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Belarus PM replaces Lukashenko at ceremony, sparks speculation

BelTA, the state-run news agency, reported that Roman Golovchenko had read a Lukashenko message during a ceremony in which young people pledge allegiance to a flag of the former Soviet state.

The agency did not give a reason for Lukashenko’s absence, five days after he seemed unwell. He also skipped portions of the commemorations in Moscow that marked the Soviet Union’s victory over Germany during World War Two.

Lukashenko did not also speak at a Minsk event marking the anniversary, for the first in his long tenure as president. This was his last public appearance.

The Lukashenko office declined to comment.


Euroradio reports that Lukashenko visited an elite Minsk clinic Saturday.

Podyom in Russia quoted Konstantin Zatulin as a senior member from the Duma lower chamber of parliament saying “(Lukashenko has) simply fallen ill… and probably needs to rest.”

The Russian daily Kommersant published an article about Lukashenko’s health citing Zatulin as well as the Belarusian opposition press. Russian media seldom publishes stories about the health or the leaders of Russia and its allies.


Lukashenko has been in power since 1994. He used police to suppress protests while courts shut down dissident media outlets, sentenced opponents to long prison terms, and forced activists out of the country.

Lukashenko was backed by Kremlin Leader Vladimir Putin to squash protests. Last year, he permitted his country’s land to be used in Russia’s invasion. Russia refers to the invasion as a “special operations”.

Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Belarus’ Sergei Aleinik will begin a three-day trip to Moscow on Monday (15 May)

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