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Lukashenko and sons

Pavel Latushka: Deputy head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

Not long ago, a meeting took place in the United Arab Emirates between Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the head of the world's wealthiest family, and dictator Lukashenko, the leader of Belarus and a member of one of the richest families in the country.

Lukashenko's primary source of wealth is his power. Through the unlawful seizure of unlimited power, he manages to amass enormous wealth that surpasses the wildest dreams of many successful businessmen in Belarus and abroad.

Lukashenko has established a vast personal business empire known as the "Presidential administration." Ostensibly a government organization, it serves the sole purpose of meeting the needs of one person. It operates as a separate state within the country, freely exploiting the national heritage and most lucrative businesses.

Another method employed by Lukashenko to accumulate wealth is the distribution of various privileges to those in his inner circle. Through secretive and exclusive decrees, he grants free land for long-term leases or outright ownership, exempts individuals from taxes and other financial obligations to the state, and provides numerous other preferential treatments. These advantages create non-competitive benefits for the chosen few close to him, enabling them to generate substantial profits. These profits are subsequently funneled abroad and deposited into secret accounts held by Lukashenko's family and inner circle.

Lukashenko's business interests are not confined to Belarus alone; he also has economic stakes outside the country. Numerous trading houses and companies trade products from Belarusian state-owned enterprises, with the majority of the profits flowing directly to Lukashenko's family, while some are retained by his associates.

One such example is AFTRADE, a company registered in the UAE, associated with Alexander Zingman and Viktor Sheiman. Similar entities exist across Asia and Africa, engaged in trading weapons, fertilizers, petroleum products, and mining diamonds and gold. All of these operations are controlled by Lukashenko, his sons, and individuals within the dictator's inner circle.

Over his long 30-year rule, Lukashenko's business empire has expanded significantly, effectively becoming a closed joint-stock company known as "Lukashenko and Sons," encompassing financial and industrial sectors.

The kleptocratic family's interests lie not in counting the votes stolen from the Belarusian people but rather in counting the ill-gotten gains they have acquired. Consequently, one should not expect Lukashenko to build a socially just state. Instead, he ensures such benefits solely for himself and his immediate circle.

What Belarus truly needs is a state that upholds the rights of all its citizens, rather than one that grants privileges to a dictator who fancies himself as the master of the entire nation.


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