November 08, 2021

Remembering the Good Times, Lukashenko Style


Remembering the Good Times, Lukashenko Style
Ah, yes, August 2020. Those were the days. Telegram, Pul Pervogo

As you go about your daily business at the Independence Palace in Minsk, Belarus (because we know you stop by regularly), be sure to check out the current display: a small shrine commemorating the cowardly retreat heroic acts of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.

The display is made up of Lukashenko's machine gun, a painting, a riot police uniform, a sculpture in the form of an eagle, and a poster with the Belarusian flag, Lukashenko's face, and the saying "Za Batku!," meaning "For the Old Man!" (For the record, Lukashenko is 67: two years younger than Putin.)

It appears that the display is meant to be a government-friendly homage to the unrest seen in Minsk last year. In August 2020, an election (which Lukashenko "won," to the dismay of many Belarusians) sparked massive protests. Decades of a poor human rights record, a stagnant economy, and fumbled COVID measures had taken quite a toll.

When the protests got a little dicey, Lukashenko donned body armor and grabbed a rifle. His young son did the same. But rather than face the protesters (or, God forbid, acquiesce to their demands), Lukashenko and his goons hitched a ride out of town in a helicopter, flying to safety. Fortunately, though, the armor, gun, and smooth-faced adolescent made for a great photo op, painting the dictator as a bit of a victim (which he's not).

The machine gun is purportedly the one brandished by Lukashenko, and the oil painting depicts his decisive choice to run away. The riot police uniform, we assume, is meant to represent those brave souls who took care of those pesky protestors last August. We're not sure what the eagle is meant to represent.

Frankly, we can think of many ways to immortalize Lukashenko that are perhaps a little more appropriate.

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