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Belarusian president gives Depardieu a lesson in hand-scythe

In this photo taken Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko and French actor Gerard Depardieu, right, hold a hand scythe in the presidential residence of Ozerny, outside Minsk, Belarus. Depardieu has frequented the former Soviet Union for years before he took Russian citizenship in 2013 in a bid to escape sky-high taxes in France. He has recently attracted the wrath of the Ukrainian government by condoning Russia's annexation of Crimea. (Andrei Stasevich/ BelTA Photo via AP)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The president of Belarus, who has been described as Europe’s last dictator, has given French actor Gerard Depardieu a lesson in hand-scything.

Depardieu took Russian citizenship in 2013 in a bid to escape sky-high taxes in France. He has recently attracted the wrath of the Ukrainian government by condoning Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

President Alexander Lukashenko, who is running for re-election in October, hosted Depardieu in his residence north of the capital Minsk on Wednesday and gave him a lesson in scything the grass on the estate. After the scything, performed in front of television cameras, Depardieu was treated to traditional Belarusian food and home-distilled vodka.

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994 and is expected to be re-elected for the next term.

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