Alexander Lukashenko is the President of Belarus. Since 2006 he and other Belarusian officials have been the subject of sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States for human rights violations.
Before his career as a politician, Lukashenko worked as director of a state-owned agricultural farm and spent time with the Soviet Army. He voted against the independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union. He has retained Soviet-era policies, such as continued state ownership of key industries. Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government has led Western journalists to label the him "Europe's last dictator." Here you can find an automatic compilation of DW content referring to Alexander Lukashenko.
In recognition of Belarus’ role in mediating the Ukrainian war, the EU lifted economic sanctions against it. But the West is still reluctant to have political links with the country’s president Alexander Lukashenko who the opposition accuses of human rights abuses. The hounding of dissidents continues despite Lukashenko’s verbal commitment to maintaining democratic standards.Julian Berner reports.
Accusations of totalitarianism in Spain over Catalonia’s independence vote - The mosques behind jihadist cells in Barcelona - Flying high with NATO over Russian war games - Paying for a ticket with your hand in Sweden – Behind the mask in Minsk - Justice for rape victims in Bosnian war? - Ukrainian veterans head to the Invictus Games in Canada – Cool scoops at the world gelato festival in Rimini.
Russia's weeklong military exercises called "Zapad", or West, have ended with no major incidents. Throughout, NATO kept a close eye on drills taking place in Russia and Belarus and DW's Teri Schultz got to ride along with the alliance's eyes in the sky.
The journalist's release is welcome news but there are still at least 160 Turkish journalists who remain behind bars. Turkey's free press record is abysmal, lagging behind authoritarian regimes in Belarus and the Congo.
NATO has welcomed recent dialogue with Russia, but the alliance has serious doubts Moscow is revealing the true extent of its military exercises. Last time this training took place was just before the invasion of Crimea.
Unlike other Central European leaders, Slovakia's prime minister Robert Fico is often seen rubbing shoulders with Vladimir Putin and has been reluctant to criticize Moscow's role in the Ukrainian conflict. And Slovakia has been busy cementing ties to Belarus, a country criticised for violations of democracy. Julian Berner has this report on Slovakia’s foreign policy offensive in Eastern Europe.