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Lukashenka As You've Never Seen Him Before

You don't see this every day: Belarus's President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in his swimming trunks.

In an interview with an Argentinean newspaper, he began by saying, "I've never been interviewed naked on the beach before." (Lukashenka is on tour in Latin America at the moment.)

Then he gets down to more serious business, speaking about Belarus's involvement in oil and gas production in Venezuela, the joys of drinking water, and says that his country is the most beautiful and safest place in the world with the kindest people.

He also gives the reporter a portfolio featuring Belarusian-made products and a photo album of the Belavezhskaya Pushcha national park.

In a piece on its website, Russia Today compares Lukashenka to other unclothed presidents:

Lukashenko joins a plethora of heads-of-state, who have been captured in less-than-stately attire - with or without their consent. Vladimir Putin posed on several occasions with a bare torso during his vacation trips. So did Barack Obama and Nicholas Sarkozy, while Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was caught by paparazzi fully naked while visiting Silvio Berlusconi’s villa resort.

But the Belarusian president did keep his shirt on, so he still doesn't beat Putin and Obama, who have both appeared shirtless.

-- Pavel Butorin/Luke Allnutt

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at