**Posted by Phineas
Belarus-Sweden teddy bear row escalates
Belarus has taken strong diplomatic action against Sweden following a stunt involving parachuted teddy bears.
Sweden says all of its diplomats have been expelled from Belarus, which has also closed its embassy in Stockholm.
Belarus was angered when a Swedish public relations firm dropped about 800 teddy bears with pro-democracy messages from a light aircraft.
President Alexander Lukashenko sacked his air defence chief and head of border guards over the 4 July incident.
He told their replacements not to hesitate to use force to stop any future air intrusions from abroad.
Belarus is Europe’s last Stalinist state, run by a whack-job former Soviet apparatchik, Alexander Lukashenko. I’m sure, after he passes from the scene, they’ll be reabsorbed by increasingly authoritarian Russia. Meanwhile, I eagerly await Wolf Blitzer’s breathless reporting in a CNN special on The Teddy-Bear Crisis.
And UN observers. Mustn’t leave out the UN observers.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)