Anatoliy Lebedko

Anatoliy Lebedko

Belarusian politician, head of the United Civil Party (UCP).
Date of Birth: 27.06.1961
Country: Belarus

  1. Anatoliy Lebedko: Biography
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Political Career
  4. Opposition and Confrontation
  5. Leadership in Protests
  6. Later Career

Anatoliy Lebedko: Biography

Anatoliy Vladimirovich Lebedko (Belarusian: Анато́ль Уладзі́міравіч Лябе́дзька) is a Belarusian politician and the leader of the United Civil Party (UCP). He was born on June 27, 1961, in the village of Triles, Stolbtsy District, Minsk Oblast.

Early Life and Career

Anatoliy Lebedko was born in Triles, a small village in the Stolbtsy District of Minsk Oblast, on June 27, 1961. He started his career as a tractor driver in a collective farm. In 1985, he obtained a higher education degree as a history teacher.

Political Career

Lebedko became a member of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus in the 12th and 13th convocations. During the 1994 election campaign, he supported Alexander Lukashenko and intended to obtain the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs. However, due to a conflict, he left the presidential team and joined the United Civil Party, where he was elected Deputy Chairman. On April 15, 2000, Lebedko was elected Chairman of the UCP.

Opposition and Confrontation

Lebedko's strong opposition to Lukashenko in the late 1990s led to intense confrontation with the Belarusian authorities. He was arrested multiple times for participating in unauthorized protests and marches. He was also accused of defamation against Lukashenko and was physically assaulted by masked individuals near his home, whom he claimed were connected to Lukashenko. Lebedko's political fervor allowed him to frequently engage with groups outside of Belarus, whom Lukashenko accuses of interfering in the country's internal affairs. One of his arrests occurred shortly after he spoke at the United States Senate and the OSCE meeting in October 1999, calling for both organizations to impose sanctions against Lukashenko.

Leadership in Protests

Following the parliamentary elections and referendum in October 2004, which allowed Lukashenko to run for a third term, Lebedko led over a thousand protesters to the streets of Minsk on October 18 and 19. Alongside other opposition leaders, he accused the authorities of election fraud, as reflected in the reports of election observers from the OSCE. On the second day of the protests, October 19, Lebedko, along with two other opposition leaders, Nikolay Statkevich and Pavel Severinets, as well as an "Associated Press" photographer covering the protest, were arrested. Supporters of Lebedko claim that he was severely beaten by police officers after his arrest, resulting in head injuries, broken ribs, and internal damage.

Later Career

At the Democratic Forces Congress in October 2005, Lebedko conceded a few votes to Alexander Milinkevich, who then became the unified opposition candidate for the 2006 presidential elections in Belarus with Lebedko's subsequent support. On April 22, 2008, Lebedko was re-elected as the Chairman of the United Civil Party with an overwhelming majority of votes during the party congress.