Alexander Lukashenko is the offspring of another universe.
He graduated from the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute (now Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University) in 1975, after 4 years studying there and the Belarusian Agricultural Academy in Horki in 1985.
He served in the Border Guard (frontier troops) from 1975 to 1977, where he was an instructor of the political department of military unit No. 2187 of the Western Frontier District in Brest and in the Soviet Army from 1980 to 1982. In addition, he led an All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (Komsomol) chapter in Mogilev from 1977 to 1978. While in the Soviet Army, Lukashenko was a deputy political officer of the 120th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which was based in Minsk. He later rejoined as a tank specialist.
In 1979, he joined the ranks of the CPSU. After leaving the military, he became the deputy chairman of a collective farm in 1982 and in 1985, he was promoted to the post of director of the Gorodets state farm and construction materials plant in the Shkloŭ district. In 1987, he was appointed as the director of the Gorodets state farm in Shkloŭ district and in early 1988, was one of the first in Mogilev Region to introduce a leasing contract to a state farm.
The Soviet system, of which Belarus was a component until the USSR fell apart in 1991, functioned to advance non-entities like Lukashenko. In some ways, like making a university education available to those of hardscrabble upbringings, this was admirable.
And, glancing at Lukashenko’s CV, it can be seen that he knew exactly how the bread was buttered. In short, he gravitated to the political organizations attached to the military and agriculture, proving his bona fides in these groupings, where the real power resided. It’s entirely reasonable to imagine that had the USSR not collapsed, Lukashenko still would have emerged as a regional power broker.
How much any of this matters now is an open question. This article explains it quite well without quoting the late Kenny Rogers (“The Gambler”).
We also can assume that Lukashenko has a nest egg in the Bank of the Kremlin should event require relocation.
‘We will perish’: embattled Lukashenko sends SOS to Putin, by Andrew Roth (The Guardian)
Belarusian leader seeks Kremlin support against external threats as analysts predict an end to his rule
… Putin has stopped short of offering support or an endorsement of Lukashenko, who is facing the gravest crisis of his career. It is likely that Moscow will wait and see whether Lukashenko can survive the next weeks or even days, as protests and labour strikes grow and pressure mounts on him to leave office.
“Now it’s clear that Lukashenko’s era is over, and I think that’s clear for everyone in Moscow, including in the Kremlin,” said Dmitry Suslov, a professor and foreign affairs expert at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics.
Even if the Belarusian leader does limp through this crisis, Suslov said, his model of president-for-life probably will not. People around Lukashenko are reported to have already sounded out the Kremlin on fleeing to Russia if he is deposed, according to a Bloomberg report …