Vladimir Putin ally’s latest appearance fuels rumours about 'health crisis'

There is speculation about the health of Vladimir Putin ally, Alexander Lukashenko, after his most recent appearance.

Vladimir Putin ally’s latest appearance fuels rumours about 'health crisis'
© Contributor / Getty Images
Vladimir Putin ally’s latest appearance fuels rumours about 'health crisis'

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attended the Victory Day parade in Moscow yesterday 9 May.

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He joined other heads of state such as Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov; Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev; Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon; Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev; Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedov; and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

However, his appearance has sparked rumours about his health.

Speculation about Alexander Lukashenko's health

Photographs from the event show Lukashenko with a bandage on his right hand. He also looked tired and a little unsteady on his feet, as reported by Reuters.

In addition, Lukashenko was the only head of state who did not walk 300m from where he was seated to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, according to Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva. Instead, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an electric buggy to transport him, but once at the memorial, he was unable to stoop down to lay flowers.

Belarusian political analyst Dmitry Bolkunets posted on Telegram that Lukashenko also did not attend a formal state breakfast/lunch hosted by Putin with the other leaders, rather, he suddenly left Moscow 'due to health reasons'. He was reportedly accompanied by an ambulance to the airport.

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Why Lukashenko still attended despite 'health crisis'

Artyom Shraibman, a Belarusian political analyst and founder of Sense Analytics consultancy, told Newsweek via Telegram that such speculation about Lukashenko’s health is nothing new. Over the years there have been numerous rumours, such as that he was 'near his death bed and it never materialized'.

Shraibman said:

It's hard for me to buy any speculation this time.

He continued:

[Lukashenko's] presence there was a no-brainer. If the leaders of the countries that are, let's say, friendly to Russia but not their closest allies [are present], his absence would be very weird and it would give more room for speculation and rumors and guesses about the potential rift in the relationship between Lukashenko and Putin that I think he decided not to risk despite his [reported] health crisis.

Belarusian authorities have not released any statements on Lukashenko's health. However, in the past two weeks he has only attended two public events and his voice was hoarse at one of them, according to Reuters.

Read more:

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Sources used:

Newsweek: 'Putin Ally's Parade Appearance Sparks Health Speculation'

Reuters: 'Belarus leader Lukashenko avoids stroll, skips lunch after Moscow parade'

Daily Mail: 'Belarus dictator Lukashenko 'begs Putin to provide him with transport' during Victory Day walkabout'

Vladimir Putin's latest appearance fuels more rumours about his health Vladimir Putin's latest appearance fuels more rumours about his health