Sweden and Belarus are locked in a diplomatic war over hundreds of cute, fuzzy teddy bears — a threat so menacing that two Belarusan generals have been fired and the countries have rejected each other’s ambassadors.
The strife over the stuffies began July 4 — which is also Belarus’ Independence Day.
A light plane flew over Minsk from Sweden and dropped 879 teddy bears, which carried pro-democracy messages. Sweden has long been open about its desire to see democracy take root in Belarus, a former Soviet republic led by a Soviet-style strongman, Alexander Lukashenko.
Belarus didn’t publicly acknowledge the airdrop until last week, when Lukashenko criticized military authorities for allowing the plane to enter Belarusan air space and carry out its “provocation.”