Talk:Alexander Lukashenko

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Untitled[edit]

Third term[edit]

"In September 2008, parliamentary elections were held. Lukashenko had allowed some opposition candidates to stand, though in the official results, opposition members failed to get a seat out of the available 110. The election was seen as "flawed", and opposition members and supporters demonstrated. [35] However, according to the CIS election observation mission, the elections in Belarus conformed to international standard"

Mentioning "CIS election observation mission" but not the OSCE mission gives the impression that the election was "seen" as flawed by unspecified opposition supporters (if you don't read the footnote) while a "mission" (which sounds more important and formal) produced different results. This should be corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.222.71.77 (talk) 14:20, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Images[edit]

Ok, I've had a bottle of wine, but seriously, the pictures on this page look poorly photoshoped, especially him shaking hands with Jaques Chirac, they both look far too defined, as if they've been pasted on the background without editing the transition pixels, and the shadows are incorrect. What's up with that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.152.188.27 (talk) 21:17, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

The image was very old, taken in 1994, so I expect the photography was going to suck. But this is a free image, so we are limited to what we can do. It took a pain to get photos for Lukashenko. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:45, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

As a Belarusian I doubt that people in our country keep Lukashenko's portaits in their private homes. Hence, image caption "his official portrait, along with the state flag, in a private home" may present a view that is generally wrong. DannieVG (talk) 08:03, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Discussion of the February 2 version[edit]


JG

Since when does "Czechia [sic]" feature as one of the neighbouring countries of Belarus? Where did Poland go in the meantime?


In the mean time, I agreed to let Adam's version be posted as a temporary measure. 172

I consequently reverted to the last Adam version. Do you agree on unprotection ? fr0069
Please don't unprotect it just yet: I have a strong feeling that we will simply see a resumption of the edit war. Could you please leave it protected a few more days to give 172 a chance to work through the factual issues on the Talk page? -- ChrisO 00:34, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Of course Chris. fr0069

172 is not an idiot or a vandal, he obviously does know a lot about Belarus and problems of post-Soviet economic development. The problem is the he insists on using a biographical article about Lukashenko as a vehicle for setting out these issues, and his opinions about them. If he could be persuaded to transfer his attention to History of Belarus or Economic problems of the former Soviet Union or somewhere similar, he would be much happier and so would we. Adam 01:24, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)


ChrisO:

I am an administrator. Theoretically, I could have reverted the page the whole time if I were as desperate if you made me out to be. If you don't tone down your condescension and arrogance, we will not have an atmosphere conducive to working out our differences.

Theoretically you could have. But we all know that withing the next hours you would have been listed for desysoping 172. This would not be the good way. Fortunately, you would not do this :-) You three people opinion holds the same weight, and being sysop or not sysop is irrelevant here. fr0069

Once again, there is no need for us to go through each of our revisions point by point. I already confirmed ChrisO's facts. I will, however, respond to some of ChrisO's charges with respect to the content that he removed in my comments below. 172 03:29, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

172, the more conciliatory we try to be here, the more aggressive is the tone you adopt. We do not need you to (again) "respond to Chris's charges." We are not conducting an inquest here, we are writing an encyclopaedia article. I suggest you either make some constructive suggestions about the article as it now stands, or go and do something else. Adam 04:04, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)


ChrisO:

You stated that I did not explain "what kind of facts should be included and what kinds of facts should be excluded." Apparently, you ignored much of what I was saying on this talk page.

To make things easier for you, I'm providing you with a summary. BTW, before you take these suggestions out of context and attack my motives, please reread my detailed postings from the past two days explaining my rationale with respect to every suggestion listed below.

  • Greater attention to his domestic base of support
  • More attention to his populist persona
  • Who are the opposition and why
  • The role of his base of support in the slow pace of reforms
  • Balanced origins of tensions with the West
  • Greater attention to Belarus-Russia relations relative to the amount of attention given to tensions with the West. I'm sure that ChrisO would agree that Russia is a more important actor in Belarus politics and economics.
  • Keeping the article focused on how he has consolidated power and reacted to challenges to his rule. This is more biographical. ChrisO and Adam's versions, in contrast, emphasize Western objections rather than look at him at the center of a historical account.
  • Trim down the number of Lukashenko intrigues and misstatements being presented. This serves to cast him as a capricious autocrat, which he is. But keep them at a minimum if they don't have much of an effect on his grip on power domestically.

172 05:23, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

that sounds reasonable :-)

I hate to harp on this, but these points of 172's:

  1. Who are the opposition and why
  2. The role of his base of support in the slow pace of reforms
  3. Balanced origins of tensions with the West
  4. Greater attention to Belarus-Russia relations relative to the amount of attention given to tensions with the West.

are not biographical. While they can be mentioned, detailed discussions of them belong in another article, such as History of Belarus. I will oppose efforts to re-introduce large amounts of this kind of material into the article. Adam 08:45, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I would suggest that items 1 and 2 in Adam's shortlist would be better placed in an article on Politics of Belarus and 3 and 4 in Foreign relations of Belarus. 172, you do evidently have some detailed knowledge of the post-Soviet situation, and I hope that you will continue to contribute it in the relevant articles. But I have to agree with Adam that the biography should be essentially factual - analysis is useful but it shouldn't override a straightforward historical account of events. I think that some of my material (such as the more detailed info on the human rights problem) should probably also be decanted into Politics of Belarus. 172, will you go along with this? -- ChrisO 10:19, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Very good. I think that we are making progress.

Yes, I agree to your proposals in principle. However, each of these can be addressed, and have to be addressed, when they pertain to the biography. And they all do. Let me clarify how Adam's four points can be tied into the biographical article.

I do favor a "straightforward historical account of events." I favor an "essentially factual" biography. What I mean is that "analysis" underpins (not overrides) what facts are going to be presented. Implicitly, we are always analyzing data when we make judgments of relevance. Talk pages are there for users to discuss these things.

I was unclear with some of the four points Adam claimed were not biographical. I meant to say that we need to relate all those points to the consolidation of his rule and his attempts to exploit key events to his advantage.

So my points should have read as follows:

  • Trace the conflicts between Lukashenko and the opposition
  • Trace the relationship between Lukashenko and his supporters, and how his reliance on this base of support has constrained his room to maneuver in economic policy and foreign policy
  • When tracing diplomatic spats with the West, link them to measures he has taken to tighten his grip of control on Belarus and maintain his base of support
  • Trace his efforts to promote ties with Russia
  • His recent setbacks under Putin.
  • Perhaps the article can conclude with note on why recent development in Belarus-Russia relations could spell the beginning of the end (hopefully!) for Lukashenko.

To sum it all up briefly, I'm saying that we should be focused on his consolidation of power over the years, how he has exploited the challenges of postcommunism to his advantage, and his handling of key events. Just as novels have their settings, this biography – focused on his dictatorship – will have to be presented in a historical context. I agree that my past attempts may have gone overboard, but the degree of social and economic stability his rule has afforded - relative to Russia - is key to understanding how he has stayed in power for nearly a decade. I'm not saying that this needs to be explicitly started, but that we should provide the relevant data to illuminate this.

172 18:43, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I am glad you three seem to be making progress toward a consensus :-) On top of it, I thought very constructive that Chris and Adam recognise the knowledge of 172 as regards post-Soviet situation, and are very willing to work on other articles on the topic. Very positive thought ! :-) fr0069


The discussion seems to have died down. Does this mean that there are no objections to my last set of comments? Is my approach clear? If this is the case, I'll eventually write a new version along the lines of the approach that I have just laid out, and link the article to the talk page as a proposal.

I will abandon the controversial old version. Now that I have addressed every confusion, I'm certain that I'll be able to draft a new version that will not be subject to the same misunderstandings. 172 07:24, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The discussion has died down because (a) I am more or less happy with the article as it stands and (b) neither you nor anyone else has yet suggested any amendments or additions to it. When and if you do so or someone else does so, battle can recommence. Adam 07:28, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps 172 can make a draft on a sub page of this talk page ? Potentially controversial points might appear more clearly perhaps ? Ant
I'm still inclined to think that the points suggested by 172 would be better placed in Politics of Belarus and Foreign relations of Belarus. For instance, "Trace his efforts to promote ties with Russia" and "His recent setbacks under Putin" are very obviously tied into the wider question of Belarus's relationship with Russia, a topic which is discussed (but not in much detail) in Foreign relations of Belarus. This is a bigger issue than just Lukashenko's activities (what happened between 1991 and 1994 and why did Russia initially support his rival, Kebich?) Similarly, "Trace the relationship between Lukashenko and his supporters, and how his reliance on this base of support has constrained his room to maneuver in economic policy and foreign policy" is bound up with the wider question of the development of civil society in Belarus (which goes back to before Lukashenko's election). This is a topic which should be dealt with in detail in Politics of Belarus, though the current version of the article appears to be culled entirely from the CIA World Factbook).
I don't see much point in providing overlapping content in the Lukashenko biographical article. Doing that would have three disadvantages: it would divorce the content from the wider context in the Foreign relations and Politics articles; it would probably necessitate the content being duplicated in those articles; and it would make the biographical article much longer. I think we should keep the biography concise and factual - as a summary of the man's life and work - and present the detailed contexts in the related background articles. I'd be happy to work with 172 on improving both Politics and Foreign relations, which clearly do need some work. 172's wider perspective would be very valuable there. -- ChrisO 10:13, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)
This is all understandable. In time, I will link my proposed new version to this talk page. For now, Adam's version is fine, and it is certainly the best version drafted so far. The content of my proposal will not be radically different from the current article.
I will keep it concise and biographical. You may find that it is even more "biographical" and more of a "career overview" than the current article, which is already heavy on foreign relations (especially tensions with the West) and controversies that received a great deal of attention in the Western media and among policy circles, but were not defining moments in his career in Belarus.
I look forward to input for you both once I get the proposal linked to the talk page. 172 17:40, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

You guys better be careful, Lukashenka might fine you if he does not like your article. See: http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/2004/02/05/koliada and http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/2004/02/02/pravda . — Alex756 [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Alex756 talk] 00:13, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'll keep that in mind once I'm free from my current distractions and able to get back to working on this article. BTW, could you add content in the mean time. You might be the most qualified, given your familiarity with the country and Russian language sources. 172 18:27, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
IMO it is high time to remove content. At the moment the size of the article exceeds that of Lenin, Stalin and Churchill summed together. Mikkalai 20:51, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
And that is a bad thing because ... ? Is there an optimum length for a biographical article? -- ChrisO 23:14, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
... because in this particular case the inverted pyramid principle is forgotten. In this long read there is no track of relative importance. For all I care, you may include Luka's penis length, but the structure of the article is poor. Upon the first read I liked it. It is a good narrative, with some minor errors I will fix when the smoke settles down. But I'd suggest to look at articles about American presidents for structure and content of presentation. So far, it looks like the one about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mikkalai 00:01, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Because Wikipedia has no overall editor, and no overall editorial policy, there is no rule about writing articles to a length which corresponds to the objective importance of the topic. If you want to write 100,000 words on Butterflies of the upper Orinoco, no-one will stop you. So if the article on Lenin is shorter than this one, the solution is to write more on Lenin, not cut this one - which has already been cut fairly radically by me. I think this article is a reasonable length for one on a controversial current head of state. Adam 04:27, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

What has happened to 172 and his proposed alternative to this text which he hated so much? Adam 07:16, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Still distracted. But I'll break free of the distractions some day and get it posted. BTW, I don't "hate it." It's a better-than-average article. It's probably better than most Reuters, New York Times, CNN, etc. profiles available online, and certainly better than the stumps found in the other online encyclopedias. My concerns, however, are essentially the same as Alex576's. He briefly alluded to them on the February mailing list. (Ironically, you, ChrisO, and I had nothing to do with the concurrent discussion on the mailing list while we were bickering over content on the talk page). 172 07:47, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Lukashenko vs. Lukashenka[edit]

The man himself uses Lukashenko - see his official website at http://www.president.gov.by/eng/ . -- ChrisO 10:09, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

This is part of that debate about the translation from Belarusian or Russian. Lukashenko is a pro-Russian language dictator as were the Soviets (Stalin had a specific policy of russifying B.S.S.R.). Most Belarusian nationalists and Belarusian language scholars use the transliteration that is more commonly recognized as being reflective of the different pronounciation of Belarusian phonemes from those of Russian that currently use a similar (but not identical) cyrillic character based alphabet. Even if you look at recent Belarusian passports they have the Belarusian to English transliterations, not the Russian-English transliterations. I would think that Lukashenka uses the Russian transliteration because he wants good press in Russia; many of his cronies are Russian. Many Russians see Belarusian as a language that is mostly perpetuated by peasants and countryfolk. A good example of this is the Hazeta Slonimskaja (Газета Слонімская) (the "Г" is pronounced more like an H than a G as in high Russian for example) which is published in the small city of Slonim was mostly in Belarusian, but more recently more and more articles are written in Russian such as news relating to Soviet military rememberances in Russian which is still the language used by the military [1] or the Smorgon "Regional Newspaper" «Рэгіянальная газета» [2] (see the local history stories [3] that is still only written in Belarusian in contrast with the majority of Belarusian newpapers that are published in Russian only such as the official government "Respublica" [4], though oddly the name is written in Belarusian cyrillic characters. Clearly Lukashenka wants his name translated from the Russian for a ideological reason. Should we side with him? Clearly both transliterations are proper. — Alex756 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Alex756 talk] 19:25, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Currently, there are two state languages in Belarus: Belarussian and Russian, which could mean that everybody has a choice of claiming Russian or Belarussian spelling to be the primary one for his/her name. In the 90's, the only official language was Belarussian, and passports translate from Belarussian to English and Russian, perhaps, as a relic from that time (although at that time, the traslation was not done the same way as now, but rather through what they claimed to be "International French" system: e.g., 'u' was spelled as 'ou', 'ks' as 'x').

The problem is aggravated by the fact that Belarussian language didn't settle itself yet, not to say about its transliteration. Google poll shows ka:ko=1:2.5, i.e., no absolute preference IMO. So let's pay some respect to a sovereign leader, regardless our dislikes/likes, and write him as he does (and 80% of Belarus population). Mikkalai 21:26, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Continuation moved to Talk:Belarusian language, since the issue is broader than "Lukashenko vs. Lukashenka" Mikkalai 00:17, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think we should use "Lukashenka" still. In my opinion, it's more appropriate in this case. He is a president of Belarus, not a prince of Muscovy. Btw, Google currently gives about 60,000 pages for "Lukashenko" and about 20,000 for "Lukashenka". So it's three times more for "Lukashenko", but I think the trend is to use more "Lukashenka", because previously it was 10:1. rydel 13:34, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I agree. Current BBC News articles have uniformly started using "Lukashenka" as well. --Delirium 05:03, Oct 20, 2004 (UTC)
In Belarus most of the population talk Russian, even if there is a Belarusian language (used mostly by nationalists), and Wikipedia must respect that. You may be able to notice that the BBC is subject to political manipulation.

The BBC is doing pretty fine compared to Belarus' government-run tv networks which are simply vehicles for government propaganda. It would be rather nice if Belarus one day introduced the Freedom of the Press (but this scenario is extremely unlikely). Valentinian (talk) 16:21, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

The claim that the Belarusian language is only used by some weird nationalists is clearly and obviously wrong. Belarusian and Russian are both official languages. In pictures in loads of newsreports concerning the election, one can see clearly visible posters in the polling-stations with pictures of the candidates and their names written clearly in Belarusian. In fact, the only complaint from the Russian parliamentarians observing the elections was that all the official information in the polling-stations was exclusively in Belarussian and not Russian. ´(Barend 16:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC))
I thought last names ending in -ko were Eastern Ukrainian by origin, my mother's maiden name ends in -ko. Of course, in Belarusian there is no unstressed "o". -Iopq 14:58, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

--BarsMonster 17:14, 7 August 2006 (UTC) To make this more neutraul, i suggest:

  1. Do not call Lukashenko(a) as Luka or Batka. This is far not polite.
  2. Put both positive AND negative opinions to the article. For example, existing info about "low" economic growth should be expanded with comparison of unemployment rate, absense of 1998 finantical crisis and so on.
  3. There were no proved evidences that any elections were fake.

Any ideas are welcome.


Anyway, there should be a transliteration of the Rus. and Bye. names. Done that. INTERNAZI 20:58, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

It's Lukashenko! How would I know this? I lived in Belarus for 5 years during all of the Lukashenko problems. Ask any Belarussain that speaks good english and they will tell you it is spelled Lukashenko.Saksjn 13:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)SaksjnSaksjn 13:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Forged referendum[edit]

It should be mentioned, that the results of the referendum were known before referendum actually started. There was a lot of talk about it in Polish press Szopen 10:11, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. Various people have come forward with proof for forgeries being ready few days before the election and were ingored (in Belarusia). Also, Lukashenko 'predicted' the outcome (75%). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 07:53, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Bullshit. The results of this referendum were known half a year ago, when he first announced that "If people ask me to run for the office once more, how can I go against their will?". Whatever "proof" these people have, they cannot disprove that Luka is supported by the majority of Belarusian electorate, if even for the sole reason only: there is no serious alternative (I am not discussing why it is so). Mikkalai 08:01, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I am not sure whether we understand each other here. We are talking about actual documents with "results" for counties like Minsk etc, which were posted to Polish press by Belarussian opposition, not about some people's predictions. Szopen 12:26, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You are not sure correctly. Please re-read your first phrase. Now that you clarified, I say, why not, if you can provide exact references. (My personal opinion, though, after my last visit to Minsk this summer is that Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) started using of dirty and disgusting methods). Mikkalai 19:28, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Having only just found this page, I'll refrain from making edits yet, but would like to raise the issue of whether we have any reason to suggest that the Gallup poll would have been skewed/failed to survey voters in the countryside. I'm not blind to the difficulties of carrying out representative exit polls in Belarus - I'm only questioning the second sentence here:

"An exit poll survey performed by the Gallup Institute showed that only 48% of people voted "yes" on Lukashenko's referendum, with a margin of error of 1%. On the other hand, this poll is probably skewed, since the majority of Lukashenko supporters are in the countryside." Valerie, 17.06, 22 Oct 2004

An expected exit poll from the independent Gallup Organization/Baltic Surveys was in doubt after more than half of its 200 poll-takers were detained, opposition leaders said.
Do you really expect 100 persons can conduct a non-skewed all-country poll? Mikkalai 17:04, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Valerie, I understand your concern about the disbelief expressed towards the results supposedly from the respectable "Gallup Institute" (?). What worries me much more is that the information is added to wikipedia articles by random copying of pieces from various websites who copy it from somewhere else, without minimal verification, readily available in the very same internet. I am glad you had common sense to refrain from immediate editing (I hope because you wanted to check the facts yourself first). Welcome to wikipedia. Mikkalai 17:24, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Hello! Just a quick point which I hope to come back and clarify, but the Poles are not the best source for any FACTUAL information on Belarus and Lukashenko. Hostility there goes back years, probably even centuries. I am currently writing a political biography of Lukashenko, with an involved history of the country, and they are absolutely inseperable, and the Polish issue is a significant one. It is no accident that the first inter-ethnic dispute within Belarus was with the 'League of Belarusian Poles'. As I said, just a brief point, I'll try and qualify it better soon! Like most of you, I'm a busy person!

NPOV[edit]

I have just posted NPOV on the article.

I appreciate the work people did to write this articles, but it out of wiki standards at all. Sorry for being bold but I would suggest for authors to read "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view" first.

I will put some of my comments here, but there are so many of them that I will continue next time.

  • First paragraph (Starts with "Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko ..."). Comments like "his rule has been controversial:" and "Lukashenko's external and internal policies have led Belarus" although possible should be present in an article (I'm not sure right now) but definetilly not here. I think his name, data of birth, and terms of presidency is enough.
  • Early career section. The sentence " In the aftermath of the dissolution of the USSR, Lukashenko briefly returned to management of a state farm." is completelly our of tune. Last two paragpraph in this section does not sound good to me. But I can not suggest a way to improve them, partially because I'm not so much familiar what happens. About the fisrt elections I actually like how it's writen on his own page (Lukashenko's): "10 июля 1994 года после сложной борьбы с пятью другими кандидатами, представлявшими весь спектр политических сил страны, А.Г.Лукашенко был избран Президентом Республики Беларусь.", short and clear.
  • In first term section. Sentece "There were wide-spread rumours in Belarus that he was supported by Russian secret services." Rumours are not facts what encyclopedia should be based on.
  • Next paragraph (starts with "Although he won substantial popu ...") may be remove at all. It's about nothin. Suggest to add to the previous one that "He claimed during the campaign that he was facing a constant threat of assassination and that he had even been shot at. "
  • After this in the article turnes into an old newspaper. I think it should be focused on events which happed during his term with minimal comments. List can be 1) measure to get economy our of crisis; 2) suspencion by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund of leding money; 3) making tights with Russia; 4) parlament crisis of 1996; 5) referendum of 1996, new constitution; 6) closing down parlament and reelection; 7) first economical growth in 1996; 8) expelled ambassadors; 9) economy crisis of 1998, currency traiding suspension; 10) Probably idea about with Yogoslaviya worth mentioning; 11) There was in infomational war with Russian around 1997 (at the time when Sherem was under arrest). Menthioning of the weapon trade are inappropiate. Belarus didn't violate any international regulations. At the end should be general characterization of the term. Current last paragraph can a draft, but words like "liability" and "tense relations" must be excluded. Where are facts? His govenment and himself are critisized but "tense relations" are not defined. It may be tense for me but not for you, and may be not for him.

This unsigned comment was posted by User:Abyzov on 7 January 2006. Apparently the only contribution of this user My error, Abyzov also has around five edits on talk pages. --Valentinian 10:09, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Allow me a few comments to counter this statement. 1) What you are basically getting at is an accuracy dispute + comments about the quality of the article. I can't see any major NPOV problem in it. I *do* agree that the article needs (a lot of) cleanup, but that is beside the point. 2) The rumors are listed as such. 3) A large part of the "old newspaper", as you call it, is a list of transgressions against the constitution of Belarus and the rights of Belarusians committed by Lukashenka. You may not consider them relevant, but they no doubt are to the political prisoners in that country. I agree that the section could use a good cleanup though. 4) Given the nature of Lukashenka's dictatorial regime, the article is remarkably neutral. Remember that information about Belarus is sketchy since the country is deliberately shut off from its neighbours. A few points to illustrate:
All elections since 1996 have been rigged (no doubt, so will the upcoming election. The only real question is if Lukashenko will claim that he's won with 80 or 85% of the votes this time. The election on unification with Russia predicted to autumn 2006 will of course be rigged as well.) Freedom of association is not allowed in Belarus, neither is freedom of the press; opposition papers can not be "registered" allowing them continue printing, associations can not hold conventions (which they are required to do in order to be registred), students and old age pensioners are marched off to the voting booth and forced to vote several days before the official "election day", if they refuse to obey, the student in question will be expelled from university. Since the ballot boxes are not guarded by independent observers, this gives wonderful opportunities for the regime to remove ballots and stuff the box with ballots for Lukashenka. Telephone wires are still tapped by the KGB, internet providers are state-run and monitored. Evening news reports on Russian television broadcast in Belarus is replaced with news reports shot in a KGB studio. A few examples to illustrate the situation: Belarus TV claims that Lithuanian membership of the EU has resulted in an economic collapse (Lithuania's economy is booming); that the European Parliament expresses its admiration for Lukashenka (the opposite is true) etc. etc. No wonder that these stories are produced since the economy of Belarus has collapsed and most people are worse off than during the Soviet Union.
Given such a track-record, I think that the tone of an article about one of Europe's last dictators is pretty neutral, although the article itself still has much room for improvement. I'm replacing the NPOV with an "accuracy". I'll monitor this article to ensure that it doesn't suddenly become a propaganda piece of the Belarusian regime. For anyone wishing to read more about what is actually going on in Belarus, try e.g. http://www.silba.dk/ or many other newssites. Regards. --Valentinian 11:41, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Valentinian. The NPOV should be removed. As a traveller to Belarus and student of the country's history and politics, and given that my wife is from Belarus with family still living there, I can vouch that the information is accurate. The NPOV should be removed. Avraamrii 23:22, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
While I have not have any disputes with the article, I still would like to help fix the article up. Sure, we can remove the NPOV. On another issue, we should still keep the article at this title, but we can put a note by his name that says "In the Belarusian language, it is transliterated as Lukashenka" (I heard it as Lukashenka during the May 2005 Victory Parade in Minsk). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 00:16, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
That sounds fair, though I'm not knowledgable in the Belarusian language and don't know if the pronunciation of "Lukashenka" and "Lukashenko" sounds differently in that language. They wouldn't sound differently in Russian given that the last syllable is unaccented. I'm inclined to keep the "Lukashenko" spelling in the title primarily because that's been the common English transliteration and also I believe he's an ethnic Russian and doesn't speak Belarusian fluently. Avraamrii 19:33, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
The Belarusians I've talked to pronounced it with a final "A", so it must be very similar to Russian. Since Lukashenko is the spelling normally used in English, I agree with Avraamrii that we need to follow that convention. All Belarusians I've spoken to said that he doesn't speak Belarusian. --Valentinian (talk) 21:00, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Now that is cleared up, the second thing I am suggest that we do is go to the website of the Russian President and see if we could get free photos of Lukashenko. I found two already, but I think there should be more crawling around there. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 21:25, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
MosNews.com and english.pravda.ru have free photos as well. Here are a few that might be useful. I'd download and insert them myself, but I'm still learning how to use Wikipedia.
http://www.mosnews.com/files/655/picture.jpg
http://www.mosnews.com/files/6158/lukashenko.jpg
(Any news, articles and photos, created by MosNews.Com staff, are public domain freeware since the moment of original publication, so please feel free to help yourself, if you find any item on this website (including this very copyright notice) worth a reprint elsewhere. Of course, you are supposed to make due reference both to MosNews.Com as source, and to the reprinted material’s author, wherever appropriate.)
http://english.pravda.ru/img/2004/10/lukashenkof.jpg
http://english.pravda.ru/img/2004/02/lukashenko2.jpg
http://images.pravda.ru/images/newsline/picture.jpg
http://english.pravda.ru/img/2004/09/lukashenko.jpg
(© 1999-2006. «PRAVDA.Ru». When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.)
Avraamrii 23:54, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the findings Avraamrii. I looked at the photos and most were taken by Reuters or the Associated Press, so we might not be able to use them. I sent an email to the Press Agency of the President of Belarus to see if I could use their photos under a free license or I can launch an email to the Belarusian Embassy asking for public domain photos of President Lukashenko. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 00:58, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Gini index[edit]

He points out that Belarus has one of the lowest Gini coefficients in the world, indicating one of the world's most egalitarian distributions of income

Not true, it's not even in the world top 20. See: List of countries by income equality. bogdan 13:46, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

It seems to be now, according to UN and CIA Gini. In both counts its close to Germany. Obviously the Gini here is a deceptive number, it just means that it's a country were people are more or less equally poor. Mcleinn (talk) 12:17, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Batka[edit]

Question, how common is this nickname used? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 14:42, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Do you mean how common is Luka referenced as batka? Avraamrii 03:40, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 03:52, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
The title was created by Luka's spin machine, I believe when he first ran for president. You'll hear the term used frequently on the state run television stations (look here for a recent song performed on state TV called, "Listen to Batka" -- http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/2006/03/09/kult), but not elsewhere. If it is spoken in public by average folks, it's more likely used in a mocking manner, though you can find a few in the rural areas who parrot the propaganda from state TV.
Within the society, Lukashenko is generally not respected, partly due to his questionable education (he speaks with poor grammar) and also most see through the false claims of prosperity (the "Belarusian Miracle"). He will go on TV and say he's stopped inflation by decree, when anyone with a pair of eyes can see prices climbing almost daily because the government prints money as fast as the presses allow. The biggest factor in his remaining in power is widespread political apathy, even though most realize the elections are rigged. People just don't get energized. However, it works both ways; while the opposition demonstrations are relatively small, you see absolutely no demonstrations for Luka. The population also isn't informed about Luka's background and the scandals, such as the missing politicians and journalists. There's no non-state TV providing an alternative viewpoint and even the Russian stations are censored from saying anything bad about the Kremlin's ally. Most people don't know Luka put his wife under house arrest at their old village house not long after he assumed office and he's living with a mistress with whom he's fathered a child. There are rumors of another child with another woman as well. (Perhaps "Batka" is an appropriate term after all :-D) Luka's oldest son shot the national hockey coach in the stomach a couple of years ago, but again the public wasn't informed. I remember in 1995 during one of my trips when the military shot down the hot air balloon. Luka went on TV saying an old man and woman were piloting the balloon and were already dead from heart attacks so the helicopters had to shoot it down. The truth was that two young men were piloting the balloon which was blown off course during a race and were killed in cold blood. It was a political maneuver by Luka to curry favor with the hardliners in Russia by making him appear as a decisive, Napoleonic figure who stands up to the West. (that was during a time when he had hopes of entering Russian politics).
Hope that helps.Avraamrii 16:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it does, a lot. What I done is I made Batka into a redirect to here, since that is a nickname used by the Government, as you pointed out. I do see your viewpoint about the state TV because when I see TVR (albiet on an Internet Stream), Luka was treated like a diety (or like Lenin). I remember the hockey coach situation, and also about the hot-air ballon situation (since it were Americans that were shot down by the Belarusian Air Force or Army). Thanks again. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) Fair use policy 16:59, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Recent revisions by User 172[edit]

As I told 172 on my talk page, it'd be helpful if he discussed and defended the major deletions and modification in the discussion board before doing so. The changes appear unsupported, in particular the deletions. I just realized he/she was involved with earlier arguments over this article. Until a more conciliatory approach is adopted by our friend, I'll continue watching his edits and reverting what appears to be partisan and unsupported. Avraamrii 01:09, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

You will not be reverting anything without being reverted back. Your warring attitude will not be tolerated in wikipedia. Please state your objections point by point, not it one big revert. mikka (t) 02:59, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Edit warring by Avraamrii[edit]

Avraamrii is currently deleting information referencing The Christian Science Monitor, a very respected Western publication, which in turn is citing a World Bank Report, without reference to an alternative source justifying the removal of the content. At the same time, this user is restoring unreferenced commentary that I have correctly removed.

The insinuations of Avraamrii that I have a partisan agenda are false, ad hominem, and against Wikipedia policy (see Wikipedia:No personal attacks and Wikipedia:Civility). I dislike Lukashenko. Nevertheless, I will work to uphold the Wikipedia policy of neutrality no matter how unpopular the subject of the article. (On that note, if one takes a look at my user history, he/she will see that I am also working to weed out bias against Republican Party politicans linked to Jack Abramoff, although I happen to be a member of the Democratic Party.) I hope that anti-Lukashenko activists here will work toward including factual, well-referenced material in this article, and not fail to let their passions get in the way of following Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View. 172 | Talk 02:20, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I reiterate, you made more changes than this and anyone can see that by doing a diff. Nevertheless, I reverted your edits BUT I added your comments about the Gallup poll. Now, if you're going to insist those are the only change you've made, then I guess you should be fine with what I've done. I would also add that the Gallup.com site shows no such poll. The Baltic Gallup organization has been harassed and booted from the country, so I'm not sure how a foreign NGO was allowed to carry out such a poll. Other internal polls over the years have shown Lukashenko's support at no more than 35-40% of the population. Someone who's genuinely popular as he claims wouldn't need to be be jailing, kidnapping, and murdering opposition politicians nor rigging elections nor kicking out election monitors nor locking the doors and counting votes behind closed doors.
If you want to make further edits, please discuss them here rather than perform drive-bys. Thank you. Avraamrii 02:49, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Your observations above are neither here nor there. You have been removing referenced material. You have not been providing references to the unreferenced material that you have been restoring. Please do not politicize this discussion. Please see WP:CITE and WP:NPOV. 172 | Talk 02:57, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

GDP/Salaries[edit]

Corrected earlier edit to accurately reflect the article's contents -- http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20060317/wl_csm/ofree_1

Previous edit read: A 2005 World Bank report judged that "economic growth in Belarus has been genuine and robust," and the benefits have been widely shared among the population. Under Lukashenko, official unemployment stands at less than 2 percent, poverty has fallen, and the average monthly income is higher than in most Soviet republics, including Ukraine and Russia.

The article actually reads: A 2005 World Bank report judged that "economic growth in Belarus has been genuine and robust," and the benefits have been widely shared among the population. Official unemployment stands at less than 2 percent, poverty has fallen, and the average monthly income is around $200 - better than in many former USSR republics, including Ukraine.

I'm not sure who could argue that salaries are higher in Belarus than in Russia. According to an RIA Novosti business report last year (http://en.rian.ru/business/20050801/41069723.html), the average monthly salary in Russia was just over $300, while in Belarus it was $221. Add on top of that the fact that the Russian rouble is like hard currency in Belarus.

GDP - per capita in Russia: $10,700 (2005 est.) http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rs.html

GDP - per capita in Belarus: $7,600 (2005 est.) http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bo.html

Avraamrii 03:46, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Lavada[edit]

Avraami, you added the link to the main page levada.ru. You must provide the link to the page that speaks about the exit poll. mikka (t) 04:22, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The main page of Charter '97 quoted Levada for the numbers 40%+ to Lukashenko and 30%+ to Milinkievic: http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/ (accessed on 20 March one hour ago). No direct link was available to the actual figures, and the site has already been shut down again. Valentinian (talk) 13:11, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
The site is online again. Valentinian (talk) 21:22, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Run-on sentence in intro paragraph?[edit]

"Since assuming office, his actions have been described by detractors as authoritarian, though his supporters claim that his policies have spared Belarus the worst effects of post-Soviet capitalism, while his opponents, at home and abroad, accuse him of being dictatorial." One of those detractors/opponents clauses can be merged with the other/deleted. Agree? 65.33.156.96 13:48, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Statement from Gallup[edit]

http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/2006/03/20/gallup

Gallup/Baltic Surveys announces impossibility of independent and reliable exit polls under present conditions in Belarus 11:53, 20/03/2006

Independent and reliable exit polls would be impossible in Belarus, said Vilnius-based Baltijos Tyrimai (Baltic Surveys)/The Gallup Organization in a press statement. The group noted that owing to Belarusian authorities` measures, it had decided not to poll exiting voters in this presidential election in the country. Baltijos Tyrimai coordinated such polls during Belarus` parliamentary elections and referendum in 2004.

Director General Rasa Alisauskiene said that when the exit poll project was discussed a few months ago, it became clear that Belarus` security agencies were going to prevent any independent exit polls, harassing interviewers and coordinators, spreading slander about Baltijos Tyrimai/The Gallup Organization, and "trying to create an atmosphere of fear."

"Given the present situation in Belarus, it would be impossible to conduct an independent and reliable poll of voters, which would be free of pressure from authorities," Ms. Alisauskiene said. She noted that two Belarusian government-controlled pollsters, EcooM and the Belarusian Committee of Youth Organizations, announced the results of their exit polls before noon, although the polling stations closed at 8 p.m. "One of those pollsters says that it polled 6,638 voters at 2,800 polling stations, that is less than three voters per station," Ms. Alisauskiene said. This is evidence that those who had been officially allowed to poll exiting voters "did not have the slightest idea of how to conduct such polls," she added.

"70 deputies of the 110-member Belarusian parliament"[edit]

"In the summer of 1996, 70 deputies of the 110-member Belarusian parliament signed a petition to impeach Lukashenko on charges of violating the Constitution."

Is that true? Belarus still had a Supreme Soviet with 260 deputies in summer 1996. Parliament was established after November 1996 referendum. (check Country Studies, Government Organization of Belarus, 1995), also rferl says In 1996, Lukashenka held another referendum on a rewritten constitution ... [Supreme Council] was replaced by a bicameral legislature under the new constitution. Second referendum was in November 1996. --83.100.33.249 03:13, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Supreme Soviet is a legislature, i.e., a synonym for "parliament" and the terms are used interchangeably even with respect to late Soviet Union. The current Belarusian parliament is not called "parliament" either: it is "National Assembly". mikka (t) 04:23, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Still doesn't make sense. You claim his own "handpicked 110-member pocket parliament" (which didn't exist summer 1996) chose to impeach him? Why would they do that? Please give source to this claim. --81.197.44.33 16:55, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't make sense to you because you have problems with comparing dates: The "handpicked parliament" was created after new constitution, in the end of 1996. The impeachment petition was written in summer. mikka (t) 18:50, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

An annon placed an NPOV tag on the article. While he must be the one to provide the reasoning, but given the recent revert issues, miscommunications, blocks and the 2006 elections, I support the placement of the NPOV tag on the article so we can try and figure out what is going on. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 19:40, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't object this tag sitting for a while, but unless the discussion starts, it will be removed. You cannot run around and slap npov tags just for fun. Every political article is disliked by one man or another. mikka (t) 20:06, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Alright. I personally believe the only way things will probably work on this article is to perhap start from scratch, begining with the lead section. I think we should have a short lead, so it can be breif, but to the point. Though, should the Polish name of Lukashenko be used or not? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:31, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
From what I read, the possible NPOV could be addressed through adding some citations. They are almost non-existent, appearing as the author of the article holds the NPOV position. ZincOrbie 23:13, 21 March 2006 (UTC)




What?[edit]

"Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko (Lukashenka) the nigga with the moustache(Belarusian: Алякса́ндар Рыго́равіч Лукашэ́нка, Russian: Александр Григорьевич Лукашенко) (born August 30, 1954) has been the President of Belarus since 1994. "

^^^ Nigga with the moustache"?!?!?! I thought he was white,lolDzoni 01:19, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Welcome to wiki-world, full of trolls of vandals. You may laugh for a while. But after some time just click the "Page history" link and revert the idiot. mikka (t) 01:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
It was vandalized since it is on the main page; most main page linked articles suffer from a few days worth of vandals, then goes back to quietness. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:58, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Name[edit]

WHy is the article named Lukashenko anyway? The guy is clearly called Lukashenka. Is this just because westerners (myself included) expect every name with -a to be female? If this is the only reason, might I suggest a rename to his actual name? Cheers, The Minister of War (Peace) 09:21, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

The BBC, US press, US State Department, but most importantly, the official website of Batka ,http://www.president.gov.by/eng/president/profile/, uses Lukashenko. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 09:26, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Of course, I should have known he would use his Russianised name! :-) The Minister of War (Peace) 09:31, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Aaaah you gotta love nice coloured sites like this: "Lukashenko is notable for his in-depth understanding of events".
By the way, did you see that European map that site uses in the upper right corner? It looks like the WWI map of Europe with Greater Germany and Austria-Hungary! :-) The Minister of War (Peace) 09:35, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

"Lukashenko" is the real name.

corruption accusations passage[edit]

It currently stands as

In late 1993, he accused 70 senior government officials, including Stanislav Shushkevich, the speaker of the parliament and the acting president, of corruption including stealing state funds for personal purposes. Lukashenko's accusations forced a vote of confidence which Shushkevich lost. Later the accusations against Shushkevich proved to be without merit.

Whereas the sources claim (relevant parts follow):

ukrweekly:

When Mr. Shushkevich was removed in January 1994 as a result of trumped-up corruption charges[...]

osce-belarus report:

Ultimately, Shushkevich was ousted as head of state following a parliament vote of no confidence in late January 1994, on charges of failing to tackle government corruption that were brought by Lukashenko, then head of the parliament’s anti-corruption commission. A vote aimed at Kebich was defeated. The vague nature of the charges against Shushkevich – he was accused of ‘personal immodesty’ – suggested that they were simply a pretext for removing him. Shushkevich had become increasingly unpopular among the conservative parliamentary majority.

The first one is obviously and overtly biased and the relevant part basically is little more than a POV claim that the charges were "trumped up". Second one is much more interesting, but it claims that Shushkevich was accused of failing to tackle corruption. So, was he accused of failing to tackle corruption or being corrupt himself or both? This is pretty confusing. I'll attempt a rewrite to at least reflect more accurately what the sources say.--Poison sf 13:50, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

He was accused of both things. Valentinian (talk) 15:39, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Translation into Hebrew[edit]

Hi all,

I started translating this much-debated article for the Hebrew Wikipedia. Because it is so controversial i want to simply avoid the debated points (for example, is he or is he not a d***tator) for a while and focus on the undisputed facts.

Because of all the arguments, however, this article suffers from some roughness and contradictions within itself and its Russian and Belarusian counterparts (i can read Russian and Belarusian).

So, first question:

What exactly Lukashenko did in his military service? Was it The Soviet Army, KGB or both? At what times? And what's with the Border Guards? Is it Пограничные Войска? Are they a separate entity or are they a part of KGB of the Soviet Army?

Also - what eaxctly did he do there? Belarusian version says: быў інструктарам палітычнага аддзелу ваеннае часткі. So, can i say that he was a politruk? If yes - Was it the main thing he had done there or did he also catch some spies?

Thanks! --Amir E. Aharoni 07:55, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Border Guards is a not best translation of Пограничные Войска. It is not a part of KGB in any case. Instructor of political department does not catch any spies. I suppose he could be reffered as politruk, but I am not sure.--Nixer 14:29, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

--88.110.212.128 19:27, 15 May 2006 (UTC) The best translation is Frontier troops. And the term Politruk was out of use at the time. Zampolit was the term used throughout the Soviet forces. The Frontier troops came under the command of the KGB, but would not have been 'catching spies'. Though they would have arrested (or shot) anyone making border violations. (Some of whom may or may not have been spies!) Lukashenko did 2 seperate sessions in the Armed forces once in the KGB frontier Troops and once in the Soviet Army. Here's a brief military biography of Lukashenko from my forthcoming book on Belarus: "After graduation Lukashenko served two years in the Soviet frontier troops of the KGB. The frontier troops were particularly respected and trusted soldiers, working as they did right on the borders of the USSR. Lukashenko served as a ‘zampolit’ (political instructor) and held the rank of lieutenant. The zampolit was responsible for the morale of the unit, and also for the continued education of the troops, particularly in ideological areas. Lukashenko served two years in this role, at a time of great advancement and prosperity in Belarus. Working in this role, Lukashenko held Pyotr Masherov in high regard, and would later describe him as one of his “heroes (2)”. Lukashenko served two years in this position, before being asked to work for the Komsomol (Young Communists league) where he held various posts, culminating in his running of a chapter in Mogilev for a year. During this period Lukashenko also worked for several Communist Party bodies including the all union society ‘Znanie’ (knowledge), which he would continue to be actively involved in until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is interesting to note that the only political party Lukashenko has ever been a member of is the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Following its suspension in 1991, Lukashenko did not attempt to ‘change his colours’ or claim allegiance to any newly emerging party. Lukashenko went back to the military in 1980 serving until 1982 in the Soviet Army." (c) Belaruski

Redline's edits[edit]

The user Redline invited me to the discussion page for constructive criticism of his last edits. So, Redline: -Why do you not want it mentioned that Shushkevich functioned as acting president? -Why do you not want the topic of the 1996 referendum to be in the article? -Why is it so important to emphasise the reduction of numbers of protesters, without mentioning the number of people arrested during this same period? -Why put so much weight on the opinions of one single country (Russia), the only country in the world that did not find fault with the recent elections, as opposed to the opinions of a well-respected international organisation (OSCE) of which Belarus itself is a member? NPOV does not mean giving equal weight to two different opinions when one opinion is held by 190 countries, and the other opinion is held by 1 country. (Barend 14:47, 12 May 2006 (UTC))

  • From September 1991 till January 26 1994 Stanislav Shushkevich was a head of Supreme Soviet (Belarussian parliament), the position of president was first introduced in Constitution of Belarus in 1994 and the first presidental elections was held the same year ([5]). So i propose to exclude the "acting as president" part.
  • I don't oject 96 referendum being in the article. From current version one can understand that referendum was called solely by Lukashenko, that its goal was to extend the term to 7 years and give the president more power and that these questions successfully passed. Actually that referendum was a measure to resolve the confrontation between the President and group of deputats in the Parliament. Both parties offered questions for that referendum (President offered 4 questions and Deputats 3 questions) As the result two questions were supported - about the Independence Day and about the new edition of Constitution offered by Presidend wich gave him more power. No seven year term, just the four-year five-year term wich start counting from the moment of new constitution approval (1996) If you can read russian - here is the official results with the percent of supporters shown for each question [6]. So i propose to include the following about the 1996 referendum: "Shortly after that a referendum was held on November 24, 1996, where 4 questions offered by Lukashenko and 3 questions offered by Parlient were raised. On November 25, it was announced that 70.5% of voters, on an 84% turnout, had approved the new version of constitution wich give more power to the President. "
  • I think that it is important to mention that there were no hard police actions taken to the demonstrants (i'm talking about camp on the October square 19-24 March) such as actively discussed in the press before elections inprisoning for 15 yeasrs as terrorists and so on, demonstrants were allowed to stay at the square for five days and despite that only 10 000 of people came first night redusing to 200 last night out of 2 000 000 Minsk (here is some pics taken on Wednesday). Also you have to take into consideration that Minsk is traditionaly more loyal to the opposition than other parts of the country (see results of 2001 elections by district and results of 2006 elections by district) On my opinion this is the evidence that opposition is not popular among belarussians. Milinkevich often says about some "atmosphere of fear" to make excuses of low number of his supporters. For example I visited the camp on the square several times a day every day and wasn't put to the jail or even talked to by any policeman. Of course dosens of people were arested for 10-15 days for partisipation in the demonstration. But when this happens for example in USA nobody mentions "the atmosphere of fear" (for example March 21 2004 several hundred people were arrested in different cities during protests against Iraq war, September 26 2005 the mother of american soldier killed in Iraq Cindy Sheehan that was protesting against Bush administration was arrested. She and three more women were arrested again on March 7 2006 during manifestation and so on, look in the Protests against the Iraq War for more). So i propose to return the part about number of protestants. Insert something about March 25 demonstration or Kozulin arest if you want.
  • Two major organisations were observing the elections - OSCE and CIS, so both opinions has to be represented in the section about elections. Russia represents not only its own opinion but also the opinion of CIS, and Belarus is a member of that organisation as well as member of OSCE. And it is in no way 190 vs 1. 55 countries are members of OSCE. And 11 members of CIS (except Georgia perhaps) plus India, China and some other countries that recognized the elections. So i propose ro return to my version wich gives equal attention to both opinions anstead of current version showing 10 words for CIS observers part and 70 for OSCE
--Redline 20:23, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Formating of your first post gets corrupted, correct please--Redline 20:36, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Interesting information about the referendum, thanks. Since there's so much confusion about these events, I suggest to mention all such details in the article. --Poison sf 20:46, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I returned parts as proposed in my earlier post and added some more info about elections\opposition. Could someone please check the style of that part as i'm not a native english-speaker and not sure about the use of some words. I'll probably add some info on referendum later --Redline 23:49, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

On monthly income[edit]

To clarify the situation with the part of the article that states that "average monthly income is higher than in many other former Soviet republics, including Ukraine" i tried to find some reports/researches of international organisations on this topic, but unfortunately i wasn't able to find any current information (not older then 2-3 years). So I propose to use the Ministry of Statistics data of both countries.

For Belarus I found the document (in Russian) which states that average wage of workers was 558513 bel. roubles in March and 561512 in April and for office workers figures are 576643 in March and 577211 in April. Using the Br/USD exchange rate 2150 (National Bank of Belarus) we receive following figures: $259,7 and $261,1 for workers and $268,2 and $268,4 for office workers.

For Ukraine i found data (in English) for Jan-Feb and estimate for Jan-March, we can take the estimate (918,29 hryvnia) as the largest of two. Using the UAH/USD exchange rate 5.05 (National Bank of Ukraine) we receive $181,8

To compare the money income growth rate of CIS countries (except Ukraine as it uses different methodology) you can refere to the CISStat report for 2005 here and for Q1 2006 here

I'd put a large grain of salt into the "statistics" the Bank of Belarus or any Belarusian agency puts forth. Comparing the exchange rates of an inconvertible currency like the Belarusian rouble versus the semi-convertible Russian rouble or Ukrainian hryvnia is comparing apples to bananas. The Bel. rouble is fixed at a rate which doesn't adjust to the high inflation in the economy. These means that salaries (and, in conjuction, prices) rise but since the dollar exchange rate doesn't move, it can give the appearance that the average worker's wage has increased in dollar value. For example, the Friday, June 23rd closing rate was 2,143 Bel. roubles per dollar. But say that the current high inflation in Belarus drives up wages from 385,740 roubles ($180 according to the official exchange rate) to 400,000 roubles next month, which would give the appearance that the worker has seen his monthly wage rise to $186. But it didn't. Why? Because the currency isn't convertible. The worker can't walk into a bank or exchange kiosk and get the dollar or hard currency equivalent. They'll tell him no hard currency is available. I've experienced this every time during my travels in Belarus.
The Russian rouble and hryvnia are treated like hard currency in Belarus, which tells you much about the relative health of Belarusian finances compared to its neighbors. Avraamrii 06:25, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Avraamrii, it looks like your impressions about Belarus re somewhat outdated. Everything described in your post definitely was the case in late 90-s - early 2000-s but siuation has changed at least 2-3 years ago.
Statistical data in Belarus is not largely faked. Statistics from major international organisations be it WorldBank, UN, CIA agrees with statistics found on official belstat website. There may be some minor differences 1% here or there, but numbers are not doubled in bel.stats. For example GDP growth according to UN report (first row) vs. the same according to belstat (second row) in 2000-2005:
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
5.8, 4.7, 5.0, 7.0, 11.0, 8.5 
5.8, 4.7, 5.0, 7.0, 11.4, 9.2 
not a huge difference isn't it? The same applies for inflation:
2000   2001  2002  2003  2004  2005
168.9, 61.4, 42.8, 28.5, 18.3, 12.0 
107.5, 46.1, 34.8, 25.4, 14.4, 8.0
In fact, in 2006 inflation in Belarus is less then in Russia or Ukraine ([7])
The same with bel. rouble - dollar equivalent of salary rises not because some manipulations with exchange rate but because: 1) salary does rise in roubles; plus 2) dollar does weakens all over the world. There are no restrictions on buying/selling dollars, euro and so on in Belarus (in fact you should show them your passport when buying more than ~$27000) and exchange rates set by banks represent real situation on the market. Black market of currency existed in late 90-s due to differences between real and official exchange rates had dissapeared long time ago exactly because of this. I assure you that I can go to bank right now and buy $2000 without any problem. Of course some kiosks may not have such summ's right away, but in any bank branch it is not a problem. For example just 1.5 month ago i wanted to buy one expensive thing off ebay - it took me 30 minutes to grab my roubles, go to my nearest bank and put them on my dollar Visa cart. So I assume your info is outdated. --Redline 11:06, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
According to the UN chart, the inflation of Belarus is projected to be the same as Russia for 2005 at 10.5%. If you look at the chart since 1996, it shows inflation in Belarus way ahead of that in Russia every single year. My overall point in challenging statistics and numbers regarding a supposed "economic miracle" is that they are extremely misleading. They would give the impression that life is better in country A than in country B, when in fact people are fleeing country A to country B whenever they get the chance. The Belarusian economy is worse off and less dynamic than every one of its neighbors and that has been the situation the entire time under Lukashenko. Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and Russians are not flocking to Belarus for jobs and money -- it's the other way around. Russia is subsidizing Belarus with cheap gas and loans and keeping the Luka government from sinking. On the other hand, Belarus isn't subsidizing the Russian or anyone's economy. Nobody disputes that the current positive cash flow into the Belarusian government in the last few years is the direct result of Belarus reselling cheap Russian gas at world market prices. And it looks like this might be changing soon as Russia has indicated it's not pleased with continuing to subsidize the Belarusian economy. The impression being made that the current fortunate situation in high oil prices around the world is the direct result of Lukashenko's economic management is absurd, especially since one can see clearly that most of his 12-year rule has been of dire economic poverty with high inflation and little to no free market mechanisms.
I've not been to Belarus in the last two years, so I can't provide anecdotal evidence about the black marketers in currency as of today. I do maintain regular contacts with friends, in-laws, and former associates in Belarus and the country remains an economic basket case with young people leaving to find jobs abroad. I currently have Belarusian guests in my home and I discussed the currency exchange situation. They concur with you that, at least in Minsk, the black marketers hanging out around the kiosks have dwindled considerably. However, they are still around outside of the large cities. This is in large part due to the ever-growing police presence everywhere which clamps down on that kind of activity. There's also a problem with counterfeiting so people have become less trustful of non-bank exchange outlets.
All the best. - Avraamrii 00:48, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, my point is that although economy of Belarus experienced some hard times in late 90-s since then situation is constantly improving. If you look at that UN report for 2005 data you'll see that on inflation Belarus performed comparable or better than 7 CIS countries of 12 including oil/gas-exporters - Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaidjan. Same with GDP growth - comparable or better then 9 of 12 CIS countries. Forecast for 2006 gives us 7-th of 12 for inflation and 4-th place of 12 for GDP growth. So i clame that currently Belarus performs better then its CIS neighbours - Russia and Ukraine and worse then EU neighbours - Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (with still better GDP growth however). Nobody can deny that this success is partly based on favorably economic factors - low gas prices (hovewer Belarus doesn't re-export gas and oil, it refines oil to gasoline and sell it) and access to vast Russian market. But hey - we are part of Union of Russia and Belarus (wich is exactly the consequence of Lukashenko's political course) And it is mutually beneficial union - we have lower prices for energy, Russia has lower than european prices for oil/gas transit, it has some important military installations on our territory in long-term lease (including elements of strategic forces - ICBM early warning radar, communication station for subs and so on.), we have united anti-aircraft forces, wich give additional 400 km of friendly territory before Moscow and so on. Of course we didn't subsidize Russia, but many people in Russia think that geopolitical benefits is worth lover-than-european gas price for Belarus (considering that our consumption is not very big)
Next. According to CIA factbook Belarus has positive migration ratio (more people entering country than leaving) +2.3 migrant per 1000 population. 4 out of 5 our neighbours have negative migration - more people leaving then entering (just Russia has +1.03). Just 2 explanations of this phenomenon come to my mind: either people enjoy living in "dire economic poverty" with "economy worse off and less dynamic than every one of its neighbors" or Lukashenko rejime has installed watch-towers across the borders of Belarus with large mashine-guns not leting anybody out :)
If you have such opportunity - come to Belarus to see its current situation with your own eyes, because everybody has its own biased opinion and is trying to push it (not excluding myself :) ) The anti-Lucashenko opinions and facts was fully presented in this article, and i tried to mention some pro-Lukashenko opinions and facts to show that world is not black-and -white with Belarus being totally on black side. Definitely we have problems with human rights, economic factors (including dependence on cheap gas) and so on. But at the same time we have successes, some of them is the direct result of Lucashenko. So I wouldnt put him as a devil-on-earth as often western press does. Kind regards Redline 13:14, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Clarifications on reports/statistics[edit]

Life Expentancy in Belarus

This statement removed since 1) it provides no cited evidence and 2) it falsely gives the impression that life expentancy is higher in Belarus than neighboring countries:

"This stands in stark contrast to, for instance, the devastating early effects of economic transformation in neighboring Russia, where life expectancy has dropped dramatically since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991."

The reality is that there's no statistical difference between the life expectancies of Belarus and Russia, or Ukraine for that matter. In fact, the life expectancy is higher today in Ukraine and rising faster than in Belarus. The pattern, in fact, shows that the neighboring market economies are improving their social conditions faster than Belarus.


http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbsum.html

Figures for 2005, 2000, and 1998 respectively:

Russia: 67.1, 67.2, 65.0

Belarus: 68.7, 68.0, 68.3

Ukraine: 69.7, 66.0, 65.8


2001 figures:

Russia: 67.19 years (http://www.os-connect.com/pop/p1.asp?whichpage=9&pagesize=20&sort=Country)

Belarus: 68.00 years (http://www.os-connect.com/pop/p1.htm)


World Bank Report

I've added material from the World Bank reference in the intro so as to provide context of the report. The report is overall negative on Belarusian economic performance but the reference gives the impression that it's the opposite.


EcooM and the Belarusian Committee of Youth Organizations

I've noted that these are government organizations, which raises doubt about the veracity of their exit polling.

- Avraamrii 06:44, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Question about paraphrasing the World Bank Report[edit]

Currently, the article claims that the World Bank report says Belarus has a higher poverty rate than Russia. Please point to the section in the World Bank report that says that.

What does "poverty rate" mean? That people are becoming poor faster in Belarus than in Russia? It is my impression that there is less destitution in Belarus than in Russia, something almost all Belarusians will agree on. So the "poverty level" is lower in Belarus. What I did get from the report is that: "Poverty has declined over time and is low compared to other transition countries," and "The gains in poverty reduction are shallow and fragile." Fragile meaning vulnerable because wages might be rising faster than economic growth will allow. That is what the report says, and I suggest editing the article to reflect its assesment. --Rako

The economy section has links showing the most recent available poverty rates in Belarus are substantially higher than in Russia. The links can probably be moved up to the intro, but then the intro becomes long-winded again. The poverty rate is the percentage of population living below an income level deemed below poverty, as set by the government. The CIA government reports rely upon self-reported numbers from foreign governments, so the numbers come from Belarusian official sources. The "poverty reduction" is fragile because of low productivity, lack of a thriving private sector, heavy-handed government regulation and intervention in fixing prices and wages, non-diversified products for export, heavy reliance upon cheap energy from Russia, etc. The lack of competitiveness in Belarusian products can't be underemphasized; factory items are produced in large quantity on state credit and are included in statistics that might indicate large growth in industry, but in reality the goods are piling up in warehouses without buyers. In the past, they were able to exchange these goods with Russian gas companies in barter agreements, but the Russian side has been rejecting this practice and demanding cash payments. Recently, they've stopped allowing Belarusian roubles as payments. This all illustrates a Belarusian economic model that's fragile and not sound for the long-term without significant market reforms.
The 2005 GDP per capita was $6,900 in Belarus versus $11,100 in Russia. Workers in Belarus seek jobs in Russia, not vice versa. I know of very few in Belarus who would assert Belarus has a wealthier population than in Russia, except those who readily believe state run tv propaganda pieces. I've been a frequent traveller to Belarus since 1995, have done business there, and maintain close relations with Belarusian family, friends, and business contacts. All the best -- Avraamrii 03:24, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I would respectfully ask not to waste your valuable time to "prove" anything in the talk page. If you have useful references to back your interesting statements, simply iclude them into the article. But not into article about Likashenko, rather about Economy of Belarus. I would also humbly remark that some of your arguments are no longer valid. For example, "cheap Russian energy" is no longer so cheap for Belarus. Some other statements are also disputable. But this article must discuss Lukashenko, not Belarussian economy. Disputes of this kind may be endless. Let us just report what is published. I myself could have written about whole planes of Belarusian "men with bags" (sorry,I dont know the English word; "bagman" is something diferent) that have been flying to Turkey to carry cheap manufacturted goods from Turkey to sell in street markets in Belarus. Since it has been a flourishing business, I may dray two conclusions (1) Belarus is bad with supplying its population with consumer goods and (2) Belarusian people do have money to buy goods produced in Turkey. But all this is inadmissible original research, and misplaced too, just like yours. Mukadderat 16:55, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the term you are looking for is carpetbaggers. But, regardless, Mukadderat is right, the economy of Belarus has their own article, so any trading issues or issues about raw materials should be placed there. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 00:42, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

"Despite the poverty of evidence against him, his detractors in the west still insist on using what little they have to make exaggerated claims against him" ... "Lukashenko has been attacked by the U.S. as "Europe's last dictator" and leaders of one of the world's "outposts of tyranny," citing poorly substantiated allegations of restrictions" ... there is no conceivable way in which this is NPOV. It reads like a propaganda piece for Lukashenko. I'm no fan of the US (though that shouldn't really come in to it), but this is utterly ridiculous. Wikipedia is not here to make judgements on the merits of the evidence, but simply to represent the controversy as it stands. I'm tagging this article as POV and will keep it as such until the relevant changes have been made. JF Mephisto 19:23, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

The article has been tagged with the POV notice from time to time. However, I can state that the Secretary of State, Ms. Rice, has called Belarus one of the "outposts of tyranny," but it was the BBC who decided to label President Lukashenko as "Europe's last dictator." ([8]). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:43, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
And I can quote Iranian industry minister saying that the President of Belarus has an independent point of view and expresses it tenaciously, is there any reason for Rice to be more admissbile? Bogorm (talk) 06:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Copyvio[edit]

I noticed that several paragraphs of Lukashenko article verbatim copies with a copyrighted march 2006 article. Eg, Lukashenko's victory in 1994 came as a surprise to many in Belarus and abroad, given his youth and lack of experience or During his first two years in power, Lukashenko faced an increasingly vocal domestic opposition. Please investigate, who violated copyright: wikipedia or "Brussels Review". Thank you. Mukadderat 01:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

P.S. BTW, this "Brussels Review" text contains the contested piece about the eviction of opposition from parliament building by force, but I didnt add the ref, because, like I said, I dont know who copied who. Mukadderat 01:39, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

If you think it is a copyvio, remove it. I will try and do it myself. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:23, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Sure enough, the entire section was. I blanked it so we can start a new. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:34, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Section restored. Zscout, before deletion, you have to investigate. Mukadderat did not "think", he merely pointed out similarities. The wikipedia text was created between Feb 1 and Feb 19, 2004 during an edit war between very reputable, although strong-opinionated editors, who would not even think about copying the text from somewhere. FUI this was even before the brusselsreview website was created. `'mikka 22:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I mailed the copyright notice to "Brussels Review" per Wikipedia:Standard GFDL violation letter. `'mikka 22:43, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I see now. Thank you for pointing this out to me. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:28, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

ECOOM[edit]

Is the organization that is mentioned in the 2006 election section the same guys at this page? If so, I am not sure if a stub could be made about them (they have a Finish Wikipedia article. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 07:49, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Lukoshenko is the only real democrat in the world[edit]

The only one chosen by the people not as "the best from the worst", but "as the best!". He didn't let aligarchs to steal the peoples wealth from the people. M.V.E.i. 16:20, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

LOL Dliauchuk (talk) 06:11, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Bakersville, STOP vandalising the article[edit]

Stop vandalising the Critisicm section in the Lukashenko article. The paragraph suppurting Lukashenko you keep on deleting is completely referenced. There ain't a law stating only English links can be used. Russian links can be used to as long as they give the information (P.S. One of the phrases you deleted included an English link). This paragraph is needed for the NPOV of the section. "Critisicm", is not only bad but also positive criticism. If you would check other articles you would see that the Criticism section must feature both Negative and Positive criticism, for the good of NPOV. If you want, create a sub-section in the Criticism section: "The response of Lukashenko supporters to the criticism" and move it there. But thats all you can do. So stop deleting the section. Otherwise, it is vandalism. M.V.E.i. 22:03, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

First, please refrain of attacking my edits as vandal when imho they are not. Second, also refrain of using the talk page to express your political views as you did in the paragraph that your titled "Lukoshenko is the only real democrat in the world". This is not a blog, is a discussion page (and it shows that you have a clear agenda on this issue). On the references, I do not read russian, but i seriously doubt the reliability of the sources, just by reading the www headings. One at least, is clearly a blog. The source in English is a Reuters cable that does not substantiate your paragraph. I will delete them again. I took the liberty of editing the personal attack you used in the title of the issue. Bakersville 22:59, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Dear user M.V.E.i.: By the paragraph you titled "Lukashenko is the only real democrat in the world", it is clear that you are strongly emotionally involved in the subject of this article - which is in turn a good reason why you should be very careful about editing it, especially if your edits turn out to be controversial. Specifically, I would urge you to be more careful about the links you use as references for your edits. The link from lenta.ru (http://lenta.ru/story/father/) that you used in the section which user:Bakersville has just removed, did not, in fact, contain the information which you used it to substantiate. It merely included a summary of the undisputed events of the elections - the official results, the fact that the opposition disputed them, conducted peaceful protests, and that Lukashenko was inaugurated, and then links to a large number of other articles. It didn't say anything about the possibility of a revolt. The article was in Russian, which means that large numbers of the English wikipedia's users would be unable to find out that your reference was not what you claimed it to be. If the information you intended to draw attention to was in one of the other articles linked to, you should use that article specifically as a reference. If not, you lay yourself open to the suspicion that you deliberately added a reference to a Russian-language article which did not, in fact, substantiate your edit, on the assumption that English language readers of wikipedia would not be able to work out the discrepancy.--Barend 23:13, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Stop involving things not connected. My editing the article had nothing to do with that and i referenced what i said. My edits are noc controversial. They are REFERENCED, plus 2 of the referencs are written by opposition supporters. THERE AINT A LAW FORBITTING USING NOT ENGLISH REFERENCES. You can get a Russian to translate you. Low and weak excuse. The references that he is supported by many for saving Belarus economicaly is a reference in ENGLISH written by an oppossition member. M.V.E.i. 12:06, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
You were right about the Lenta link so i removed it. BUT THE REST are just fine. M.V.E.i. 12:12, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
One, me stating my opinions doesn't have to do anything with the article, because it's not there where i said it. Second, you dont decide what references can be trusted and what not. Third, what you added fits the election paragraph and not the critisism. M.V.E.i. 12:06, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Line should be moved[edit]

The line "He warned that anyone joining an opposition protest would be treated as a "terrorist", adding: "We will wring their necks, as one might a duck"" in the criticism section doesn't fit here. What does it have to do with criticism? It should be moved to the Election or something else. M.V.E.i. 15:12, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

main image/changed[edit]

What happened to the nice photo with the shapka (russian hat)? This photo is terrible; he looks like a wax doll out of Madame Tussauds - not very flattering... I have seen more lifelike photos of Lenin, snapped at his Mausoleum!

Dinofant 02:14, 16 October 2007 (UTC)DINO

It was deleted due to copyright issues. I thought the website, president.gov.by, was free enough for us to use for Wikipedia. However, due to the changes in Foundation policy, all images had to be deleted or made into fair use. In our case, since Lukashenko is living and in high profile, we are not allowed to use fair use of him. I also like him in the ushanka (I believe it is called), but the image has to be free (in Wikipedia's sense of the word). Sucks, but we are on their playground and need to play by their rules. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:19, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:

Comments:

  1. The lead needs to conform to WP:LEAD. Specifically, it must summarize all of the major points in the article which, for this article, would be about two paragraphs. As it stands, the lead is far too general and needs to touch upon every section of the article itself. A good balance for detail would be to imagine that people only read the lead to learn about the subject of the article (which is probably true often enough). What would you make sure to tell them?
  2. The lead an infobox say that he was born in 1953, but the first paragraph of the actual article says 1954. This needs to be standardized based on the references.
  3. This article has some serious issues with the lack of in-line citations, something that is very critical for the biography of a living person:
    "After leaving the military he became the deputy chairman of a collective farm in 1982 and in 1985. He was promoted to the post of director of the Gorodets state farm and construction materials plant in the Shklov district." (Early life (to 1994))
    The second and third paragraphs of "Early life (to 1994)," especially since it contains the POVish statement "Having acquired a reputation as an eloquent opponent of corruption..."
    The first paragraph of "Second term (2001-2006)"
    "In contrast, the CIS observers declared the Belarus presidential election open and transparent. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs declared, "Long before the elections, the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights had declared that they [the elections] would be illegitimate and it was pretty biased in its commentaries on their progress and results, thus playing an instigating role."" (2006 presidential election) — this is a direct quote! How can it not have a citation?!?!
  4. All one or two sentence paragraphs must be merged with surrounding paragraphs, because they cannot stand alone.
  5. I'm a bit worried about the neutrality of this article, although perhaps I'm just being paranoid. At first, he is called an eloquent speaker, then follows a long series of everything corrupt and wrong about his administrations. Didn't he do anything good during the first term? For his people maybe? He has a lot of honours, he must have done something that someone saw as positive. Maybe the problem I'm having is that his domestic policy is completely lacking in this article...

To give you time to address these issues, I am putting the article on hold for a period of up to seven days, after which the article may be failed without further notice. After this first round of changes have been made, I will review the article again, this time being more nit-picky with the prose (for example, in "Early life (to 1994)" "accuse," "accuse" and "accusations" are used consecutively) and checking to make sure that all the links are still working. Cheers, CP 04:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Fixing issues. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:54, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Some further comments as you edit:
  1. The domestic policy section is really short and, if you say there's not much information about it out there, maybe it should be a Level 3 section under another section, because there's not much to support it as its own Level 2 heading as it stands. I was thinking that you could put both domestic policy and criticism as sub-headings under a larger "Political regime/rule/something NPOV" section, but perhaps you have a better idea?
  2. The last sentence of the lead says "These include the closure of opposition newspapers, the disappearance of journalists and preventing protests against his leadership." Is that mentioned and cited somewhere else in the article? I couldn't find it and, if it's not, it should be, because the lead should not contain details that are not present in the body of the article itself.
  3. "In the aftermath of the dissolution of the USSR, Lukashenko briefly returned to management of a state farm." (Early life (to 1994)) needs a citation.
Otherwise, it's looking pretty good now. I'll check the links right now and let you know if any of the refs are broken. Cheers, CP 15:06, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Refs #23 and #24 are the same and should be merged under one ref name. Ref #41 is not formatted correctly - it needs to use a citation template or something similar — right now it's just a URL. In addition, this may not be something that you can control, but ref #14 didn't load (which doesn't mean that it's broken) and ref #44 crashed my browser. Just make sure to check those so that everything is working alright with them. Other than that, the refs are fine. Cheers, CP 15:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I nuked the third sentence you mentioned. I modified the last sentence in the lead. I am going to nuke citation 41 and the sentence, since I deem the website is not reliable. I put the domestic policy and criticism in one combined heading. I combined the citations as you asked. Citation #14 did load for me and ref #44 (now 42) did not crash for me. I checked to make sure all links worked this past weekend when me and Mark were formatting the citations. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:19, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, I guess I'm out of complaints, which means it's time to promote this to Good Article status! Congratulations, and thank you for your hard work! Cheers, CP 03:00, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:08, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Antisemitic remarks[edit]

Quoting from the article:

In October 2007 Lukashenko was accused of making blatant anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments. Addressing the "miserable state of the city of Babruysk" on a live broadcast on state radio he stated:
“ "This is a Jewish city [41], and the Jews are not concerned for the place they live in. They have turned Babruysk into a pigsty. Look at Israel – I was there and saw it myself ... I call on Jews who have money to come back to Babruysk."[42] ”
He added that the status of the city improved only after the Jews left.[43]

Can anyone make heads or tails of this? I can't axs the sources right now, but it's such a rambling incoherent statement that it leaves me wondering if he isn't losing his mind. At first he says that Babruysk is in a miserable state because it's a Jewish city and Jews are unconcerned for the place they live in. Then he goes on to say that this is why "the Jews" (who apparently comprise less than 1% of the population of the city) have turned the city into a pigsty (which is rather unlikely). Then he appears to continue to say that he's been to Israel and saw "it" [Babruysk?!] himself [in Israel?!]. And then for some bizarre reason, after the Jews have turned Babruysk into a pigsty because they don't care about the place they live in, he calls on Jews to return to Babruysk. Seems somewhat self-defeating to me. And then, to turn everything on its head, he says that the status of the city has only improved since the Jews left! This seems to beg the question "why then, do you want them back?!" Tomertalk 22:01, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

If i may be so bold as an unregistered user, does it make any sense to interpret him as rather meaning that the particular Jews in the city (why he feels the need to make the distinction of who lives there i do not know) are being careless with the state of the city and that he wants other Jews with some money to come there, keep it a "Jewish city" (regardless of how he may be wrong about that according to what you said), and improve it? --71.87.23.22 22:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
One of the citations in the article makes the assertion that there are fewer than 2k Jews in a city of over 227k. That's fewer than 1%, so it's not me saying it, it's the article saying it. As for what he's saying about the state of affairs in Babruysk is beyond me--it doesn't say in this article, nor is any explanation particularly forthcoming from reading Babruysk. Tomertalk 22:14, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps he had some truly terrible challah while in Babruysk and it affected him deeply. :) --71.87.23.22 22:18, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Tomer, I am still trying to wrap my head around it and finding sources that seem legit. What happened in that quote is that Lukashenko said several things and were pieced together by using the ellipses. It should be redone, but given how recent the comments are making the news and blogosphere, it would be hard to keep it stable. I also have a hard time finding sources for the population stats, so I will remove it now. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 22:15, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

This needs to be modified to say 'alleged' remarks as acknowledged above there is no confirmed source, and the quotes are certainly manipulated. Please note the variations in translations on various blogs news sites etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.77.165.7 (talk) 20:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The quotes used on the article page imply they are directly from 'the horses mouth' so to speak. Clearly they are not. Lukashenko said that this once Jewish town had been greatly invested in and improved, he did NOT say that things only improved when Jews left. That is a very malicous interpretation, not a translation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Belaruski (talkcontribs) 20:44, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


Батьку на царство! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.71.103.70 (talk) 23:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


It sounds like President Lukashenko is sending a message to the Jews that they are welcome in Belarus and an invitation to international Jewry to come back and invest in and re-discover the place where many of them have ancestors from.

Religion[edit]

I've heard he is Russian Orthodox or Belarussian Orthodox or agnostic or even atheist. Could someone clarify his religious stance? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.140.20.72 (talk) 20:51, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

In Belarus he's notorious for describing himself as a "православный атеист" which translates as [Russian] Orthodox Atheist. What this may mean is not known to anyone (not even to Luka, probably), my guess is he doesn't consider himself a believer and also slightly(?) dislikes any crurch/religion but Russian Orthodox. He sometimes attends religious ceremonies, but this is commonly regarded as mere populism. 212.98.170.115 (talk) 09:47, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't have any proof in news reports or on the website of Luakshenko about his religion, so that is why I kept it out. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 15:56, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

orthodox atheist means he follows orthodox traditons as a matter of nationalism and culture,not of religious belief. He is atheist but follows the church because he thinks it is important for the culture of belarus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.9.152.95 (talk) 01:40, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

He is definetely an atheist. See this article:[9]. He means by saying that he is an Orthodox atheist that while he is inside that religious tradition he doesn't follow their religious beliefs or even believes in God.Mistico (talk) 19:43, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Is he a communist or a socialist?[edit]

? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.40.56.50 (talk) 09:32, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

All Communists are Socialists, not all Socialists are Communists.
All juiceheads are gorillas, but you can be a gorilla without being a juicehead. Familiar? --88.89.69.104 (talk) 23:58, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

-G —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.24.150.207 (talk) 20:16, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

He is above that, he's a lukashist. Speaking about the economy of the country, so they are sort of moving to the Chinese model now, liberalisation of markets without democratization. Mcleinn (talk) 12:06, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I think he is asking in the terms of what party he belongs to. Constitutionally, the President is not a member of any political faction and does not run on any political party tickets. He can be supported by party members, but not elected as a Communist or Democrat or Socialist or anything like that. I would leave it as none. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 15:53, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

A Lukashenkoist — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.230.251.71 (talk) 23:07, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

vote rigging[edit]

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090827/od_afp/belaruspoliticsvoteoffbeat

I laughed. --Xeeron (talk) 22:27, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

the “40,000 protesters” myth[edit]

I understand that some members have a politically motivated desire to make the 2010 election look as sinister and anti-democratic as possible, but you have to get the facts straight about these four sources on “40,000 protesters”.
1. This one shouldn't be considered altogether. It is a UNHCR page quoting instead of a reliable news source a Washington-based “foundation” whose purpose is: “to inform and educate policy makers and the broader policy community about events and trends in those societies which are strategically or tactically important to the United States and which frequently restrict access to such information.” [10]. It is a politically biased organization, not an independent news source. So, out with it!
2. These two [11], [12] are respectively the Voice of America and MSNBC (not MSNBC really but a direct quote from Bloomberg here). So in reality it is VoA and Bloomberg. Well, let me inform you that we are talking about the same guy - his name is James Brooke, as anyone can plainly see since 2006 he has been stationed in Moscow to report for Bloomberg and as of last summer for the VoA as well. Leaving aside the fact that the VoA is more of a propaganda tool fully owned by US government rather than an independent news source, let's see how Mr. Brooke came about this magic number - “40,000”. Apparently he was there, but did he count the demonstrators himself? No, he quotes Associated Press: “Within an hour, the Associated Press was estimating the turnout at 40,000.”! Well, it wasn't. Anyone can see the number of AP and that number is 10,000. A little white lie, Mr. Brooke. Or maybe I'm too harsh, maybe AP did broadcast that number intially, but then seeing how preposterous it was quickly brought it down to what all the other major media guys were reporting. In any event, this “40,000 people” thing doesn't hold water.
3. Basically the same goes for CBC as well. As I already said in one of the comments not only CBC didn't have its own staff in Minsk that night (I checked this myself here in Toronto with CBC Headquarters), anyone can see how heavily in that article it relied on other media: “Reuters reported...The Associated Press reported...”. As we know already from these [13], [14] quotes both Reuters and Associated Press mentioned 10,000 protesters each.
Given all the above I'm removing the “40,000 people” part from the article.--Alvez3 (talk) 18:56, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Also with a lot of the edits that were added to the lead about crackdowns and things along those lines, that was an op-ed piece by Western European nations that previous had sanctions on Lukashenko and other top leaders of Belarus because of the elections. Most of that should be placed on the article of the election and an entire paragraph about that election in the lead is way too much. I know in our lead it is pretty short, but still contains info about past elections. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:59, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

File:Lukashenkosiganture2.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Infobox image[edit]

A new image is added for the infobox (Not discussing as the discussions in the page are not recent to hope that I would get a reply). Those who prefer the previous one may discuss it here. Aravind V R (talk) 11:44, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

And that image was deleted due to poor sourcing. If you think an image is better, seek out images from the Kremlin and we can discuss it here. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:09, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

This article is terribly biased and reads like propaganda[edit]

Lukashenko is well liked by most people of Belarus and has been very successful with the economic development of Belarus. All I read here is about how bad Lukashenko is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.93.23.195 (talk) 16:19, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

I guess you have managed to miss something while reading the news. You can perhaps start here [15]. Närking (talk) 17:36, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Lukashenko dead?![edit]

I can't find information about his "death" anywhere, which is purported as the 14th of February, 2012. However I did find a news article stating that the Führer of Byelorussia has given an order for housing cost fixing from yesterday. Order from beyond the grave? Possibly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.237.95.167 (talk) 22:37, 16 February 2012 (UTC) He's certainly not dead (at least last time I checked he wasn't). If it was in the article, it was pure vandalism.83.149.126.32 (talk) 12:40, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Lukashenko: better dictator than gay[edit]

Lukashenko recently said: "It's better to be dictator than a gay man." http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,819206,00.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 46.5.184.243 (talk) 11:57, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Problem is, one does not exlude another, so if Luka is a dictator it doesn't mean he's not a homo, dig?81.30.86.205 (talk) 12:23, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Last dictatorship[edit]

Comment from intro:

  • Belarus has been called "the last true remaining dictatorship in the heart of Europe" by the former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Is this encyclopaedic? A lot of people say a lot of things about Condoleezza Rice, very little of it favourable. We don't publish it though do we? She isn't a philosopher, commentator, academic or anything whose comments count. That remark is worthy of an internet forum. Does anyone else feel it needs to stay? Evlekis (Евлекис) (argue) 17:04, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

  • The quote is very well-known and quoted very frequently (by the British media at least) whenever Belarus crops up. I'd say it's definitely encyclopaedic (it's attributed to Rice, so is hardly thrown in as an anonymous comment) and succinctly sums up the world's overall view of Belarus and its politics. And of course Lukashenko's leadership. Malick78 (talk) 17:16, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's surely not only Rice who has this view, and she is surely not just a woman on the street. I can also recommend you to read the British historian Andrew Wilson's new book "Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship" [16]. Närking (talk) 17:53, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The point is that lots of people say lots of things about others. Ahmadinejad has made scornful remarks about the U.S. leader (whichever at the time). Publications all over the world agree with him; do we operate a principle whereby sources close to the U.S. achieve encyclopaedic status whilst others against them are dismissed as unessential? I'm no apologist for Lukashenka and I would be far happier to keep the comment but state that it is widely believed, or mention a handful of people such as Wilson who I accept has academic value. Rice alone? Merely words from an agent of one regime opposed to another. Evlekis (Евлекис) (argue) 22:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I disagree: the Rice phrase has been repeated in very many articles, which then go on to endorse the view. Any repetition of an Ahmadinejad phrase usually then goes on to mock it. This is not about being pro-US, it's just the US has spoken out quite a lot against Belarus and Rice's words have risen above those of other people from other nations. It is, of course, handy to have an English quote for English WP, rather than a Polish quote for example... Malick78 (talk) 23:00, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Lukashenka was referred to as a dictator, his country a dictatorship long before people had heard of her. That section serves to promote her importance on the world scale and I'd have been shocked to discover that any rhetoric from her was original. usually the nonsense that comes out of her and Bush's mouth (needless to say Obama) is not so much oratory but regurgitated nonsense that people who follow world affairs have heard from others millions of times before. This source [17] for instance dates back to 2002, three years before Rice's pronouncement; I've found others from 2004, people began to say it the very time Milošević was ousted in Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), "one more down, only Belarus left". Tudjman of Croatia was dead, and Izetbegović of Bosnia and Herzegovina only attracted negative reviews after his death in 2003. Suffice it to say that Rice neither introduced Lukashenka to the international scene nor were her remarks a seminal verdict that taught us what we didn't already know. All that happened was that media for the next few years began to quote her 2005 statement. Be that as it may, even if the comment is fine for the article, I don't see it as essential for the intro. These days, the MOS even instructs not to use birthplace details in the opening lines. Evlekis (Евлекис) (argue) 00:50, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Your source from 2002 is by JACOB RESNECK, never heard of him. Is he notable at all? I'm pretty sure Rice is more notable and therefore trumps him. All I can see here from you is an attempt to avoid quoting an American. There's no policy that says a non-notable European (Resneck, probably) is better than a notable American (Rice). Sorry.Malick78 (talk) 08:53, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Curiously, I don't know Resneck myself. You obviously do since you have surmised that he is not American; for all I know he may be. The American nation is multi-ethnic so U.S. identity and citizenship produces persons of every kind of colour, origin and surname. You may not know Resneck but the work was published, at the world's disposal and this was three years before she made her speech. I know the way Wikipedia works (have edited since 2005) and I accept that the source I have provided lacks notability but if I were to search deeply, I'd probably find something higher profile. For me it was way back in June 2001 when Slobodan Milošević was handed over by Yugoslav authorities to UN staff in Bosnia for transfer to the Hague that I (living in Britian) was day and night listening to BBC Radio 4 (and World Service which covers the 0100-0520 hours). At the time there was a lot of news and comment and Belarus came up quite a lot, and it was the familiar theme, "Europe's last dictatorship". By the time Rice produced the speech, it was enough to put people familiar with Belarus into a deep coma - same old song. I am not anti-American simply because I do not swear by the wisdom of their government officials, or because I do vehemently oppose their foreign policies. It seems that too often people jump ship wherever possible to uphold the principle that a U.S. spokesperson's comments is encyclopaedic. Rice throughout her time stopped short of declaring Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain as "dictatorships" or "non-democratic", neither did she impugn their human rights records. If she did, we could all have tons of fun discredting those regimes on their articles, instead editors have to be ultra-cautious. We are presenting the word of Rice as gospel when Lukashenka himself has refuted the allegations time and time again. Other sources will then reveal that there is indeed an authoritarian structure in Belarus but by this time, Rice's 2005 plagiarism is irrelevant to both the republic of Belarus and Lukashenka. It's one woman's remark towards an administration unfavourable to her government. Still encylopaedic? Evlekis (Евлекис) (argue) 12:57, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Intro[edit]

It starts: "Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko (Belarusian: Аляксандр Рыгоравіч Лукашэнка, Polish: Alaksandr Ryhorawicz Łukaszenka, [alʲaˈksandr rɨˈɣoravʲɪtʃ ɫukaˈʂɛnka]; Romanized: Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka; Taraškievica orthography: Аляксандар Рыгоравіч Лукашэнка, Lacinka: Aliaksandar Ryhoravič Lukašenka, Russian: Александр Григорьевич Лукашенко, [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ɫʊkɐˈʂɛnkə]; Romanized: Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko; born 30 or 31 August 1954[3][4])" - it's this far too long? It should be cut down. Why do we need a Polish version, btw? Is the Lacinka necessary (I know little about Belarus, sorry if that question is silly)? Can't some of it be put in a footnote? It ruins the lead... Malick78 (talk) 17:34, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I also don't see the point in the Polish and Lacinka variants. Lukashenka is not an ethnic Pole and who really use the Lacinka today? Närking (talk) 18:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
So I'll be bold and delete it to improve the clarity... Malick78 (talk) 23:00, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Latest edits[edit]

The latest edits on this page should be checked by the editors of this page, as the whole statement made by the Wu Bangguo is really important. Clarificationgiven (talk) 10:22, 30 June 2012 (UTC)


Stewart Parker[edit]

I think references to Stewart Parkers "The Last Soviet Republic: Alexander Lukashenko's Belarus" should be removed. The author is obviously fake, there are no records about who he is anywhere to be found on the internet, the book is published by Trafford Publishing, a self publish website. The book itself is more like a copy of Lukashenkos opinions than a history book. The reasons are discussed more thoroughly here: http://allbranwen.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/lukashenko-on-my-desk/#comment-742 178.23.6.97 (talk) 14:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Fair enough. I found another reference with the election results so I will replace it. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 01:13, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Lukashenko's ethnicity[edit]

He has Belarusian, Ukrainian and Polish roots? It's slightly confusing, because a while ago there was the following sentence in the article: "It has been alleged by the media that Lukashenko is of Ukrainian descent". Is there any proof regarding his Polish and Ukrainian ancestry, does he acknowledge it? Not that I doubt it, but it would be nice to have one or two additional sources focusing on this aspect. 19 November 2012

It seems to have been removed due to the lack of sources. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 05:53, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alexander Lukashenko/GA3. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 13:46, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Zscout, I'll be glad to take this review. I just posted a note about this one at WT:GAN that this article appears to have be delisted by an IP acting on her own accord, not by our usual process (see [18]). So I'm going to give it a quick look and probably a quick pass later today, though if I see any remaining issues we can discuss them. Thanks for nominating this one, and for your work on it! -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:46, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

On first pass, I do see at least two issues here to work on:

  • The lead should be expanded a bit per WP:LEAD; for such a major figure, a one-paragraph lead is a bit thin.
  • The word "claim" should be revised in most or all instances per WP:WTA. I note that it's particularly used for arguments by Lukashenko and his supporters, which is problematic. "Stating" or "arguing" or other words would be better in most/all of these occurrences.

Once you've addressed these, I'll do a close readthrough of the text. -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:16, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Certainly, I will rework on it. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:11, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the attention to the lead. I think the expansion looks good, but I'll look at this again after I've gone through the rest of the article in detail. -- Khazar2 (talk) 16:51, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Readthrough points[edit]

Second readthrough[edit]

Looking good! I think that took care of any major issues in the article. Since we've done a fair amount of rearranging and rewriting in the course of this discussion, I want to give this one a second top-to-bottom copyedit today or tomorrow, and again I'll note any points I can't easily fix myself. -- Khazar2 (talk) 20:12, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

  • I know there are still some dead links that I will try and fix and also just format some things around. I also may want to update the photo of Lukashenko from the kremlin.ru website from something very recent. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 22:57, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Sounds good. Dead links aren't a GA criterion, so don't worry that you need to get them all to pass this review, but still a good thing to fix for the long-run. -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:03, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "These policies led Western governments to take a tougher position against Lukashenko" -- It's not clear here what "these policies" refers to. If Belarus was unlikely to offer Saddam asylum, why would the US be angry? Perhaps cut this sentence and rewrite the next to start something like "During Lukashenko's second term, the US government protested..."
  • " Despite that, the crowd of demonstrators rallying after the election was the biggest the opposition had mustered in years, with nightly protests and demonstrations in Minsk. The turnout at the biggest protest on election night was about 10,000 according to Associated Press reporters' estimates." -- this language is almost word-for-word from a source someone added [22]-- please rewrite this so it's paraphrased.
Yeah, it had that dumped-in by an IP feel. =) -- Khazar2 (talk) 20:26, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "One opposition candidate and poet Uladzimir Niaklajeu (Vladimir Neklyaev), sustained a head injury during this beating and was abducted from intensive care by the Belarusian authorities" -- this still needs a reliable secondary source-- the current source doesn't mention the head injury, and is only sourced to a British politician.
  • "Lukashenko provoked diplomatic rebuke from Germany[119] and much controversy when he insulted the openly gay" -- the "much controversy" part doesn't appear to have a citation. More importantly, though, I'm not sure that it's needed; the fact that it provoked a rebuke from another government is probably mention enough.
  • "Though never confirmed officially," -- The Guardian story states that Lukashenko confirmed Nikolai's parentage, so this statement may need to be updated.
  • "There is no mention of Galina in the biography of Alexander Lukashenko published on the official presidential website" -- this doesn't appear to be in the source. Can a secondary source be found noting this absence as an important detail? Otherwise, it seems like a small bit of original research, and should probably be cut.
  • I'm sure this is true; I'm just not sure it's worth mentioning in the article if no secondary source emphasizes the fact. To put this another way, we could just as easily write that his official biography doesn't mention that he insulted a gay German minister, praised Hitler, or jailed political opponents. But this isn't a big deal either way--happy to leave this one up to you. -- Khazar2 (talk) 20:26, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Okay, that's it for the second readthrough. I'll start the checklist in a moment.

Checklist[edit]

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. I'd suggest moving the picture of Lukashenko and Putin to the foreign policy section just to spread the pictures out a bit more. That's not necessary for this review, though, just a suggestion.
7. Overall assessment. Pass--terrific work.

Russia mafia reference[edit]

With regards to the following text

Lukashenko responds that his policies are the only alternative to instability, and have spared Belarus from the poverty seen elsewhere in the former Soviet Union and from powerful networks of organized crime known as the "Russian mafia.

Objections:

  • No citation given.
  • Sounds conspiratorial.
  • Who knows them as the Russian mafia? WP:WEASEL

Thanks. KingHiggins (talk) 10:39, 4 March 2014 (UTC)