The Case for Luka

Pensions are decent and come on time. Minsk is safe. "What's not to like?'" the president's supporters say. A TOL Special Report.

by Nasta Shamrey and Tanya Haurylchyk

Longtime readers of TOL have seen plenty of criticism of Alyaksandr Lukashenka on this site. But, although we're wary of citing opinion polls from Belarus, evidence suggests that he's popular there. Belarus hands often say that even if the country's elections observed international standards, he would win. In an effort to explain why, two Belarusian journalists hit the Minsk streets, asking passers-by if they supported Lukashenka. Forty-four people were approached. Twenty-six expressed unequivocal support, while 12 did not support him. Eleven of his supporters appear in this video.

Of course, this sample of voices, taken near a clock factory, is by no means scientific. But with its emphasis on bread-and-butter issues, and safety, there's no reason to think these people are anomalies in their society.


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