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Drawing The Ire Of 'Europe's Last Dictator'

She is known to her audience only by her pen name “De Lez,” or “DL” for short -- a play on the Belarusian word for “fate.” She hides her real identity because as a cartoonist who regularly pokes fun at the Belarusian government, she’s a target for retribution from the regime of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, whose rule has earned him his own infamous moniker, that of “Europe’s Last Dictator.” For the last five years, DL has published her cartoons about politics and society on to website of RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, Radio Svaboda, and her witty visual commentaries capturing the details of Belarusian life have earned her a huge and enthusiastic following.

“Sweets.” DL’s take on the way authorities attempt to pacify the public.
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“Sweets.” DL’s take on the way authorities attempt to pacify the public.

Belarusians have experienced high inflation and price hikes on basic goods in recent years.
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Belarusians have experienced high inflation and price hikes on basic goods in recent years.

Belarus imports oil from Venezuela. Russia exports oil and gas to Belarus for below market prices, but Moscow has accussed Belarus of reselling the surplus at market value.
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Belarus imports oil from Venezuela. Russia exports oil and gas to Belarus for below market prices, but Moscow has accussed Belarus of reselling the surplus at market value.

“The Time Will Come.” DL plays on the Russian idiom “to hang noodles on someone’s ears,” which means to tell lies. In this cartoon, it’s Belarusian TV that is doing the noodle hanging.
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“The Time Will Come.” DL plays on the Russian idiom “to hang noodles on someone’s ears,” which means to tell lies. In this cartoon, it’s Belarusian TV that is doing the noodle hanging.

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