Russia will not be attracted by speculation about the health of Alexander Lukashenko – after the Belarusian president misses key events | world news

Russia declined to comment on the health of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko amid speculation he is seriously ill.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that it was best to be guided on the subject by official statements from the Belarusian authorities.

Mr Lukashenko, 68, has not been seen in public since last Tuesday (9 May) in victory day events in Moscow, then in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Konstantin Zatulin, first deputy of the Committee of CIS Countries in Russia’s State Duma, confirmed to Sky News that Mr Lukashenko was ill.

“The fact that he was sick was evident even during the parade in Moscow,” he said.

“I know he’s sick but I’m not allowed to broadcast his diagnosis.”

He added that it was not COVID.

Learn more about Alexander Lukashenko

Mr Lukashenko failed to show up for a ceremony in Minsk – the annual celebration of State Emblems Day – on Sunday.

Instead, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko read out a message on behalf of the president.

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Mr Lukashenko appeared ill and had a bandage on his right hand as he attended the stripped parade in Moscow last week, skipping parts of the commemoration that marks Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

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Russia holds ‘reduced’ Victory Day parade

He left Red Square in a buggy for the wreath laying ceremony as other leaders of CIS countries accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin on foot to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Upon his return to Minsk, Mr Lukashenko attended another wreath laying ceremony there, but for the first time in his long presidency he did not deliver a Victory Day speech.

Mr Lukashenko’s office declined to comment.

Commenting on rumors about Mr Lukashenko’s health, Belarusian opposition leader in exile Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya tweeted that Belarusians “should be well prepared for any scenario… To put Belarus on the path to democracy and prevent Russia from interfering”. .

Ms Tsikhanouskaya added: “We need the international community to be proactive and quick.”


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