Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Teddy Bear Team Snubs Belarus

A Swedish advertising agency that air-dropped hundreds of teddy bears with pro-human-rights messages over Belarus has rejected a summons for questioning by the former Soviet republic's KGB security agency.

Studio Total instead offered to discuss the stunt directly with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and invited him to Sweden.

The KGB on Friday summoned the advertising team to explain the "illegal crossing" into Belarus, threatening them with fines, jail or correctional work unless they appeared within 10 days.

The stunt infuriated the country's autocratic leader, who fired two generals over it.

In an open letter Tuesday to Lukashenko, the agency called the threats of repercussions "bad manners" and said its employees had no "appetite to come visit" him.

Read more