Alexander Lukachenko

Article

May 23, 2022

Alexandre Grigorievitch Loukachenko (prononcé en français : /lu.ka.ʃɛn.ko/ ; en biélorusse : Аляксaндр Рыгoравіч Лукашэнка /alʲaˈksand(a)r rɨˈɣɔravʲitʂ lukaˈʂɛnka/, en russe : Александр Григорьевич Лукашенко /ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ɫʊkɐˈʂɛnkə/), né le 30 August 1954 in Kopys (Belarusian SSR), is a Belarusian statesman, President of the Republic since 1994. A farmer by profession, he belonged to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union before being elected head of Belarus, then re-elected in 2001, 2006, 2010, 2015 and 2020. He leads a regime described as authoritarian or even dictatorial due to the restriction of public freedoms, numerous violations of human rights, the holding of elections and referendums marred by irregularities. Thus the coup in 1996, the 2004 referendum authorizing him to run for a third term and his contested re-election in 2020. Belarus is therefore isolated internationally, especially in the West, where Lukashenko is often portrayed as the " Europe's last dictator" and banned by the European Union and the United States.

Origins and beginnings

Birth and childhood

Lukashenko was born in the village of Kopys (Orcha district, Vitebsk region), in what was then the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. His maternal grandfather, Trokhym Ivanovitch Lukashenko, is from the Sumy region of Ukraine. His mother, Ekaterina Trofimovna Lukashenko, is from the village of Chklow district (Mogilev region) where she lived until the Second World War. After the war, she worked in the flax factory in Orsha (Vitebsk region). After the birth of her son — Ekaterina not being married, Lukashenko's father is unknown — she returned to her native region where she worked as a milkmaid on a farm.

Studies and professional career

Lukashenko graduated from the history faculty of the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute in 1975. From 1975 to 1977 he served in the army as a border guard, after which he became the secretary of the Mogilev Komsomol committee. From 1980 to 1982 he was political commissar of a mechanized infantry division stationed in Minsk. In 1982, after leaving the army, he became vice-president of a sovkhoz. In 1985, he graduated from the Belarusian Agricultural Academy. From 1985 to 1987 he was general secretary of a sovkhoz in the Chklow district, after which he was promoted to the post of director of the Haradziets state farm building materials plant in the Chklow district.

Rise in politics

Deputy to the Supreme Council (1990-1993)

In 1990, Lukashenko was elected as a deputy to the Supreme Council of the Belarusian Republic, a unicameral body succeeding the Belarusian Supreme Soviet from 1991 to 1994. During this first political mandate, he founded a political group called "Communists for Democracy", which defends a democratic Soviet Union based on communist principles. He claims to have been the only MP to vote against the ratification of the December 1991 agreement concerning the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In the aftermath of the dissolution of the USSR, Lukashenko briefly returns to manage a state farm.

Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee (1993-1994)

Having acquired a reputation as an eloquent opponent of corruption, Lukashenko was elected in 1993 to serve as chairman of the anti-corruption committee in the Belarusian parliament. Although he maintained a close association with the Communist parties, he fell out of favor as a result of his