Sputnik news: Alexander Lukashenko has been president of Belarus since 1994, recently winning reelection for a sixth term in office. Belarus’s liberal opposition has contested the results, and staged mass street protests in a bid to ensure the ‘peaceful handover of power’. Alexander Lukashenko has opened up about the attempt on his life that was made during his very first campaign for president, saying that he never bothered to go around whining about it, but that the files are still present in the country’s intelligence services’ archives. “Would you like to know that I was shot at during the first elections?” Lukashenko said, speaking with a group of journalists from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Moldova on Friday. “Later I discovered that some ‘well-wishers’ had approached my opponent, [Vyacheslav] Kebich, the two of us had made it to the second round, and proposed an idea: ‘we shoot up your car and Lukashenko’s; you remain alive, and Lukashenko dies’,” the Belarusian president added.
According to Lukashenko, the attack would have been blamed on Belarus’s nascent nationalist elements, including Zenon Poznyak and Stanislav Shushkevich, because both he and Kebich were considered independent, moderate alternatives.
The assassination attempt, which took place on the night of June 17, 1994, was mentioned in Belarusian media coverage at the time, and in New York Times coverage of the Belarusian election.