Vladimir Putin’s strongest ally, Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, has been in the news recently due to health concerns. During a summit in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, where Putin, Lukashenko, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were present, Lukashenko reportedly fainted. Belarusian political analyst Dmitri Bolkunets mentioned that Lukashenko, who is 69 years old, has fainted on several occasions in the past due to factors like heat, stress, and nerves.

After a well-documented incident in May 2023 when Lukashenko fell ill during a visit to Moscow, he was diagnosed with a serious condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation. He is currently receiving treatment and has been advised to avoid stress and anxiety. Russian independent media outlet TV Rain also reported on Lukashenko’s illness during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit this week, stating that his condition visibly worsened during the event.

According to TV Rain’s sources, Lukashenko’s health is deteriorating, but the exact nature of his illness remains a closely guarded secret. Belarusian political analyst Valeri Karbalevich noted that Lukashenko’s appearance has changed, with noticeable weight gain and difficulty walking. Reports suggest that he regularly misses events on Wednesdays, presumably for medical treatment.

Despite his health issues, Lukashenko recently showed a rare display of mercy by pardoning and releasing just one of the thousands of political prisoners. He hinted that more releases could follow, claiming to take a more humane approach. However, Lukashenko’s grip on power has been marred by allegations of rigging the 2020 presidential elections and using the KGB to silence his opponents.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation involves the formation of blood clots in small blood vessels throughout the body. This abnormal clotting can deplete clotting factors and platelets, leading to severe bleeding. It is often a sign of an underlying serious condition such as cancer or liver disease.

The health concerns surrounding Lukashenko raise questions about the future of Belarus and its relationship with Russia. As Putin’s key ally, any instability in Belarus could have ripple effects across the region. The secrecy surrounding Lukashenko’s illness adds to the uncertainty, leaving many wondering about the implications for the political landscape in Eastern Europe.

It is essential to monitor Lukashenko’s health closely in the coming days and weeks to understand the full extent of his condition and the potential impact on Belarusian politics. The situation highlights the delicate balance of power in the region and the interconnectedness of political relationships.