Dissidents airdrop hundreds of free-speech teddybears over Belarus

Per sez, "Belarus is usually referred to as the last dictatorship in Europe. The opposition is jailed and tortured. The freedom of speech is non-present. Yesterday morning a small airplane entered the restricted Belarusian airspace, heading for Minsk. Flying on low altitude to avoid radar, the plane reached Minsk early morning releasing it's cargo of 800 plush teddybears with protest signs demanding free speech. The plane was able to return to Lithuania without being detected. Later the same day day the Belarusian minister of defense denied anything or anyone entered Belarusian airspace." And if not for the small detail that we filmed everything our guess is that no one would have believed this ever took place. The only thing a dictator can't really survive is when the people are laughing at him, and this is what we people will do when a plane was able to circle over Minsk airdropping teddybears and get away with it."

Teddybear Airdrop


  1. I’m asking myself whether it’s wise to brag about this afterwards, as that might reduce the chances of doing it again… otherwise: Thumbs up!

    1. Given that the purpose of such an exercise is PR, not talking about it would be largely pointless…

      If you are dropping in resistance fighters or something, you want to keep it quiet. If you are attempting to make the state look foolish, you really need people to know about it.

      1. So the first rule of Teddy Bear Flight Club is: you DO talk about Teddy Bear Flight Club?

        EDIT: I’m an idiot, Aninous made that joke 2 hours before I got here. Pays to read down, I suppose …

    2. Presumably having everybody know about it is more important than having a small number of people get teddy bears. Maximizing publicity is usually the first rule of publicity stunt club.

  2. I am deeply disappointed.

    After reading the headline, I was expecting the teddy bears to have concealed mesh-network communication devices that could be used to organize a grass-roots opposition movement to the oppressive regime. With several bigger teddy bears with satellite uplinks to the global net.

    1. Hmm, an Ardunio or Raspberry Pi would certainly fit inside. Add a Bluetooth receiver to control it, and some kind of homebrew wi-fi to connect to other ‘bears’ in range, and you’d have an autonomous mesh network you could text through using your phone.

      Your bear could message you when you are in close proximity to another bear, or perhaps a certain bear. Maybe if there aren’t enough bear-units to form a decent mesh network, it operates asynchronously – connecting to other units when possible, storing messages until then. People just have to carry them around for the network to function. The possibilities here seem endless.

      At this point though, you’d also need a philanthropist, because a whole bunch of these things could get expensive. Still, neat that it’s easily possible with almost-off-the-shelf components! Lovin’ this century.

      1. The Achille’s Heel of that plan, it seems, would be the easy of signal triangulation. It would be awfully easy to go around confiscating all of them in just a couple days, would it not?

        1. Even aside from the risk of the authorities being technologically clueful, what are the odds that zero airdropped bears end up in the hands of regime loyalists?

          You have to be a really incompetent dictator to be entirely lacking in friends and/or intelligence service collaborators, and once a few of them have bears the fancy freedom-mesh has a problem…

      1. I was thinking flight of the valkyries. But the two preceding my contribution are both better

  3. Well, it’s a small thing but I’m glad to see they didn’t throw the plastic bags out the window too. No need to litter their country as well – they gottanuff problems.

  4. I would be concerned about anyone able to sneak in and drop 800 ANYTHING within my country’s borders. It might just be fuzzy and cute teddybears today, but logistically it’s exactly the same task as 800 timed explosives set to go off only after your plane is long gone. 

    1.  Yes! Clearly the world needs more invasive anti-privacy security measures to protect us all from the Big Bad Bogeymen Who Want To Hurt Us! They should have had SAM sites to control the skies, just like London! That’s made us all so much more safe!

    2.  Exactly, the ruling party’s inability to do anything about something like this makes them look incompetent, and their insistence that nothing happened (when many would have a bear, and/or have access to Russian news) makes them look foolish, which was the point.

      When your “enemies” “invade” your country to deliver teddy bears, there’s your sign.

    1. Bear Wings Good, Gravity Bad?

      There’s a ready-made name for a charity to support the bears.

  5. “Later the same day day the Belarusian minister of defense denied anything or anyone entered Belarusian airspace.”    

    Probably going to read “former Belarusian minister of defense ” fairly soon.

  6. FAKE!!  All done with Microsoft Flight Simulator!!   lol just kidding.  Gotta love the roll of duct tape sitting back there though.  Duct tape can fix anything!!  Broken wings, broken props, bullet holes………. in people…………  Seriously though, great job and glad they made it back in one piece!  We need more daring people like that in the world.

  7.  I’ll have to show this to my MiL. She is from a part of Poland that is now Belarus.

  8. I’m sensing another #1 “Bears!” on an upcoming Colbert Threatdown. I mean, bears parachuting from the sky attempting to change government policies? There’s no defense against that. And it’s only a matter of time before they set their sites on us. 

  9. I get kinda creaped out by that ad agency. I mean I know their probably normal and well meaning people but they seem such publicity hounds and obsessive about creating a brand name for themselves…

  10. I was struck by how green and pleasant it all looked. Still quite a lot of dirt roads, loads of trees and no traffic. No cars visible anywhere, not even parked up by the large buildings.

  11. Sadly, that’s in part due to the massive contamination of almost half of Belarus that occurred as a result of the nearby (and upwind) Chernobyl accident.

    1. But you probably have to bribe a chain of five people to get one in the air.

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