December 04, 2023

No Pictures with Lukashenko, Please


No Pictures with Lukashenko, Please
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko speaking at the COP28 in Dubai. Belarus MFA, Twitter.

On November 30, world leaders gathered in Dubai for the United Nations' annual Conference of Parts (COP) to discuss policies to mitigate climate change. However, regional tensions stole the spotlight: the Presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland refused to appear in the group picture because Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko would also be in it.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said, "This is called a family photo. Lukashenko does not belong to the family we want to belong to."

Nausėda pointed out the hypocrisy of "standing shoulder to shoulder with the head of a state that has become the springboard for Russian aggression in Ukraine" and pretending like nothing had happened. The Latvian and Polish Presidents, Edgars Rinkēvičs and Anzreij Duda, also refused to appear in the group picture alongside Lukashenko. 

Ukraine is not the only point of contention with the Belarussian head of state. Lukashenko's neighbors have long considered him a threat.

In late 2021, Minsk created a crisis at its border with Poland by tricking and trafficking people from the Middle East and Africa into neighboring territory. Polish and Belarussian police used excessive force against the migrants and left them in a "grey zone" in the woods between both countries. At least 200 people are missing, and 49 have died from wounds, hunger, and freezing conditions.

In 2022, after Wagner Group Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin led a mutiny in Russia, the mercenary army was stationed in Belarus. Minsk conducted military drills with Wagner near the Polish border, raising red flags in neighboring countries and leading to the mobilization of troops

The COP28 runs through December 12. Russian Presdient Vladimir Putin will not attend the UN's climate summit. Instead, the Russian delegation is headed by the president's special envoy for climate change, Ruslan Edelgeriev.

You Might Also Like

  • October 11, 2023

"Our Men Are Not Slaves; Bring Them Home"

Relatives of mobilized Russians are demanding the return of loved ones who have been at war for an extended period. Russian authorities are censoring their messages.
Beware the Partisans
  • October 05, 2023

Beware the Partisans

Russia has witnessed nearly 310 cases of arson, explosions, and sabotage in the past 19 months.
Stop My Flight If You Can
  • September 21, 2023

Stop My Flight If You Can

Despite sanctions, Russia imported Boeing and Airbus spare parts worth at least R18 billion in 2022.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Tolstoy Bilingual

Tolstoy Bilingual

This compact, yet surprisingly broad look at the life and work of Tolstoy spans from one of his earliest stories to one of his last, looking at works that made him famous and others that made him notorious. 

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955