So it’s not really on the beat, but I can’t help noting, with Belarus in the headlines for the first time in years, that its dictator had impeccable timing last time he rigged an election.
I was covering the Eastern European country, known as “Europe’s last dictatorship,” back in September 2001. The autocrat, Alexander Lukashenko, “won” reelection on September 9, 2001, to wide international criticism. It was a depressing scene, as I wrote at the time. But the U.S. and Europe were starting to talk about ramping up the pressure on him.
Two days later came 9/11, and tinpot Eastern European dictators were the the least of anybody’s worries.
Anyway, for the two people who are interested, here’s a Belarus blog with some links.