What is Alexander Lukashenko’s Net Worth?
Alexander Lukashenko is a Belarusian politician who has an alleged net worth of $10 billion. Like Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko has denied being extremely wealthy and instead insists he is a modest public servant with a modest public servant’s net worth. As we detail later in this article, there have been accusations dating back to at least 2006 that Lukashenko has enriched himself to the tune of billions of dollars hidden in bank accounts in Switzerland or Dubai. He denies these allegations.
Alexander Lukashenko has served as the leader of Belarus since 1994. As the head of an authoritarian government, he has called himself Europe’s “last dictator,” and has become notorious for rigging his country’s elections and violently suppressing dissidents. As a result, Lukashenko is not recognized as the legitimate Belarusian president by the US, UK, or EU.
Early Life and Education
Alexander Lukashenko was born on August 31, 1954 in the Kopys settlement of what was then the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. He was raised by a single mother named Ekaterina who worked various jobs, including on a railway, at a flax factory, and at a construction site. For his education, Lukashenko went to Alexandria secondary school, and later graduated from the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute. He went on to study at the Belarusian Agricultural Academy, graduating in 1985.
From 1975 to 1977, Lukashenko served in the Border Guard as an instructor with the Western Frontier District. Following this, he led an All-Union Leninist Young Communist League chapter, and then joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. From 1980 to 1982, Lukashenko served in the Soviet Army as a deputy political officer.
After his time serving in the military, Lukashenko became the deputy chairman of a collective farm. A few years after that, he was promoted to director of the Gorodets state farm and construction plant in Shklow. Later, in 1990, Lukashenko was elected as Deputy to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus. Due to his reputation for being tough on corruption, he was subsequently named interim chairman of the Belarusian parliament’s anti-corruption committee, a position he held until 1994.
Leader of Belarus, Part 1
In early 1994, a new Belarusian constitution enabled the country to have its first-ever democratic presidential election. Lukashenko went on to win the first round with 45.1% of the vote and the second round with 80.1%. One of his first actions as leader was to call a referendum to create a Union State between Belarus and Russia. This was met with much dispute, and in 1996, deputies of the Belarusian parliament signed a petition to impeach Lukashenko. However, a new referendum was issued, and Lukashenko was able to amend the constitution to prevail. He subsequently assembled a new parliament of those who had proved their loyalty to him. In the late 90s, Lukashenko took control of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, and fired the entire leadership. He also began denouncing foreign governments for conspiring against his country.
In 2001, Lukashenko was reelected. A few years later, he made a televised address announcing plans to abolish presidential term limits, which was ultimately approved. Lukashenko was then reelected in 2006. This time, opposition groups were vocal in their protests, and held large-scale nightly demonstrations in Minsk. The OSCE declared that the election had failed to meet the standards of a free democratic election.
Leader of Belarus, Part 2
The 2010 Belarusian presidential election was a particularly tumultuous and violent one; on the day of the election, two opposition candidates were severely beaten by police, while opposition protestors tried to storm the main government building. Numerous opposition candidates, protestors, and members of the media ended up being arrested, with Lukashenko ultimately winning reelection. Consequently, the EU renewed its travel ban to prohibit Lukashenko and over 150 of his associates from coming to EU nations. Despite all the pushback, Lukashenko held on to power for a fifth term starting in 2015. During this term, he significantly advanced military relations between Belarus and Russia, and fired various officials on account of alleged corruption.
Lukashenko began his sixth term in the summer of 2020, sparking mass protests all throughout Belarus. Additionally, members of the European Parliament sent out a joint statement saying that they did not acknowledge Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus; they were soon joined by the UK, US, and Canada. In 2021, Russian security services claimed to have thwarted an assassination attempt on Lukashenko, and two suspects were detained at his behest.
Personal Wealth/Wikileaks Revelations
According to cables released by wikileaks, in 2006 US diplomats believed that Alexander Lukashenko was the richest citizen in Belarus with a personal net worth that was at least $9 billion. The cables went on to claim that Lukashenko is the richest of all the oligarchs in Belarus citing a report that ranked the richest people. Speaking of a list that showed the 50 richest people in Belarus, the diplomat bluntly stated:
“Those listed had the opportunity to enrich themselves, and evidence indicates that many did so.“
A documentary produced by Poland-based opposition news service NEXTA claimed to highlight some of Lukashenko’s vast personal luxuries. The film claimed that the Belarusian dictator has allegedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars on extremely luxurious personal mansions, private plans and Rolls-Royces and Maybachs.
In response to the video, during a factor tour, Lukashenko denied being Belarus’ richest citizen with many palaces:
“I want you to understand: I have been working as president for a quarter of a century, and if there were already some billions, as they say, or palaces, I would have already been torn to pieces from all sides. I did not steal anything from my state, I did not take anything.“
The film claimed that Lukashenko spent $250 million building his palace in Minsk and owns approximately 17 personal residences. The video has nearly 7 million views as of this writing:
Early on in his leadership, Lukashenko expressed a desire to keep many industries under government control, improve citizens’ social welfare, and overall to recover the Russification policies of the Soviet era. Under the guise of this, he has consolidated his power through numerous autocratic decrees and rigged elections. Moreover, Lukashenko is known to violently crack down on political dissidents, often subjecting them to torture, sexual assault, and various forms of psychological abuse, as well as murder. In early 2021, the EU Observer reported that Belarusian secret services had planned to assassinate dissidents abroad, as well.
In international relations, Lukashenko led concerted efforts to establish a Union State with Russia. However, relations between the countries have significantly eroded due to political and economic tensions. Despite this, Lukashenko still allowed Russian forces to invade Ukraine from his country’s territory in 2022. Overall, Lukashenko promotes an authoritarian state; he has named Hitler’s Nazi Germany as a model for the government of Belarus.
In 1975, Lukashenko wed his high school sweetheart Galina Zhelnerovich; the couple had a son named Viktor later that year. In 1980, they had a second son named Dmitry. Although still married, Lukashenko and Zhelnerovich have been estranged from one another since the former became president in 1994. From an extramarital affair, Lukashenko had another son named Nikolai in 2004.