Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is known for bright quotes and powerful speeches. He is also probably the most charismatic leader among the heads of post-Soviet states.
BelarusFeed has recalled the most widely discussed words and actions of the Belarusian head in 2016.
1. “Undress and work!”
In June when making a speech at 5th Belarusian People’s Congress Alexander Lukashenko was giving the nation advice on the wayout from the crisis. “Innovation, IT technology, privatization — it’s clear, we’ve already mastered it. But everything, and our life, is about simple things: to develop and get to work”, the president said.
Because the words “to develop” and “to undress” sound similar in Russian — “razvivat’sya” and “razdevat’sya” — it was really hard to fathom out which one of the two was really said.
Many decided it was “razdevat’sya” (“to undress“) and happily followed the advice – famous people, news people and ordinary Belarusians started posting nude pictures of themselves at work online with a hastag #раздеватьсяиработать.
The flashmob became so viral that it actually spread from Belarus to the neighboring states and attracted the attention of the world media.
2. A carrot for Steven Seagal
The star of “Under Siege” thriller, Steven Seagal actually came to Belarus at the invitation of the game developer Wargaming to be their battle advisor for the World of Warships.
After visiting WoT’s office and a short excursion around Minsk, the actor was invited to the residence of the Belarusian President.
The American guest was treated with Belarusian dishes – kholodnik (cold Borscht), potatoes, salo – but most importantly with a carrot and a watermelon from the President’s farm.
Держит слово. Никакой бульбы с мясом на ноч pic.twitter.com/vGQsM3ZjE3
— Что подорожало в РБ (@belarus_price) August 24, 2016
Alexander Lukashenko’s carrot peel has later become a popular meme.
“Try it, it’s very healthy and good for you!”
3. iPhones and Belarus’ future
Despite the presence of the Hi-Tech Park and huge successes of the Belarusian IT sector, the head of state never seemed to be particularly fond ofhigh-end technologies. Until this year when he praised Belarusian IT guys several times.
In November at a big press conference for over 100 Russian journalists, participants of a traditional press tour around Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko not only linked the future of the country to IT but also used some tech slang that initially confused many journalists.
“It’s good that we’ve created the Hi-Tech Park in the right time. All these gadgets, iphones, PHABLETS will bring wealth in future. Cutting-edge technologies. And we have them, and we must and will be developing them”, the head of state stated.
It was “phablets” that triggered the discussion. The Russian word that Alexander Lukashenko was “plafon” which actually means a lampshade. So everyone was asking – is it about IT or about lamps that will bring the light and prosperity to Belarus?
The confusion was dissolved by the state media that later explained that “plafon” is a kind of tech slang to name phablets.
4. “Three ostriches, ducks, 25 geese, 10 cows…”
Remember the carrots? Well, in addition to many vegetables and fruit, the President of Belarus also has numerous pets at his farm.
They include horses, sheep and even ostriches. In his residence there are also three cats and four dogs – they are a shepherd presented to Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow, a labrador puppy gifted by border guards, and two laikas. But the number of pets is much bigger.
“I have many pets. Three ostriches, ducks, 25 geese. I had 70 rabbits, but I’ve given a lot of them away, so now there are only 20 left. I also have 10 cows, 10 goats, 15 sheep, seven or eight horses,” the president said at a press conference.
He added he loes animals a lot:“Your life depends on the way you treat nature and animals.”
5. Heavy metal President
In September Alexander Lukashenko revealed a very unusual side of him. The President headed a column of bikers at the closing of the motorcycle season 2016 in Minsk.
The head of state rode 21 km from the Mound of Glory Memorial to the centre of the Belarusian capital on a Harley.
He was dressed in black leather and accompanied by his sons.
The moto Alexander Lukashenko drove was Harley Davidson Touring Electra Glide Classic FLHTC, a model produced in 2009-2012. For the first time the Belarusian leader was seen driving the same motocycle in 2009.
6. How to loose 13 kg in 6 months
In September Alexander Lukashenko shared his tips to a healthy lifestyle in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.
Belarusian President admitted that he lost 13 kg since March, and that he eats potatoes – considered to be the national product and a must on the table of Belarusians – only once a week.
“The formula is very simple: eat moderately, preferably not less than four times a day, long time before going to sleep. But that’s not the point. You can eat a lot, but you also have to work a lot physically to burn it down. Especially if you’re not 20 years old. You eat a lot – you work a lot. You worl a little – you eat less.”
Alexander Lukashenko added that he has a sweet tooth but manages to resist the craving and only allows himself one sweet before a hockey training.
Photo credit: TUT.BY, BelTA, president.gov.by.