"It's Not a Joke!" Lukashenko's Reign of Fear Hits the Olympics and Beyond

The spectacular defection of Belarusian Olympic sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya shows how great the fear of the country's dictator Alexander Lukashenko has become. Particularly after a mysterious death in Kiev.
Politician in exile Pavel Latushko together with sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya in Warsaw. Sports and politics are inextricable was Lukashenko's message to the Belarusian Olympics team before they departed for Tokyo.

Politician in exile Pavel Latushko together with sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya in Warsaw. Sports and politics are inextricable was Lukashenko's message to the Belarusian Olympics team before they departed for Tokyo.

Foto: Wojtek Radwanski / AFP
DER SPIEGEL 32/2021
SPIEGEL International
Dictator Alexander Lukashenko: His tennis racket, skis and soccer cleats are on display in a museum.

Dictator Alexander Lukashenko: His tennis racket, skis and soccer cleats are on display in a museum.

Foto: Nikolay Petrov / AP
“Why do we have to pay for your mistakes? Hello? This is the Olympic Games. It’s not a joke!”
Demonstrators mourning the death of Vitaly Shishov in Kiev this week: "We knew that anything was possible."

Demonstrators mourning the death of Vitaly Shishov in Kiev this week: "We knew that anything was possible."

Foto: Pavlo Gonchar / ZUMA PRESS / imago images