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Treated like a ‘toy’: Another Belarusian athlete on life under Lukashenko

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Reuters

By Margaryta Chornokondratenko KYIV (Reuters) – After Konstantin Yakovlev’s handball team won the Belarusian championship in 2007, they were about to go on holiday in the off season when they were told to stay put and wait for a special visitor: President Alexander Lukashenko. Yakovlev, 36, recalls how his team had to put their kit on and hold a pretend practice session that Lukashenko could watch. They were also given special instructions beforehand on how to speak to the 66-year-old president. “We all want to go on vacation, and instead we had to wait for granddad, in front of whom adult men…

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