The leader of Belarus is said to be a talented judge of character and has a gift for both manipulating and inspiring his underlings

Like many successful dictators, he is also a talented judge of character and has a gift for both manipulating and inspiring his underlings.
He has a magnetic presence. He hypnotises you, said the former official, who resigned last year shortly after the anti-government protests broke out.
“When youre talking to him you feel like youve known each other for a thousand years. You dont want to leave, the official added.
Mr Lukashenko was born to a single mother in the Vitebsk region of what was then the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954.
After completing his national service in the Soviet border guards in the mid 1970s, he joined the Communist Party and eventually became the chairman of a collective farm  lending him a rough, son-of-the-soil persona that he has made up part of his personal political brand ever since.
He entered politics after the fall of the Soviet Union and managed to win an election, probably fairly, in 1994 by running on an anti-corruption ticket.
But his approach to government was not unlike that of Soviet collective farm management, where the chairman wielded absolute authority.
Early in his career, four key opponents disappeared, believed to have been murdered. No election since the one that brought him to power has been deemed free or fair.