In an inteview with Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon on 7 August, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speculated about the likelihood of his escape from Belarus, as well as the use of strong-arm tactics.
The journalist asked the president: “If someone, without saying names, will hanker after the Belarusian territory, will you, as a president, give the order to defend and shoot without hesitation?”
“I will never start shooting first,” Lukashenko replied. “This is the stupidest thing one can do and it will be a gift to the enemies. There are many options before the shooting. But if all variants of this hybrid war are exhausted – without a doubt.”
Lukashenko also commented on the “idle talk” that he would have to flee the country.
“And these idle talks that Lukashenko, God forbid, will do something… He will have to run there, he will have to run here. Lukashenko will never run anywhere, and my children will not run anywhere. You understand?
This is my feature. Do you know why? Those who have full pockets are running. Why should I run? Well, okay, I ran… Well, even to China. God forbid, of course (laughs). This is a completely different climate, a different country.”
“You didn’t say Moscow,” Dmitry Gordon noted. “Not Rostov, not Moscow.”
“I’m not even talking about Moscow. There is nothing to do without money. And I have no money, do you understand? I have no money to run and live there, like Yanukovych (the president of Ukraine who was removed from the office in the 2014 revolution. He currently lives in exile in Russia – BelarusFeed note).
Do you understand? I do not have it, but that is not the main point. This is important because I also have children. But that’s not the point too. The main thing is my beliefs. This is my land and I will not run. And people need to know that I will not run. Therefore, I will never have to run,” the head of state said.
During the interview, Lukashenko also spoke on Belarus’ relations with Russia, Russian and Ukrainian presidents, the Crimea, recently detained Russian mercenaries, an ongoing election campaign in Belarus and candidates, his family and how he recovered from COVID-19.