One Belarusian Diplomat Dead, New Foreign Minister Appointed Amid Cabinet Reshuffle

Belarusian opposition media reported on June 26th, 2024, that former Belarusian ambassador to Germany from 2016 to 2024, Dzjanis Sidarenka, threw himself out of a high-rise window in Minsk after intense interrogation from the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB). He had been dismissed in March 2024 and was not appointed a replacement upon returning.

Today, Belarusian Foreign Minister Aleinik was dismissed from his position after replacing Vladimir Makei who died at age 64.

Former Belarusian Foreign Minister Serguéi Aléinik. Credit: International Maritime Organization

Makei’s death sent ripples throughout the European community as many suspected foul play as he was orchestrating a rapprochement with the West during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Upon Makei’s death, Belarus began in earnest to wage a hybrid war with Poland via deploying thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants to the border regions, overloading the Polish Border Guards.

Former Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei. Credit: Nina Zambrano Díaz/Cancillería del Ecuador.

Today, Aleinik was replaced by close Lukashenko ally, Maxim Ryzhenkov.

Maksim Ryzhenkov in 2017. Credit: National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

It is also worth noting that President Lukashenko also replaced the Presidential Administration Head, the Agricultural and Industry Minister, and the Ambassador to Russia. However, it is Lukashenko’s war on the Foreign Ministry that most illuminates his isolation and suspicion of foreign influence in his government.