These are Alexandr Lukashenko’s problems

These are Alexandr Lukashenko’s problems

Belarusian ruler Alexandr Lukashenko on March 14 in Tehran between Iranian President Raisi (left) and revolutionary leader Khamenei (right)
Image: Imago/TASS

The extension of the death penalty shows how brutal Lukashenko is against his opponents. But the toughness at home can’t hide his foreign policy problems.

In a small apartment in the center of Minsk there has been a small, decorated plastic Christmas tree for two and a quarter years. Xenija Luzkina wanted to celebrate the New Year with her son. But on December 22, 2020, Alexandr Lukashenko’s security forces arrested the journalist and historian. Lutskina, like many others who rebelled against the ruler in the summer of that year, was held for a long time in remand prison number 1 in the Belarusian capital. Luzkina had taken care of connections to the press in the coordination council of Lukashenko’s opponents. For this, Luzkina was sentenced to eight years in prison last September on conspiracy charges, and in January was also put on the list of “extremists” by the Interior Ministry.

Since mid-January she has been imprisoned in the “correctional colony number 4”, a penal camp for women in Gomel, south-east Belarus. The thirty-nine-year-old is getting worse and worse there. Her father, Oleg Luzkin, reported to the FAZ of two fainting spells. Luzkina recently recovered from bilateral pneumonia. In addition, the prisoner has had a tumor in her head for a long time, which has continued to grow in detention; nevertheless passed Lukashenko prosecutor on imprisonment. Luzkina is currently waiting for an MRI scan; when it will take place is unclear. Her twelve-year-old son was able to visit her in a Gomel detention center shortly before the previous New Year’s celebration. He first wants to take down the Christmas tree in Minsk together with his mother. “My grandson even forbids me to take off my jewelry,” says Oleg Lutskin.

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