Press Review

‘Last dictator’ caught between east and west

Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, revels in his notoriety. Lucky are those, he says with a smile, who get to meet and sit down at a table with “the last dictator in Europe”. It is a sign of the 54-year-old Belarusan leader’s defiance of western political rules that he is ready to turn this epithet into a joke. It is also a measure of his confidence. After 14 years in power, he faces few internal challenges, in spite of a parliamentary election due at the end of the month.

The 10 Big Myths of Russia, Its Leader, And Its New Power

Far from being a mystery and an enigma—to use Churchill’s language—today’s Russia now stands revealed as a bully, wrapped in nationalism and cloaked with its leader’s arrogance. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s adventure in Georgia has produced shock and awe at the sight of tanks, planes and warships mobilized against a small neighbor. But Russia has always been a great mythmaker—from setting up Potemkin villages in the 18th century to fomenting great fear that Sovietism would conquer the world after 1945. Here are 10 of the biggest myths about today’s Russia:

US Ready for Better Relations With Belarus

The United States said Friday it is prepared for “significant” improvement in the chilly relationship with Belarus, but will be looking closely at the conduct of elections in that country next month as well as other issues. Belarus this month released what were believed to be its last three political prisoners. VOA’s David Gollust reports from the State Department.