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Side Lines: Valery Shchukin

Side Lines: Valery Shchukin
Favorite books or authors? "How The Steel Was Tempered" by Nikolai Ostrovsky. Also Jack London and O'Henry.

Which living person do you most despise?
I don't like dishonest people, those who first say one thing and then something completely different. Their best-known representative is Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? As the president's adviser.

How do you relax? What are your hobbies?
I've never known how to rest, but I relax among my children and grandchildren. Listening to children babble is the best rest for me. As for a hobby, I'm at war, and at war there's no time for hobbies.

What is your biggest fear?
I no longer fear anything -- neither prison, nor death.

What is your worst vice or extravagance?
I don't care about my clothing or food, nor my overall appearance, which is, of course, wrong. Almost all my teeth have fallen out. I could have gotten a set made, but you could say I gave up on it. I don't care for my health. Unless I'm falling over, I won't go to the doctor.

What was the best day of your life?
When I became a father.

What would be people be surprised to know about you?

I'm completely open. Everything about me is known. I hide nothing about myself from other people. Everyone knows I never change.

What is your greatest regret?
That I didn't apply myself in school, that it's hard for me to write in Belarusian. That for the last 15 years I've read so few books, since I had no time.

What has been your greatest achievement or accomplishment?

I'm known throughout Belarus through my work as a journalist, a politician, and a deputy. And that, without appearing on radio or television. I'm proud of that.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Absolute happiness is only possible in paradise, but I don't like the idea of paradise. Man should suffer, struggle. For me, happiness is found in the fight. I don't want to die in bed.