Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus:
Aleksandr Lukashenko has aptly been dubbed Europe's last dictator. And indeed, his 16 years of rule have left Belarus a political and economic wasteland. At heart, Lukashenko remains a man of Russia's Brezhnev era: His secret police even still use the acronym KGB. Lukashenko has used every trick in the authoritarian book to marginalize the opposition. His regime's vise-like grip on broadcast media ensures that the people of Belarus see only the parallel reality painted for them in the state-controlled media.
However ferocious, this political dinosaur's position is far from secure. Lukashenko "officially" received a ludicrous 80 percent majority in last December's presidential election, but the results were widely condemned as fraudulent. And when thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Minsk, the security forces made liberal use of their truncheons and arrested hundreds of protesters. Those detained include a number of opposition candidates, several of whom have been threatened with prison terms exceeding 10 years. Lukashenko sneered: "There will be no more mindless democracy in this country."
Dictatorships often falter when people recognize that freedom and prosperity prevail among their neighbors, while they enjoy neither. Belarus borders Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia -- all former communist states that are now members of the European Union, enjoying wide freedoms and vastly superior economies. Surrounded by success stories and unable to eliminate the opposition, Lukashenko may be in for some sleepless nights.Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images