The foreign minister of Belarus, closely aligned with Russia and used by it as a staging post for its bloody invasion of Ukraine, reportedly killed himself after a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin's officials. Vladimir Makei, 64, was originally said to have suffered a heart attack when he died Nov. 26.
But according to reporting by the independent Belarusian media outlet Nasha Niva, citing four unrelated sources, the liberal-leaning Makei took his own life four days after attending the summit in Armenia. "Makei's friends say he was painfully upset by the collapse of the course he was leading," reported Nasha Niva, adding that those close to him did not believe he was murdered. Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko aimed to replace Makei, who had served as his top diplomat since 2012, according to the news outlet, although it was unclear whether this was at Moscow's behest.