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Lukashenka Collects 70 Sacks Of Potatoes, Wears Hat

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka: Have hat, will harvest.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka: Have hat, will harvest.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his youngest son, Nikolai, have been pictured harvesting potatoes and watermelons in the fields of the presidential residence, Drozdy.

In just an hour and a half, the presidential family, along with a group of helpers, harvested 70 sacks of potatoes on an 18-hectare field, the Belarusian state-run news agency BelTA reported.

The August 16 haul will reportedly be sent to Belarusian orphanages and nursing homes.

Here's a video of the event:

It may have been for a good cause, but many were left wondering what was with the outfit on the man who some call "Europe's last dictator" -- a white T-shirt, checkered shorts, and a head covering that looks like a cross between a surgical cap and a chef's toque.

Belarusian journalist Volha Ulevich wrote on Facebook that she knows "the secret of the hat," which he also wore when teaching Gerard Depardieu how to use a scythe. Lukashenka was wearing a barretina, traditional Catalonian headwear, she said. (Though these are normally red.)

Twitter had some other theories:

@googleshenko tweeted: "Sell 70 sacks of potatoes to whom"

A mock Lukashenka account, @Alekzander_Luk, tweeted that he had opened an annual "Potatofest" lasting from August to September:

-- Anna Shamanska

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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

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