Nineteen days ago, a Swedish advertising agency made waves by airdropping a thousand teddy bears over Belarus—a minor protest against the nation’s repression of free speech. A student in Minsk posted several photos of the bears on his site, and was subsequently arrested by Belarusian authorities for undisclosed reasons. That arrest caused the Swede behind the stunt to release this rather awesome open letter to President Alexander Lukashenko, which I sincerely hope will pop to everyone’s mind whenever they hear the name of Belarusian dictator:
Recently, you announced that you, personally, guaranteed the effectiveness of the Belarus defence. You have spent 20 billions of euros on an air defence system that could not detect a homebuilt aeroplane with a cargo of teddy bears. As Pavel Kozlovsky, former Belarus minister of defence, expressed: You lead a regime that puts all its energy into pretending that the patient is healthy, but none into curing her.
Reports in Russian media – which you dare not censor – have caused many people to laugh at you. On the internet, you are described as a clown. But we are not naive. You are something much more frightening – an armed clown. Though in the long run, not even a heavily armed clown can stop people from laughing. And when people laugh at you, not even your friends will want to stick around.
A ground’s-eye view of the airdrop can be seen here. I guarantee you that someone fetched that bear that got caught in the tree; fingers crossed that they were not arrested for doing so.