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Top Belarus Military Officials Fired Over Teddy Bear Incident


Some of the air-dropped bears near Ivenets on July 4.

Some of the air-dropped bears near Ivenets on July 4.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has dismissed two top military officials over a recent "teddy bears air drop" incident.

The president's office announced that the chairman of the State Border Guard Committee, Major General Ihar Rachkovski, and the commander of the country’s air forces, Major General Dzmitry Pakhmelkin, were released from their posts for "improperly carrying out their duties."

Lukashenka said last week that all military officials who were responsible for "letting a Swedish plane enter Belarus's air space" would be punished.

Some agencies reported earlier this month that on July 4, a private Swedish plane flew over Belarus from neighboring Lithuania and dropped a number of teddy bears on the capital, Minsk, accompanied by texts supporting Belarusian dissidents and the opposition.

Based on reports by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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