state visit, which was his first in three years to an EU country.
Alexander Lukashenko paid his respects at the Soviet War Memorial at the Schwarzenbergplatz.
Alexander Lukashenko received Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban during his state visit to Minsk.
Alexander Lukashenko's first visit to Russia was to attend the rescheduled Moscow Victory Day Parade on Red Square together with his son.
On 9 August 2020, according to the preliminary count, Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected for his sixth term as the President of Belarus.
On 23 September 2020, Alexander Lukashenko was formally inaugurated president for a sixth term in a ceremony at the Palace of Independence attended by an invited group of 700 guests.
On 27 November 2020, Alexander Lukashenko announced that he would resign once Belarus' new constitution was adopted.
In December, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee decided to exclude until further notice all members of the Belarusian Olympic Committee from all IOC events, specifically targeting Alexander Lukashenko who was elected as its chairman in 1997.
On 24 April 2021, Alexander Lukashenko announced that he would sign a decree to amend emergency transfer of power.
Under current law, the prime minister assumes the presidential powers if the presidency becomes vacant, but Alexander Lukashenko said that the prime minister will only become the nominal leader and all decisions would be taken by the 20-person security council, by secret ballot.
Alexander Lukashenko responded that Germany was not in a position to criticize him, referring to the German Government as the "Heirs of Fascism".
On 9 May 2021, Alexander Lukashenko signed a presidential decree titled "On the Protection of sovereignty and constitutional order".
Tsikhanouskaya stated that Alexander Lukashenko had "unlawfully seized power and should be brought to justice" and that the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, created in August 2022, would function as the transitional government of Belarus until new elections.
Alexander Lukashenko kept many industries under the control of the government.
Since the November 1996 referendum, Alexander Lukashenko has effectively held all governing power in the nation.
Alexander Lukashenko has near-absolute control over government spending; parliament can only increase or decrease spending with his permission.
Alexander Lukashenko appoints eight members of the upper house, the Council of the Republic, as well as nearly all judges.
One major economic issue Alexander Lukashenko faced throughout his presidency was the value of the Belarusian ruble.
Some critics of Alexander Lukashenko, including the opposition group Zubr, use the term Lukashism to refer to the political and economic system Alexander Lukashenko has implemented in Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko supporters argue that his rule spared Belarus the turmoil that beset many other former Soviet countries.
On July 28,2020, Alexander Lukashenko announced he had asymptomatic COVID-19.
On 23 May 2021, Alexander Lukashenko personally ordered Ryanair Flight 4978 en route from Athens to Vilnius, carrying the opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, to land in Belarus.
On 24 January 2020, Alexander Lukashenko publicly accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of trying to make Belarus a part of Russia.
Alexander Lukashenko claimed Russia was lying about its attempts to use the Wagner Group to influence the upcoming election.
Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Alexander Lukashenko had not consulted him before raising the possibility of stopping gas deliveries coming from Russia to the EU via a pipeline through Belarus, adding that such a move would risk harming ties between Belarus and Russia.
In February 2022, Alexander Lukashenko permitted Russian forces to stage part of the invasion of Ukraine from Belarusian territory.
In March 2003, Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus unanimously condemned the US-led Iraq War.
On 1 March 2023, Alexander Lukashenko met Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, which produced a range of cooperation documents on industry, trade, agricultural, and other matters.
Alexander Lukashenko's policies have been praised by some other world leaders.
In March 2022, Australia sanctioned Alexander Lukashenko for giving "strategic support to Russia and its military forces" in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Alexander Lukashenko has made several controversial statements during his presidency which have been regarded as antisemitic, homophobic and misogynistic.
On 4 March 2012, two days after EU leaders had called for new measures to pressure Alexander Lukashenko over alleged human rights abuses in Belarus at a summit in Brussels, Alexander Lukashenko provoked diplomatic rebuke from Germany after commenting that it was "better to be a dictator than gay" in response to Westerwelle having referred to him as "Europe's last dictator" during the meeting.
Alexander Lukashenko is referred to as "Batska" by his supporters.
Alexander Lukashenko has been referred to as "Tarakanishche" by his opponents in reference to the poem The Monster Cockroach, in which a moustached cockroach inflicts a reign of terror on the other animals before being eaten by a sparrow.
Alexander Lukashenko did not comment on the film directly, but on a factory visit in March 2021 claimed that opponents were creating a fake story to destabilize the country.
Alexander Lukashenko married Galina Zhelnerovich, his high school sweetheart, in 1975.
Alexander Lukashenko has been seen on public occasions with various women; when asked about this in the same 2014 interview he explained that he did not want to sit with an official with a "sour face", preferring "My son on one side, and a girl on the other".
Alexander Lukashenko fathered a son, Nikolai, who was born in 2004.
Alexander Lukashenko used to play football, but stopped playing during his presidency.
Alexander Lukashenko started training in cross-country running as a child, and in the 2000s still competed at the national level.
Alexander Lukashenko is a keen skier and ice hockey forward.
Alexander Lukashenko has established the Belarus President's team, an amateur team which he sometimes plays for.
Alexander Lukashenko was instrumental in getting the 2014 IIHF World Championship in ice hockey to be hosted by Belarus which was considered controversial due to Alexander Lukashenko's repressive regime.
Alexander Lukashenko describes himself as an "Orthodox atheist" and has said that he believes that the president should be a conservative person and avoid using modern electronic technology such as a tablet or smartphone.
Alexander Lukashenko used to play the bayan, a musical instrument similar to an accordion.