Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 65

Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s partner as gatherer of "Slavic lands," Aleksandr Lukashenko, has just reaffirmed his view of the Nazi as well as the Soviet Communist system. Addressing a conference of provincial officials, held in Minsk and broadcast by Belarusan and Russian television, Lukashenko was shown saying, in part: "I don’t want to say that everything connected with Adolf Hitler was bad. The most complete idiot was in power, he annihilated so many people. But he united the nation. United it through strict authority. Don’t reproach me for wanting to have in Belarus serious, tough authority. At certain stages in various countries, not only in Belarus but also in our Soviet Union, all its former territory, we shall not overcome the crisis without authority." Lukashenko then claimed with undisguised satisfaction that "the people of Belarus are saying: Mr. President, give us a dictatorship, give us Stalin’s times."

The Belarusan president announced on the spot that he would revive Lenin’s Subbotniks — Saturdays of unpaid mandatory labor on public projects — and called the first Subbotnik for April 22, Lenin’s birthday. Turning to the agricultural officials in the audience, Lukashenko warned that he would watch their performance by constantly hovering above the fields "in the helicopter that Yeltsin gave me as his gift."

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