Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Lukashenka: I tell my youngest son about Stalin and Hitler every evening

Zakhar SHCHARBAKOW, Naviny.by

Alyaksandr Lukashenka revealed to a group of Russian journalists on Friday that he told his nine-year-old son Kolya every evening about World War II and the roles of Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler in it.

"Every evening, when I have to put my baby son to bed, he asks me, `No TV, you tell me a story,`" Mr. Lukashenka said, adding that he would then tell Kolya about "Stalin, Hitler, how they planned this operation [WWII]."

According to Mr. Lukashenka, he no longer has to explain to his son that "there was a war" and that "Nazis caused huge damage to us."

He said that Kolya liked watching stories about war and Soviet-era criminal investigations broadcast by Russian "patriotic" television channel Zvezda, and that "this should be the norm in our families."

Mr. Lukashenka went on to say that a new building of the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War on Peramozhtsaw Avenue in Minsk would be the largest one in Europe.

He noted that attempts had been made since the break-up of the Soviet Union to play down its role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. According to Mr. Lukashenka, he "had to make a statement" a year after his election as president in 1994 that the United States would have been in trouble if the Soviet Union had lost. Hitler was very close to getting a nuclear bomb, he explained.

"When I stated this for all the world to hear — and the economic situation was difficult after the break-up of the Union — Boris Yeltsin told me that I should perhaps be more careful with them," Mr. Lukashenka said. "And I say, `Boris Nikolayevich, I can`t. We lost every third person in this war, one-third of the population was crippled. How can one be silent?`"