The latest revelations from U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website describe the government in Belarus as a "criminal regime of a violent and authoritarian nature."
The assessment was quoted today by the Spanish daily newspaper "El Pais."
Cables written by U.S. diplomats in Minsk in 2007 and 2008 describe Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka as a "dictator" and a "peasant turned ideology officer" whose Soviet upbringing has led him to believe "the state rules the people."
The cables say: "As a former Soviet army political officer, the dictator understands the use of ideology as a veneer to mask the true intentions of one's actions."
The unnamed U.S. diplomats said Lukashenka was able to make even harsh decisions, but "knows to stop short of allowing opponents to tie him to extrajudicial executions."
compiled from agency reports