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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."

Posted on June 29, 2016, at 1:39 p.m. ET

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.

Mikhail Metzel

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."

View this video on YouTube

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."


"We are acting in accordance with the presidential decree," said one person who posted a picture of people naked at work.


Some people joined the movement because you can't leave your countrymen hanging.


"We start the work week and then undress," said one person.


This isn't the first time President Lukashenko has misspoken.

@stepashkamilashka / Via

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.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.