- Authors : Emilie Iob, Pierre Chabert
- Master : 3171
BELARUS: AT THE HEART OF EUROPE’S LAST DICTATORSHIP | M6 | Enquête Exclusive
Belarus, a former Soviet Union republic, is the last dictatorship in Europe. Over recent weeks, the country has served as Russia’s rear base for its attack on Ukraine.
Its president, Alexander Lukashenko, ally and accomplice of Vladimir Putin, seems even prepared to commit his own troops alongside Russian soldiers to take Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
Exceptionally, teams from Enquête Exclusive bring you an exclusive plunge into this little-known country that, since its independence in 1994, has consistently shaken the international order. On May 23 last year, Belarus hijacked a commercial airliner in the open skies to capture an opposition journalist. Last autumn, it triggered a migration crisis when it threatened to open its border with Poland to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Today, this totalitarian state is completed closed to the Western world. The press is muzzled, the opposition hounded and gagged, freedoms shackled by an inflexible power.
Several days before the invasion of Ukraine, our reporters entered the country undercover, passing themselves off as ordinary tourists. They were in Minsk, the capital, when Russia attacked Ukraine after massing its troops on the border. When filming the everyday lives of Belarussians they discovered a violent, intransigent police state that throws anyone who challenges the regime’s authority into prison. Here, people live in terror and even the young remain silent. “In Belarus, you don’t talk to strangers, and especially not about politics, it’s too dangerous,” they confess. Our crews also visited a bordering country, Lithuania, to film those who have fled the country to escape prison. In Vilnius, we interviewed Svetlana Tikanovskaia, the foremost opposition leader. To get near her, you have to observe the strictest security protocol. Even abroad, this woman fears for her life.
Our reporters also investigated the Belarus president. For 30 years, Alexander Lukashenko has ruled his country with an iron fist and terrorized his people. His obsessions: remain in power by any means and authorise the return of Russian nuclear weapons onto his territory.
At the time when Vladimir Putin, his ally, is doing his utmost to overthrow the Ukrainian government, we offer you an exceptional journey into a land that is already a vassal state of Russia. A foretaste of what awaits the Ukrainians if they are defeated.