Author. Famous in his native Belarus, a former Soviet state. Originally favored by the Communist Party, he fell out of favor with Soviet authorites and their successor in the new state of Belarus. Later in life, he took up another struggle, this time against the leader of Belarus, which became a separate country in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lukashenko was elected as the first president of Belarus in 1994. As he strengthened his grip on power, he came under pressure and finally emigrated in 1998. He never called himself a political exile. He spoke openly, however, about Lukashenko's government, which he frequently referred to as "the regime." He objected to what he called Lukashenko's heavy-handedness with Belarussian society and contended that freedoms, hard-won during the struggles of the late 1980s and early 1990s, were being taken away. After he left Belarus, he lived in Finland, then in Germany and finally in the Czech Republic. His funeral was attended by over 50,000 people.
Bio by: Joe Walker