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I think the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, should have less control over the country. Belarus is in a political crisis. Lukashenko is a leader, who has too much power. He rules over the country as if it were his kingdom and has no mercy for those who disobey him. During the recent election, he put all of his political opponents into prisons and labor camps. One of his political opponents’ wife, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, ended up running against Lukashenko. Tsikhanouskaya was a mere English teacher and housewife, yet most of the country voted for the housewife that Lukashenko thought posed no threat. You would assume that Tsikhanouskaya, now a political figure, won the election and became president. Wrong. Lukashenko falsified the election to make it seem as though 80% of the country voted for him and somehow became President, once more. This is just one example of how he is a terrible leader who is only power-hungry and out for dominance over “his kingdom.”
There have been many riots recently due to the upsetting events happening in the country. But many police and military forces in Belarus aren’t helping. A man said that the Belarussian police threatened to burn him alive. This threat is extremely unsettling seeing as there are many innocent people who may be affected by police brutality. Lukashenko gave a speech about the opposition and called them “rats.” Does this dictator really deserve the control he has? No ruler should have this much power, and even if they did, they would have no right to abuse it the way Lukashenko has.
It is no secret that Alexander Lukashenko is Europe’s longest-serving ruler. He is known as the “last dictator” because he has been known to try and maintain pieces of Soviet Communism. We also may not be getting the full story about what's going on in Belarus because Lukashenko controls the country's main media channels. Recently American CNN reporters found labor camps not far from the Capital city of Minsk. These labor camps are for political prisoners and other people who were arrested during protests. These labor camps show how much control Lukashenko holds. He has the power to make many peoples’ lives a living hell.
Most people outside of Belarus have never heard of the situation because not only does the President control news outflow, America, along with other countries, does not bring awareness to the subject. But people like me and my family know, we are concerned for the lives of my relatives who live in Belarus. I have grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts living in a country whose ruler only cares for the throne. In the future, I hope that Lukashenko learns his lesson on what happens when you abuse power, and I hope the world knows what is going on in Belarus, a country many people call home.
Allison Koronkevitch is an 8th grader at Meyzeek Middle School. She is of Belorussian and cares deeply about events in eastern Europe.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, abuses his power | Opinion