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Belarus: Bear-faced cheek

Bear-faced cheek – Wilfred Hildonen
Hufvudstadsbladet (Helsinki)

Relations between Sweden and Belarus have soured since a small plane piloted by a Swede illegally entered Belarusian airspace on July 4 and dropped hundreds of teddy bears wearing parachutes and carrying messages calling for free speech and respect for human rights. The Swedish Embassy in Belarus has confirmed that since the stunt, a number of Swedish nationals have received death threats. This follows the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador to Belarus and all diplomatic personnel. The Belarusian KGB, who are investigating the incident, have "invited" the advertising agency behind the air drop, Studio Total, to come to Minsk to be interviewed, but the firm has refused, suggesting instead that the "dictator" President Alexander Lukashenko come to speak to them in Stockholm.