Republic of Belarus. The perfect dictatorship.
The Belarus Republic won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
President Aleksandr Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 in a government that controls more than 70% of the economy.
On the surface it’s a country that lacks little, with unemployment below 7% and a populace that broadly supports Russian diktats. Belarus is a highly conformist society. However, the reality is rather different.
Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship, an autocratic regime that through the KGB controls every corner of the country. There is no freedom of expression, demonstrations are suppressed and associations are illegal. Homosexuality is opposed and it’s the only European state where the death penalty is imposed, through a cruel bullet to the head. There are no real political opposition parties. Students, journalists, social activists, former political prisoners and indignant mothers are fighting a clandestine battle against the Lukashenko regime.
In the other hand, in April 1986, reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded. It emitted radiation levels 500 times that released at Hiroshima. Some 70% of the emissions affected Belarus. Thousands of people had to be evacuated. According to official figures there were 50 victims. Independent estimates, such as that produced by the BELRAD Institute, that 850,000 have died to date. Today, thousands of children are still being born with serious health problems. Mortality rates have shot up.
The government refuses to recognise this reality in order to avoid claims against it and to ensure the construction of Belarus’s new nuclear power station…