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Alexander Lukashenko, Soviet-style autocrat on Europe's doorstep

Known for his folksy charisma and eccentric style, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko seems to have recently edged his nation in from the cold, balancing off long-standing ally Russia and the West over the crisis in neighbouring UkraineOnce described by the US as presiding over Europe’s “last true remaining dictatorship”, President Alexander Lukashenko has kept Belarus in international isolation for more than two decades. Known for his folksy charisma and eccentric style, the mustachioed leader, however, seems to have recently edged his nation of 9.5 million in from the cold, balancing off long-standing ally Russia and the West over the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine. Since Lukashenko was first elected in 1994, Belarus remains arguably the most Soviet of the former USSR republics.

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