The reservist from the teddy bear troop is a special guest in today’s issue of In Focus.
Swedish pilot Tomas Mazetti, who dropped teddy paratroops not far from the Belarusian capital, sent his New Year wishes to our channel with the authentic teddy bear trained to fight for human rights in our country.
It turned out that only 800 “paratroopers” landed near Minsk on July 4, 2012, other 200 becoming reservists. At the moment one of them is welcome by Belsat journalists in our office in Warsaw. The guest possesses the certificate of authenticity signed by Per Cromwell, Director of Studio Total and author of the idea, and his colleague Tomas Mazetti, who piloted the very aircraft that destroyed a myth of Belarusian air defence system reliability.
A letter attached to the parcel threw light on details of the risky operation. According to the Swedes, their Belarusian friends (their pseudonims are Sergei and Darja) who asked them to make the whole world talk about Belarus did not have money. That is why the action was Studio Total’s private venture.
“We wanted to kidnap Lukashenka”
Naturally, the famous flight was preceded by the search for a fascinating idea. Of course, it would have been a good thing to kidnap Aliaksandr Lukashenka and teach him a lesson of handsome manners. But as Studio Total is a peaceful institution the group of creatives decided to act non-violently.
It was youth activist Paval Vinahradau, the organiser of the toy protest in Minsk, who provided the inspirations for the teddy airdrop.
Studio Total did not manage to find pilots for the hazardous trip to Belarus: our country’s air defence was believed to be one of the most reliable systems in Europe. The Swedes had to get pilots’ licenses, bought and redesigned an old plane: they installed iron plates under its seats to protect the rears in case of attack. Remembering the old Swedish saying “God has a special mercy for idiots” the crew took off.
Growth in popularity
Journalists from all over the world have written more than 5,000 articles about the teddy bear troop drop. Searching for «Teddy Bears» + «Belarus» Google returns more than 1.2 mln results. Top television companies, The BBC and Al Jazeera, made special reports on the event as well.
*Go below and download the full text of the letter.