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People Are Working Naked Because Their President Said To "Undress And Work"

"[We] need to undress and work. Work up a sweat. If we don’t — we’ll die."

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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko delivered an impassioned speech to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly on June 22, urging people to seek out and tackle their own opportunities rather than relying on the government to constantly provide.

Lukashenko, dubbed "Europe's last dictator" by Condoleezza Rice in 2005, told his compatriots, "Innovations, IT, privatization and so on — we understand all that. We got this covered."

"But everything and our life itself — is in simplicity," he continued. "[We] need to undress and work. Work up a sweat. If we don’t — we’ll die. Competition is fierce."

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It's likely Lukashenko meant to say "develop," which is quite similar in pronunciation. ("Undress" is pronounced "razdivatsya"; "develop" is "razvivatsya.") But that didn't stop some Belarusians from heeding their president's call to "undress and work."

He previously managed to confuse Russian President Vladimir Putin with Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, who is Russia’s ex-president and current prime minister.

Also, a few years ago he mistakenly called himself "the first president of Russia."

Translation provided by BuzzFeed Consultant Victor Stepanov.

Leticia Miranda is a consumer affairs reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Leticia Miranda at leticia.miranda@buzzfeed.com.

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