Tsepkalo, the leader of the opposition in Belarus, said on Twitter that Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, was “urgently” taken to the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow after his private meeting with Putin. He said that Lukashenko is still under medical care there, based on initial information that needs further confirmation.

He also said that the Belarus president is being treated by top specialists for his “critical condition” and that he has undergone blood purification procedures and is “non-transportable”.

“The orchestrated efforts to save the Belarusian dictator aimed to dispel speculations regarding Kremlin’s alleged involvement in his poisoning,” said the former presidential candidate and ex-ambassador to the United States. This comes after he left Russia soon after the Victory Day parade in Moscow and skipped lunch with Putin.

According to media reports, Lukashenko looked visibly tired and his right hand was in a bandage. Lukashenko’s last public appearance was when he laid flowers in Belarus’s capital Minsk during the country’s own Victory Day celebrations (May 9), which he had attended hours after returning from Moscow.

However, he later appeared in public and dismissed the rumours saying, “I’m not going to die, guys. You’ll have to struggle with me for a very long time to come.”

The 68-year-old is among Putin’s closest allies. According to media reports, Lukashenko, sounding hoarse, told a meeting on health issues that he had been suffering from an adenovirus, a common cold virus, earlier this month.

“If someone thinks I am going to die, calm down,” said Lukashenko, adding that he only took three days to recover and had been too busy to take time off immediately.

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