Gay clubs were raided and dating apps were banned in the Eastern European country this weekend, gay people were massively detained by the local police. The move was apparently taken on the direct orders of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been ruling the country since the Soviet Union collapse in 1991. Lukashenko has previously responded to accusations that he was running a dictatorship by saying that it was “better to be a dictator than gay”. In a troubling echo of purges in Azerbaijan, Chechnya and Tajikistan, the police demanded information from patrons at Club Burlesque and Casta Diva, in the capital of the country.The Russian LGBT Network, who helped to evacuate 40 gay and bi men from Chechnya earlier this year, said that riot police took clubgoers’ data saying people were detained without any explanation. Taking detainees’ information is a common tactic used by authorities to find their families and LGBT friends.