August 03, 2020

Ever-Resilient Lukashenko



Ever-Resilient Lukashenko
We just hope the dog is fine. CTV.by

Belarusian President Alexandr Lukashenko announced earlier this week that he had been exposed to coronavirus, but that he'd been asymptomatic, like, according to him, 97 percent of the Belarusian population.

Lukashenko made the announcement at a large gathering of army officers, in which no one was wearing a mask and social distancing was not practiced.

Belarus, Russia's "little brother" country to its west, made headlines earlier this year by failing to heed recommended pandemic measures. Lukashenko himself downplayed the threat, saying that it was "better to die standing than live on your knees."

He also urged the population to sweat out the virus by working in the country, which, to his credit, he did.

When exactly Lukashenko had the virus is not reported, but we can't dismiss the possibility that he was sick at one of the largest Victory Day parades in modern history, attended by several heads of state and thousands of foreign troops.

Regardless, coronavirus is the least of Lukashenko's worries: an upcoming election could mean the end of his 25-year run as president. We'll see.

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The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
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