People in the eastern European country of Belarus are mocking their leader’s authoritarian ways and apparent verbal flub by stripping naked at work.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe’s last dictator, delivered a speech last week urging the country to innovate its way out of an economic crisis. “We must get undressed and work,” the autocratic leader told the summit in Minsk.
According to Russian broadcaster RT, Lukashenko may have meant to say “develop and work,” as the two phrases sound similar in Russian.
But some people in Belarus delighted in taking their repressive leader’s words literally, posting photos of themselves on social media in various stages of undress while at work, using the hashtag #getnakedandwork.
Many wrote tongue-in-cheek comments alongside their posts, along the lines of “The leader says we should,” according to RT.
Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for 22 years, and his jailing of opponents, activists and journalists has earned him the censure of human rights groups. Belarus’ largely state-controlled economy is struggling with high inflation and unemployment, and is expected to contract by 3 percent this year.
In his speech last week, Lukashenko defended state control over the economy. “The words I say from this rostrum are law for you!” he said, according to opposition broadcaster Belsat.
If the Belarusian leader wants his word to be law in the country, he may want to check he uses the right words.
Here are some of the best #getnakedandwork posts: