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.

You Might Also Like

A Mustachioed Medusa
  • October 27, 2021

A Mustachioed Medusa

What could be more sinister than a Medusa with a mustache? A hint: a Medusa with a mustache and a reputation for being Europe’s last dictator.
Why Didn't We Think Of That?
  • January 13, 2021

Why Didn't We Think Of That?

“If you don't like the current president, only elections can solve the issue.” – President Alexander Lukashenko, of the former Soviet state Belarus, known for having rigged elections last year to continue his run since 1995, among other things.
Party Like It's Belarus
  • January 06, 2021

Party Like It's Belarus

The president of Russia's neighbor Belarus ended 2020 the same way he started it: in denial over the coronavirus pandemic.
Ever-Resilient Lukashenko
  • August 03, 2020

Ever-Resilient Lukashenko

The President of Russia's neighboring Belarus says he had coronavirus, but even that didn't keep him down.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

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.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts


Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955