Who knew pro-Democratic teddy bears could start an international situation. A Swedish PR firm recently released 879 parachuting teddy bears over Belarus and with the bears they attached a pro-democracy slogan. The event, which occurred on July 4, immediately angered longtime Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko who went about firing two senior officials.
Lukashenko also told his troops to use force against any other airplanes that violate his country’s airspace, apparently afraid that more attacking teddy bears would appear.
The situation has become tense enough that the country’s officials decided to close their own embassy in Stockholm.
The teddy bear stunt could also land participants in jail; since the teddy bears were released from the skies, two Belarusian men have been detained by security forces. According to officials, the men were “complicit” in the teddy bear drop fiasco.
On August 3, the Swedish ambassador was kicked out of the country after meeting with the Belarus opposition. Reportedly, the Swedish ambassador during that meeting handed officials a university text book that specifically deals with human rights issues.
Further fallout is expected as Sweden is now being told by the Belarusian government to vacate its Minsk embassy by the end of the month.
Who needs bombs, territory disputes, and propaganda? If you want to start a potential war with Belarus, a few teddy bears with democracy quotes attached to them should do the trick.
The real question here should focus on whether or not the Belarus political system is in jeopardy; after all, officials threw a fit because 879 people within their ranks saw pro-democracy teddy bears falling from the sky.