Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President, Bars State Workers From Quitting Jobs

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus president
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus president

By Yuras Karmanau

BORISOV, Belarus -- Vladimir Dodonov wants to flee Belarus for neighboring Russia before it becomes illegal to leave his job at a wood-processing plant.

Belarus' authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has decided to stem an exodus of qualified workers to Russia, starting by banning those who work in wood-processing industries from quitting. Critics have compared the measure to serfdom and warned that it would only deepen the former Soviet republic's economic troubles and fuel protests against Lukashenko.