Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attend a plenary session of the 2nd Eurasian Economic Forum. (Archive image) © IMAGO/Maxim Grigoryev
Is Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko seriously ill? Now opposition leader Valery Tsepkalo continues to fuel rumors of a "critical" state of health.
Moscow - Rumours have been circulating for weeks that Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko is seriously ill. Now Belarusian opposition leader Valery Tsepkalo is giving new details.
According to them, Lukashenko was rushed to the Central Clinical Hospital of Moscow immediately after a meeting with Vladimir Putin "behind closed doors". He is said to still be there, Tsepkalo said via Telegram and Twitter. "The best specialists were sent to free him from a condition classified as critical by the doctors," the politician writes. According to them, Lukashenko's blood was "washed". The self-proclaimed president of Belarus is said to be unfit for transport.
Lukashenko seriously ill? Rumours about Belarus ruler also dangerous for Putin
However, the situation also seems delicate for Russia. On the one hand, because Lukashenko is Putin's closest ally in the Ukraine war. For example, nuclear warheads have just been transferred to the neighboring country. On the other hand, the timing of hospital admission is also problematic for the Kremlin.
Tsepkalo also writes in this regard: "The organized measures to save the Belarusian dictator were aimed at preventing speculation about the Kremlin's possible involvement in his poisoning."
Tsepkalo himself states that the information available to him requires further confirmation. Belarusian non-governmental organizations denied the report to Italy's La Repubblica. According to him, Lukashenko is in Minsk and not in Moscow.
Lukashenko sick? Rumours persist
Already in mid-May, Lukashenko had been represented by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko at the big state ceremony for the "Day of the State Flag". It was the first time that the 68-year-old stayed away from such a celebration. In addition, state television did not show any current images of the ruler for days, which caused rumors to boil up. The week before, Lukashenko had visited the Moscow military parade commemorating the victory of the Soviet army over Nazi Germany in World War II. He looked conspicuously battered and left the Victory Day celebrations on May 9 prematurely.
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Opposition politician Pavel Latushk, who lives in exile in the EU, said even then that Lukashenko "is obviously very seriously ill. (...) He can't even walk a few 100 meters, can't give speeches, can't even stand straight in the stands, staggering with weakness."
Then, on May 23, Lukashenko tried to counter the rumors: "I had an adenovirus, I'm not going to die, don't worry," he stated.