Alexander Lukashenko is an intensely controversial figure. For more than a quarter-century, he has presided over Belarus. As noted by Business Insider, he is widely referred to as Europe's last dictator.

Some of the most recent controversies surrounding Lukashenko include his statements about COVID-19. Such as very questionable medical advice and downplaying the severity of the novel Coronavirus. Now, there's been a new twist to that narrative.

Lukashenko claims he contracted and survived COVID-19

One of the world's most notorious COVID-19 skeptics, Alexander Lukashenko now says he caught the novel coronavirus.

He apparently now claims to be free of the virus. According to CNN, he also says that he was asymptomatic while he was COVID-19 positive.

In his role as president, Lukashenko rebuffed much of the standard advice from medical experts about COVID-19. Unlike most European countries, Belarus did not shut down. Lukashenko himself hasn't seemed to give much thought to practicing social distancing.

He moved forward with a major military parade in May. He has also been spotted participating in group activities, including playing ice hockey. That's not even counting that Lukashenko and other government officials have continued meeting with each other in-person.

Lukashenko's COVID-18 antics haven't been limited to government policies or lack thereof.

He largely dismissed worries over the deadly impact of the novel coronavirus. He was even calling COVID-19 concerns among the public a 'psychosis.' He also issued some inadvisable medical tips about how to survive the virus, such as visiting saunas and drinking vodka.

Rose to power following the dissolution of the Soviet Union

Alexander Lukashenko began climbing the political ladder in a real way during the 1980s. He'd had a background in the military and agriculture. His path to the premiership was mostly cleared after the Soviet Union dissolved. However, that was a move that Lukashenko openly opposed at the time.

Lukashenko emerged victorious in Belarus' first post-Soviet Union presidential election. His main opponent had been former Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich. That election may have been the first of its kind in Belarus. It's also considered the last truly free national election to be held in the country.

Shortly after taking office, Lukashenko embarked on a series of power grabs. Including the ability to dissolve the national legislature. The international community has repeatedly condemned Lukashenko for human rights violations. His political opponents have been frequently oppressed, and the media has been strictly censored.

Onlookers have speculated that he could be looking to start a family dynasty. Including holding the presidency until one of his sons takes over from him.