Ailing Belarusian dictator Lukashenko is seen struggling to speak and with a bandaged arm during a meeting with military leaders amid rumors the tyrant is gravely ill
- The Belarusian dictator was seen on video after posing for a photo this afternoon
- It comes as his office declined to comment on growing health concerns
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko was seen struggling to speak in a video shared today as he seeks to show he is still fit amid rumors about his health.
Appearing hoarse and struggling to breathe, he spoke to military leaders about the downing of four fighter jets in Russia on Saturday, apparently unsure how long his own forces had been on high alert.
He said: “Troops are on high combat alert for day four or day three.”
Lukashenko, whose disappearance from the public eye on May 9 sparked rumors of poor health, was seen for the first time in nearly a week this afternoon posing in a military uniform in what the Pul Pervovo channel Telegram said to be an air force central command base.
The 68-year-old appeared to have a bandage or IV catheter on his left wrist.
His office declined to comment on the growing health concerns.
Alexander Lukashenko is first seen in the late afternoon of May 15, 2023 after rumors of his illness, surgery and even death, with a thick bandage on his left wrist
Belarusian autocrat Alexander Lukashenko, 68, struggled to walk during Putin’s Red Square parade and returned early to Minsk, missing a meal with the Russian dictator, amid suspicions of serious back problems and of knee.
During a visit to Moscow on Tuesday last week, a bandage was seen on his right wrist.
Rumors suggest he was rushed to hospital in Minsk after returning from Moscow where he appeared at Vladimir Putin’s military parade in Red Square marking Victory Day.
The autocrat appeared unable to cover a distance of less than a quarter mile in Red Square after the parade – and was seen pleading with Putin to provide him with a buggy on the cobbles to lay flowers at the time of the soldier unknown.
Lukashenko is said to be working today “at the central command point of the Belarusian Air Force and the Air Defense Forces”.
He was quoted as telling officers, “Let’s go without big reports. Let’s see what is happening in our country.
But he also said: “Three days after the events near us – I mean what happened in the Bryansk region [of Russia]when four planes were shot down.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (C) attends a Victory Day military parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 09 May 2023
“We have to react. Since then, we have been on high alert, our troops.
Many believe Russian air defenses shot down their own planes in the Bryansk region, which borders both Belarus and Ukraine.
Multiple theories had emerged about Lukashenko, ranging from heart trouble to a serious viral infection or even poisoning.
Putin’s former speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov said it was possible the Kremlin leader’s secret service sought to assassinate him because he was not supportive enough of the war.
The Belarusian exiled opposition was preparing a plan in case of death, said its main enemy, Pavel Latushka.
BneIntellNews reported: “The Belarusian strongman is clearly seriously ill and some are asking if he is already dead.”
Yet other sources had reported that he was ill and needed surgery, but would recover.
He needed the help of specialists from the prestigious Bakulev Center for Cardiovascular Surgery in Moscow who flew to Minsk, according to one version.
His office declined to comment until today’s single photo, causing rumors to escalate.
An unconfirmed account was that Lukashenko had undergone an “unpleasant” operation unrelated to his heart and was stable.
Belarusian expert, pro-war Russian academic Andrey Suzdaltsev, said: “Lukashenko survived the operation well. He doesn’t feel bad…he’s recovering.
The operation was not on the heart. There was another unpleasant, but common diagnosis.”
If today’s photo is genuine, it showed no obvious signs of major surgery.