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Lukashenka: Yep, I Had an Operation

Belarus -- President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his son Nikolay stand behind portraits of Marat Kalimullin (L) and Ruslan Salei during a commemorative event at the Minsk-Arena sports complex in Minsk.

In an uncharacteristic display of candor about the health of its leader, the Belarusian president’s office announced that Alyaksandr Lukashenka has recently undergone knee surgery.

The news was communicated on television last weekend by Natalya Eysmant, Lukashenka’s newly appointed press secretary.

Eysmant said the surgery was needed to treat an «old sports injury» suffered by the head of state during a hockey training session. She added that Lukashenka will spend three to four days in his country residence to recuperate from the operation.

Belarusian journalists have been quick to comment that this was the first official report on Lukashenka’s health since he became president over twenty years ago.