Russia

“Project” has published a study on the participation of Lukashenko’s close women in Belarusian politics

Alexander Lukashenko and the winner of the competition "Miss Belarus 2018" Maria Vasilevich at the Republican New Year's ball for youth, December 28, 2018President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko attended the final of the national beauty contest "Miss Belarus 2018", May 4, 2018

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has surrounded himself with photo models who officially work in the service of his protocol. Some women close to him received important government posts.

It is symbolic that women have become the main competitors of the President of Belarus in the current elections. After all, it is Lukashenka’s relationship with women over the course of 25 years of his rule that speaks most of all about the despotic nature of his power, according to a joint article by the Russian newspaper “Project” and the Belarusian opposition TV channel Belsat.

The Belarusian president has been married for 45 years to Galina Lukashenko, nee Zhalnerovich, but his wife lives in his native village and does not participate in politics in any way.

In August 1996, a sentimental story was published in the Belarusian newspaper “Name”. One August Sunday, “either out of boredom, or driven to despair by Sunday idleness,” the young President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, without saying anything to anyone, took the keys to a service Mercedes and drove off in an unknown direction. They were looking for him from helicopters, but they managed to spot the car only on Monday. It turned out that Alexander Grigorievich just went to visit his wife Galina Rodionovna and sons in their village in the Shklov district. I had lunch and came back. “Thank God, nothing happened to Alexander Grigorievich,” the newspaper rejoiced.

Such an episode at that time looked quite organic: the young president, who loves the country and family, treated his wife with genuine respect.

In one of the few interviews, the president’s wife claimed that she herself had refused to go to Minsk. Galina Rodionovna remained in the Shklov region, where she still lives. Their official marriage continues to this day, despite the fact that the irreplaceable president of Belarus has long been living not with his family, but surrounded by other women.

The publications note that there have always been many women around Lukashenka. With some of them he was associated with business, with others – perhaps closer relations.

Nadezhda Ermakova, a close friend of the future president, while still working in the administration of the Shklov district, later became the chairman of the National Bank of Belarus. Another longtime acquaintance of Lukashenka, Nadezhda Kotkovets, who was called the mother of his illegitimate son, later became the first deputy minister of agriculture, remind the authors of the material. For a long time, Tamara Vinnikova, who headed the National Bank of Belarus in 1995, was one of Lukashenko’s closest associates.

Former personal doctor of Lukashenka Irina Abelskaya is called the mother of his 16-year-old son Nikolai, with whom Lukashenka appears at official events for many years and often takes him with him on trips abroad. The formal head of Abelskaya, the former head of the administration of the head of state, Ivan Titenkov, recalled that he conveyed requests to the president through her. In the same year, when Abelskaya became the head physician of the clinic, her mother, Lyudmila Postoyalko, was appointed deputy minister of health, and a year later – minister. Later Postoyalko was an adviser to the president.

At the same time, the name of Kolya’s mother was never officially announced, but they did not hide it too much – people familiar with Lukashenka confirm to the Project: his mother is a former personal doctor of the president. Lukashenka himself mentioned that Kolya’s mother works as a doctor.

At the end of the 2000s, next to Lukashenko, they began to notice a new doctor, a blonde like Abelskaya, and also young. “For a long time, we even thought that she was Kolya’s mom, because she was busy with him when he was little,” one of the Russian diplomats who met the doctor during Lukashenka’s visits to Russia describes the new companion of the Belarusian president.

Konoshenko is more than a doctor for Lukashenko: he is involved in harvesting potatoes and mowing grass with the president – sometimes the only woman. When harvesting on the personal plot of Lukashenko’s residence in 2014, Konoshenko worked in tandem with the head of state: Lukashenko picked the fruits and threw them into the hands of the doctor.

However, although Konoshenko still periodically appears next to the president, other girls have long been around the head of the Belarusian state.

Belarus is perhaps the only country in Europe where there is a state modeling agency, the National School of Beauty, journalists write. The decree on its creation back in 1996 was signed by Lukashenka himself. The organizers of the beauty contests were in direct contact with the head of state. Former contestants, one after another, became employees of the president’s protocol service.

During official trips to Russia, Lukashenko was often accompanied by four or five girls of model appearance, recalls one of the interlocutors of the publication. The president himself, at a speech at the Academy of Management, said that he uses girls of model appearance as a “weapon”. “I raise my head – my beauties are coming … and everyone has forgotten about the documents!” – he said in 2019.

The longer Lukashenko ruled the country, the less hesitated to demonstrate his love for young women around him. For a long time, one of Lukashenko’s closest associates and informal adviser was also a woman: Tamara Vinnikova, who headed the national bank of Belarus in 1995. However, her state career ended badly: in 1997, the KGB accused her of financial fraud, she spent almost two years under house arrest until she fled from there under mysterious circumstances. She now lives in London.

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