Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is in better shape than ever” and called him “completely sane.”
“If you think that President Putin physically doesn’t feel well or something like that, he is, as we say, very much alive,” Lukashenko, considered a close ally to Putin, told Japanese television channel TBS in an interview, according to a video clip shared by Reuters.
“He will catch a cold at all our funerals, as they say here. He is an absolutely adequate and healthy person. So the West and you should get this stupidity, this fiction out of your heads. Putin is absolutely adequate. He is in better shape than ever.”
Lukashenko said that Putin had less powers at the moment but that he was fully executing them, adding “this is a completely sane, healthy person, physically healthy. He’s an athlete.”
Russia and Belarus held military drills in Belarus prior to Russia launching its invasion in Ukraine, and in late January, Lukashenko vowed war if Russia or Belarus were attacked amid escalating tensions in the region.
Belarus has been targeted by sanctions from the United States and European Union, among others. Officials have accused the country of being complicit in Russia’s invasion, which is now in its fourth week.
Other leaders have offered much more negative assessments of Putin amid Russia’s invasion; President Biden called Putin a “war criminal” earlier this week, in addition to a “pure thug” and “murderous dictator.”
Biden’s denouncement of Putin as a “war criminal” was slammed by a Kremlin spokespersonwho said it was “unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”