Latest Issue

Europe’s last dictatorship

Since 1994, when Belarus first elected Alexander Lukashenko as president, the country has stagnated as a Russian client state. But the global financial crisis may finally force change on the regime

By Sam Knight   April 2009

Alexander Lukashenko with Russia’s President Medvedev

It has not always been easy to see the point of Belarus. Unlike its neighbours, it has not spent the last 18 years celebrating its uniqueness, fighting wars, or reinventing itself as a Nato ally or as a place to go for stag weekends. If anything, it has done the opposite. After independence in 1991 and three years of chaotic nationalist leadership, its 10m citizens decided to stay as Russian and as Soviet as possible, electing Alexander Lukashenko, a farm manager and anti-corruption campaigner, to keep things the way they were when the country…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect