Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has been making headlines lately by failing to close his country in the midst of a global pandemic. He's quoted as saying, "It's better to die standing than live on your knees." And he has prescribed a specific brand of medicine to fight the coronavirus: hard work outdoors in a village.
At least now he can say he's walking the walk.
While about 10,000 Belarusians reportedly suffer from coronavirus infection, Lukashenko helped plant trees in a national park, along with other members of the administration, last week. This was part of a nationwide subbotnik event, in which Belarusians of all stripes banded together in strikingly mask-free equipment to clean up their common spaces.
Lukashenko was sure to bring along his dog, which he carried in a basket.
Belarus is Russia's neighbor to the west, and shares a long history with Kievan Rus, the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union. It retains special diplomatic status with modern Russia and is often considered a unique Soviet holdover.
In addition, Putin and Lukashenko are reportedly close, although Putin has better (or simply different?) taste in dogs.
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