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Lukashenka, help!

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Photo: president.gov.by

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has personally stood up for the teacher of Homiel school # 15 Liudmila Chatvertkova. She was fired after a scandalous video, where she shakes her desk over the head of a pupil shouting: "I'm going to jail, and you're getting screwed!" But Lukashenka decided that it was all the spoiled children, smartphones and the Internet who were to blame. Chatvertkova was reinstated at work, the school director was removed, the officials were reprimanded, and the fourth-grader, who had a desk hanging over his head, was summoned to the juvenile affairs inspectorate together with his father.

Does Alyaksandr Lukashenka have the right to interfere in the situation and "decide" in favor of one of the parties? In our country, this is rather a rhetorical question. And in fact this is not the first time the head of Belarus has done so. While the social networks recall the old joke about the irreplaceable Lukashenka, who helps to sort potatoes over the phone, we remember whom else the Belarusian superhero without a cape had helped.    

Late night buyers of alcohol

In 2018, Minsk City Executive Committee decided to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages in stores from 23:00 to 7:00 starting from October 1. Selling alcohol at this time was allowed only in bars and only oon tap. But within 24 hours, Alyaksandr Lukashenka ordered to cancel the "ill-considered decisions".

As the presidential administration later explained, this decision of the head of state was due to the fact that such one-sided prohibitions, which in practice, instead of the expected positive result, brought about the growth of the shadow market and criminal sphere, including an increase in the supply of counterfeit products, should not be used to combat drunkenness and alcoholism.

Drivers who do not understand Belarusian

On April 19, 2019, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, addressing the people, unexpectedly spoke about road signs.

"Here I'm on the road, on the highway, called the Presidential Highway. There is a scoreboard saying "Follow Speed Regime". It is clear to me what the author wanted to say. But if a Russian man or a Russian-speaking Belarusian is travelling: follow... speed... But they understand "regime". Is it again (they mau thing) about Lukashenka's dictatorship? What did you want to show with it? Fifty percent of the population (I'm telling you with a margin) will understand what a road worker or a traffic cop wants... But the rest of them won't understand! I had to return the normal sign. Who will understand that this is a high-speed regime, not Lukashenka's dictatorship?"

A couple of days later, the drivers noticed "soft Russification" on the M3 highway "Minsk - Vitsebsk.  The inscription on the roadside information board was translated from Belarusian into Russian.

Belarusian photo models

In 2004, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was driving along Pobediteley Avenue in Minsk and saw a billboard showing top model Cindy Crawford advertising an Omega watch. For some reason, the head of Belarus did not like her.

"The mayor of Minsk shouldn't have these French women with dirty faces [Cindy Crawford is American - Euroradio] at every intersection, including where the president travels. Put the pictures of our girls there, and let them advertise our company's watches, and companies producing imported watches should pay our girls".

The next day, outdoor advertising with an American supermodel was removed from the streets. However, the "dirty faces of Frenchwomen" were not immediately replaced by righteous faces of Belarusian beauties. A commercial billboard was replaced with a "social one" for drivers: a herd of horses with the inscription "Slow down!"

But the process was launched: now you won't find any models from outside Belarus on outdoor advertisements in Belarus.    

 
"The People's Avengers" from Puhavichy
 

On 31 December 2008, there was a high-profile murder in the village of Pukhavichy, Zhytkavichy district. Three villagers brutally murdered Mikalai Makarevich and tried to burn the body. During the investigation they said that they suspected Makarevich of arson -- that the guy had been terrorizing the village and there was no other way to stop him.

The big case reached Lukashenka, and he suddenly ordered the release of all the detainees!

"Please, tomorrow take them to the village, I ask you to let them live in the village, and you keep investigating your criminal case... Well, he was a scoundrel, he terrorized people, the whole village. If the men did it, they must have been really pissed off. And the ordinary people are on their side... You can't put them in jail! Did a great man die? He was in jail for a long time, came and continued to terrorize the whole village," said Alyaksandr Lukashenka at a meeting on improving the criminal legislation in February 2009. 

In April 2009, the murderers were found guilty, but their sentences were much smaller than the prosecutor had asked for. And three months later, it became known that Alyaksandr Lukashenka pardoned two convicts by a special decree. They even had their conviction removed from official record.

 

Pussy Riot members
 

On 17 June 2019, two Pussy Riot members, Olga Kurachyova and Veronika Nikulshina, were banned from entering Belarus during their transfer from Moscow to Kyiv. The girls were told that they were banned from visiting our country until May 22, 2020. However, despite the ban, they were still allowed to fly to Kyiv.

The next day, the girls received a call from the head of the Presidential Administration, Natalia Kochanova. The activists provided the media with a transcript of their conversation:

- Alyaksandr Ryhoravich, our president, has learned that there are some claims against you. So, you should know, we have no claims against you. Olga Vladimirovna, please, the Belarusian side has no claims against you. If you want to come, we will be glad to see you.

...Well, you know, as always, our agencies tried too hard, it is not clear on what issues, so it happened like it did...

- We understand, thank you very much.

- I must say that it was surprising, simply surprising to us: why, what for? We saw it in the media, our president saw it, he said: "God, what is it? And what are our claims to them? There are no claims". There are no claims, so I am calling you. So, Olga Vladimirovna, all the best.

Later, Alyaksai Byahun, the head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration, told us more about the reasons for the entry ban: "They showed themselves at the 2018 World Cup [in Russia]. And in order to prevent the same story from happening, the ban was introduced. But now, he said, the parties "have found an understanding that this will not happen again".

Father of murdered girl 

In February 2018, during a meeting with the chairman of the State Committee of Forensic Examinations, Andrei Shved, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he'd helped solve an old murder which had already resulted in a wrong sentence. 

"I had to personally make a decision to return to the criminal case. It was in Mahiliou region. I was contacted by ordinary people -- the father of a murdered daughter. He came to me and said: Alyaksandr Ryhoravich, the court's decision and the way the investigation was carried out cannot be right. There are a lot of such appeals," Lukashenka shared memories.

He said he asked the father of the murdered girl to send all the case materials he had. "I sat down and studied it myself within 24 hours. I ordered the prosecutor and the KGB chairman to investigate this criminal case by all means. The scoundrels were found in Russia, they were brought to Minsk, the criminal case was reopened and the investigation started. Moreover, I was supervizing the whole process. And it turned out that he was the murderer. And he had been basically acquitted," said the head of state. 

Later, the details of the case became known: the body of Svyatlana Paddubskaya was found in early February in her own house. She had been stabbed 41 times. On suspicion of murder, Yury Ivanou was detained. At first he confessed to the crime, but after a conversation with a lawyer he withdrew the confession. In 2010, the court found him not guilty. But after Lukashenka intervened in the case, Ivanou was detained in Russia and taken to Minsk. In May 2018, the Supreme Court sentenced the man to 21 years in prison. Yury Ivanov pleaded not guilty.

Eurovision finalists

In 2012, Litesound pop-rock band represented Belarus at the Eurovision contest. They performed the song "We Are The Heroes" in Baku, but did not become heroes. The band did not make it to the final, taking the 15th place out of 18 in semifinals. 

 

But it all went down in the history of the Belarusian participation in Eurovision over another thing. There was a scandal during the national selection: the jury sent the singer Alyona Lanskaya to the contest, but Euroradio found the jury had rigged the ballot. Lukashenka ordered the creation of a special commission which confirmed the violations.

The head of state expressed regret that "we have to deal with such issues at the presidential level". However, Lukashenka stressed that "the issue of justice is at the core of his policy".

And rightly so, rigging the ballot is bad.