Belarusian aircraft diversion: 500 words you should know | European News

After Minsk diverted its voyage and arrested dissident reporters on board, the Western powers were furious.

Belarus diverted the plane and subsequently arrested a journalist boarding the plane, resulting in International anger And prompted for sanctions.

In the incident on Sunday, a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet scrambled to intercept a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania due to a suspected bomb threat and escorted it to Minsk.

After landing, the Belarusian authorities detained 26-year-old Roman Protasevich.

Since his exile in Lithuania, Protasevich has helped an independent media provide news about Belarus.

The whereabouts of Protasevich is still unknown. The political opposition in Belarus feared that his life might be in danger.

Why should the plane be diverted?

Ryanair said that the Belarusian air traffic control department notified its crew of “potential security threats on board” and instructed them to transfer the aircraft to the nearest Minsk airport.

The flight tracker site showed that the plane was in Belarusian airspace at the time of the diversion, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Lithuanian border.??

It is said that Protasevich and his girlfriend were taken off the plane after landing in Minsk and taken away by the police.

The airline stated that the plane stayed on the ground in the Belarusian capital for seven hours, and local authorities conducted a security check on it, during which “no unpleasant things were found”.

The plane was then allowed to continue to Vilnius.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair Described the move Such as “state-sponsored hijacking case” and “state-sponsored piracy case”.

But Belarus gave a different statement on Monday, saying that its ground controllers had provided guidance for the flight but did not order it to land.

Air Force Deputy Commander Andrei Gurtsevich said that the crew of the plane had decided to land in Minsk, adding that the fighter was sent to “provide assistance for civilian aircraft to ensure a safe landing. “.

According to official media reports, Lukashenko has issued an intervention decision, and Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for 27 years.

How did Protasevich react?

The 170 people in the car were told that after the transfer, “the Romans stood up, opened the suitcase, picked up the luggage and tried to split things”, and then gave his girlfriend Mantas a laptop and a phone , Told Reuters.

Another passenger, Marius Rutkauskas, told AP Protasevich and his girlfriend that “we were shocked when the pilot said the plane was diverted to Minsk… He said there was a death sentence waiting there. he.”

Who is Protasevich and what punishment will he face?

Protasevich fled Belarus in 2019.

Last year, he edited the Polish news channel Nexta Live based on Telegram.

The channel broadcasted opposition protests against Lukashenko in 2020. Nexta also helped coordinate the same protests.

In November last year, Protasevich tweeted a copy of the official Belarusian “terrorist” list, which included his name.

The list stated that he was accused of organizing large-scale riots while working at Nextida. He was also accused of disrupting social order and inciting social hatred-which he believed was a suppression of politics.

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svetlana Tikhanovskaya), who lost to Lukashenko in the August polls, believes that Protasevich will face the death penalty in Belarus because he was Classified as “terrorist”.

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