Pilots who landed teddy bears in Minsk did not have any itinerary
Swede Hanna has told Euroradio how they got ready for "the toy bombing" and explains how the plane could cross the border unnoticed.
Euroradio: Why did you decide to come by plane and land teddy bears?
Hanna: The youth movement "Tell the Truth" organized an action where toys were used to protest against the regime. We wanted to attract attention too. We know that opposition members risk their lives every day and may be beaten.
Euroradio: Did you plan to do it exactly on July 4?
Hanna: July 4 was not a planned date but when we understood that we were ready and that the Independence Day had been marked the day before, we took our chance.
Euroradio: Were you afraid of entering another country's air space? Did you have a plan in case you got noticed?
Hanna: We were scared because we admitted the possibility of being imprisoned for it. But we were lucky. We were really scared when we were flying over Belarus but we did not have any plan in case we got brought down. We did not even have any itinerary.
Euroradio: Did it take you long to prepare for the flight?
Hanna: We spent a year to get ready for it: we took flying lessons. There were 2 people on board and both had flight certificates we had received especially for it.
Euroradio: The Ministry of Defence refutes the information that a plane managed to enter the Belarusian air space unnoticed. But Hanna says that they did not only manage to do it but also spent three hours flying over Belarus!
Hanna: We used a very small plane with only one engine. That is why it is rather slow. Its speed is about 180 km/h. We spent 1 hour 20 minutes in the Belarusian air space.
Euroradio: Why did "the landing" took place in the outskirts of Minsk?
Hanna: We approached some military base when we were near Minsk. We got nervous and did not fly over the city, we stayed in the outskirts. We flew over a small village - Ivyanets - and found out that a military air base was situated there. We did not know about it.
Euroradio: Why did you pay attention to Belarus?
Hanna: I have been to Belarus twice and the other pilot has been here once. We are very worried about the freedom of speech. We think that Belarus is part of Europe and it is a rather closed country.
Euroradio: Are you afraid of consequences now?
Hanna: We are. But we believe that it is essential that we should be honest and speak our minds.
Let us remind you that the website The Local informed on July 4 that a Swedish plane had crossed the Lithuania-Belarus border unnoticed and landed teddy bears with mottoes in support of the freedom of speech in Minsk. It became known later that it was a PR action organized by the agency Studio Total notorious because of such jokes. The aim of the action was attracting attention to legal problems in Belarus.
The Ministry of Defence refuted the information about the plane that had entered our air space unnoticed. According to military men, the video is a fake. The Lithuanian airport the plane was said to have used told TUT.by that no planes had headed for Belarus from its territory.
However, the Swedes keep claiming that they crossed the border and landed teddy bears in Ivyanets and in the outskirts of Minsk. They are publishing more and more videos and photos to prove their words. Euroradio has noticed that the videos show the plane flying over Malinauka and Suharava Districts. It flew over Yasenin, Rafiyeu, Hromau, Lyubimau and Haretski Streets and left Minsk near the intersection of Minsk ring road and Sharanhovich Street.