Belarus: Lukashenko Absence After Health Report

Image copyright: Associated Press [via Euronews]

The Facts

  • Longtime Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko was absent from the country's annual "National Flag, Emblem and Anthem Day" celebration on Sunday, fueling speculation on his health.

  • The 68-year-old ruler hasn't been seen in public since last Tuesday when he attended the Victory Day events in Moscow and Minsk but appeared unwell and did't deliver a speech for the first time in his presidency. His office has declined to comment.


The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

As Lukashenko's health reportedly deteriorates, so does his iron grip on Belarus. The international community must be ready to support the nation's transition to democracy before another Kremlin-backed puppet is installed to take his place. The struggle for democracy that began in 2020 cannot be left unfinished, as this could be a once-in-a-generation chance for Europe's oldest dictatorship to be vanquished.

Establishment-critical narrative

Media outlets have been outrageously irresponsible in spreading rumors about Lukashenko's health, which have come to be false, even though Minsk hadn't reported any problems with his condition. In the face of the mounting of fake news, it's crucial to rely on official reports.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that Alexander Lukashenko will leave power in Belarus by February 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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