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Two Swedish advertising executives have revealed how they managed to drop hundreds of teddy bears over Belarus, which carried human rights slogans.

Last month’s air drop infuriated President Alexander Lukashenko, who has sacked two senior defence officials in its wake.

“A dictator can be feared and he can be hated, but when people start to laugh at him, his days are numbered. So, that was the objective,” said Tomas Mazetti, one of those behind the stunt.

“We discovered soon that no pilot wanted to do this. We couldn’t ask anyone because everyone said it was totally insane, it’s dangerous and it’s impossible. So then we decided it’s not dangerous and impossible and we must do it ourselves. So we took flying lessons, and we got a licence.”

The stunt organisers bought a three-seater plane to carry out the air drop, an operation that was a year in the planning.

Lukashenko, nicknamed Europe’s “last dictator,” has often boasted about Belarus’ air defence capability. But it was not enough to stop the parachuting teddy bears from touching down in the hardline state.

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