Putin is tired
Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko (R) meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Minsk, Belarus, June 8, 2016.Reuters/Sputnik/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev

Thinking his microphone was off, Russian president Vladimir Putin inadvertently revealed his bedtime secrets to his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. In a frank and friendly exchange, Putin revealed that he just is not getting enough sleep at the moment, getting by on just four or five hours a night.

Putin was visiting the widely-denounced Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, dubbed "the last dictator of Europe", when he did not realise his microphone was switched on before a press conference.

While ties between the countries were the focus, in the small talk before the press meeting Putin let slip to Lukashenko that he had not gone to bed until 3am the night before.

"Everything alright," a cheerful Lukashenko is seen asking the dispirited Russian president. "I'm alright. I don't sleep much," Putin said. "The day before yesterday I slept four hours. Last night—five hours. I go to bed at three and I wake up at eight."

Putin then used his fingers to emphasise how many hours' sleep he got with Lukashenko replying: "Literally? That's very little, of course". Putin then continued: "I went to bed at 3am and I had to wake up at 8am".

They agreed that relations between their two countries were the "most advanced" among ex-Soviet states despite Lukashenko wanting improved relations with the EU. In February when the pair met Lukashenko confused Putin for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Putin, whose actions in Ukraine has left much of the former Soviet Union on edge, has kept his private life a secret since his divorce from former Kremlin first lady Lyudmila two years ago.

In 2015, Putin told a boy from Nalchik, in southern Russia, who wanted to become President one day that a good night's sleep is vital for the making of a "healthy president." In March this year a poll revealed that Lukashenko's approval rating almost halved in just six months.