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Belarus’s Struggle to Escape Its Soviet Past Pushes It Into Russia’s Embrace

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The long rule of Alexander Lukashenko, the embattled president of Belarus, has left his country economically depleted and reliant on Russia, largely trapped in its Soviet-era past and likely bound to Moscow for many years to come.

Mr. Lukashenko, Belarus’s president for 26 years and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has presided over a top-down political and economic system that he tightly controls, with much of the economy still in the hands of the state.

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