Entries in Alexander Lukashenko (3)


Europe’s Last Dictator Barred from London Olympics

NIKOLAI PETROV/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Who is blocking Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko from attending the London Olympics? That’s what the head of Russia’s Olympic Committee wants to know after the man dubbed Europe’s Last Dictator did not receive permission to travel there for the games.

“The organizing committee in London did not give accreditation to National Olympic Committee President Alexander Lukashenko. Isn’t sports outside politics?” Alexander Zhukov wrote on his Twitter account, according to Russian news reports.

RIA Novosti reports that the International Olympic Committee and London organizers both denied barring Lukashenko from attending.

However, now the British Embassy in Minsk, Belarus’ capital, has confirmed that Lukashenko was denied permission to enter the country because he is one of several Belarusian officials banned from entering the European Union, part of the sanctions against them for human rights abuses.

“President Alexander Lukashenko is on the list of persons prohibited from entering the EU. This prohibition will continue to operate during the Olympic Games,” a spokesman for the embassy told Russia’s Interfax news agency, adding that the decision will not change.

So far Belarusian officials have offered no comment.

The sanctions on Lukashenko and other Belarusian officials were imposed after authorities cracked down on a protest movement last year.

Lukashenko reportedly dispatched his country’s Olympic team to London with a goal to win 25 medals, including 5 golds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Belarus Struggles to Make Sense of April Terror Attack

VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images(MINSK, Belarus) -- The crowd outside the Oktoberskaya metro station in Minsk silently studies the makeshift tribute to those slain in last week's terror attack.

Handwritten prayers, poems and photos of Jesus are tucked amongst the many floral tributes.  The photographs of 12 of the victims -- seven men and five women -- are surrounded by mounds of flowers and scores of candles; their photos resemble snapshots from high school yearbooks of varying ages.

But they are in fact obituary images from those killed in the April 11 attack that has now left 13 dead and more than 200 wounded.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, the man that has ruled the country for 17 years since the breakup of the Soviet Union, has declared the case solved.

Five men, spotted in surveillance video from the many cameras that constantly watch the city, have been recognized and caught.

They immediately professed their guilt, not only to the recent attack on Minsk's transport system but also previous attacks in 2008 that had previously been unresolved.

"There is no doubt they did it," states a man at a cafe in Minsk.  He, like others who question this authoritarian government, prefers not to be identified.

"But the question," he adds, "is who told them to do it."  He shrugs when asked how it is possible that they were caught so quickly.

Like many, he hints that the government itself could have been behind it.

"Idiots" is what President Lukashenko calls those who think the bombing was a government plot to discredit the opposition and distract Belarusians from a rapidly deteriorating economy.

Authorities are still trying to determine the motive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Metro Bomb Blast Kills at Least Seven in Belarus

Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images(MINSK, Belarus) --  At least seven people were killed on Monday in a bomb blast at the Oktyabrskaya metro station in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. 

The blast, which injured at least 35 people, occurred as the train was pulling into the station before 6:00 p.m. local time. The cause is not immediately known.

The station is near the offices of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Belarus’ government has become increasingly repressive since Lukashenko’s re-election and subsequent protests in December 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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