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| | |-+  Belarus fires generals after teddy bears drop from the sky
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Author Topic: Belarus fires generals after teddy bears drop from the sky  (Read 581 times)
dead0man
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« on: August 04, 2012, 05:57:53 am »
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Two generals were fired and two people were arrested after an air bombardment that left the president of Belarus fuming over how its borders could be so easily overrun -- by teddy bears.

Hundreds of the toys descended on Belarus last month, dropped by Swedes tooling over the capital, Minsk, in a small plane. The plush invaders were outfitted with parachutes and bore activist slogans such as “Free Speech Now.” The human pilots, working for a Swedish ad agency, wore teddy bear masks.

The small agency said it paid for and carried out the activist prank itself after hearing about the killing of a Belarus human rights activist, with the goal of “slipping in the words ‘Belarus’ and ‘free speech’ somewhere between the news about iPhone 38 and Miss Kardashian’s cat.”

Human rights groups have dubbed Belarus one of the most repressive countries in Europe, lamenting its long record of jailing activists and censoring and harassing journalists.

Dissent is so heavily policed that protesters have been arrested simply for clapping or ringing their cellphones in unison and have even resorted to posing toys in mock protests -- part of the inspiration for the risky Swedish stunt.

Belarus, which has prided itself publicly on its defense systems, at first denied the toys had been dropped. But as the news spread through photos and videos, President Alexander Lukashenko reacted with outrage, demanding at a government session last week, “How can you explain the provocation involving a single-engine aircraft that crossed the Belarusian border with impunity?”

<snip>
That's pretty freaking funny.
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Supersonic
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 09:03:10 am »
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You gotta love Sweden. Tongue
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Zioneer
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 10:43:34 am »
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Isn't Belarus considered something like "Europe's last dictatorship" or something?
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Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 10:49:19 am »
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Oh that is just rich. Gotta love them Swedes!
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Redalgo
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 11:21:57 am »
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...just when I thought my fondness for Sweden couldn't ascend to loftier heights. xD
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 12:41:40 pm »
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Hahahaha.....
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Pope Kalwejt I
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 05:45:36 pm »
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The small agency said it paid for and carried out the activist prank itself after hearing about the killing of a Belarus human rights activist, with the goal of “slipping in the words ‘Belarus’ and ‘free speech’ somewhere between the news about iPhone 38 and Miss Kardashian’s cat.

OK... that's even worse than drooping an atomic bomb.
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dead0man
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 11:43:14 pm »
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Belarus expels Swedish diplomats
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Sweden's ties with Belarus soured further Wednesday as Minsk expelled all Swedish diplomats and closed its Stockholm mission, in a rift over human rights following a stunt involving teddy bears. President Alexander Lukashenko "is now throwing all Swedish diplomats out of Belarus. His fear of human rights reaching new heights," Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter. The authoritarian Lukashenko "is carrying on like the little punk that he is," Bildt also told Swedish news agency TT. European Union ambassadors will hold an emergency meeting Friday to decide how to react, an EU source in Brussels said. Bildt last week said ambassador Stefan Eriksson, who took up the post in Minsk in 2008, was being expelled because of his pro-rights stance and meetings he had with the Belarus opposition. Stockholm retaliated immediately, saying it would not welcome a new ambassador named by Minsk to replace the envoy who left the post several weeks ago, and withdrew residency permits for two Belarus diplomats who were asked to leave the Scandinavian country. On Wednesday, Minsk said in a statement it was "forced to take a decision to recall its diplomatic staff from Sweden and return its employees to Belarus," stressing however it was not severing diplomatic ties with Stockholm. It gave Stockholm until August 30 to remove all of its diplomats from the ex-Soviet state the United States once dubbed Europe's last dictatorship.

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Dereich
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 08:29:48 am »
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I'm sure Sweden is just reeling in shock. How is the trade relationship between Belarus and free Europe? Do we in the west have any pressure we can put on Lukashenko's government?
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Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 03:01:32 pm »
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Something tells me that the country holding the most cards lies to the east of Belarus rather than to the west of it.
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Pope Kalwejt I
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 03:13:26 pm »
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Yeah! That'll teach them!
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 04:44:12 pm »
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The ultra-cynic in me say it's just a PR stunt by...well...a PR firm.
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AkSaber
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 03:22:56 am »
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...just when I thought my fondness for Sweden couldn't ascend to loftier heights. xD

No kidding. Smiley
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