Belarus forces Ryanair flight down to arrest reporter critical of government

Originally published at: Belarus forces Ryanair flight down to arrest reporter critical of government | Boing Boing


America would have seen this and much, much worse if don trump had been re-elected. You guys have no idea how close you came to losing your country.


Remind me never to fly Ryanair.

Oh sorry - I forgot I don’t need reminding. Tricky chap, memory.


We’re actually still in the middle of the fight. It’s still close.


Belarus just said bye bye to all the money international flights and air freight would bring into it’s economy just because of one detractor that took a flight through that country.

Saying how fucking stupid of a move like this is would be a complete understatement.


North Korea has got some competition for most outlandish dictatorship.


I can only hope that the consequences imposed by the international community for this outrageous act helps to hasten the end of this thug’s regime.

Plus, if Lukashenko’s regime goes down with Ryanair’s as a result it would be a double win.


It’s worse than that. He didn’t fly through the country. He flew over the country. There was no stopover planned in Belarus.

Aren’t there treaties about free access to airspace?

I’d like to say that I can see other countries temporarily denying Belarus access to their airspace in retaliation, but it will never happen.

And that journalist will probably never be seen again.


The KGB was on the flight, he was set up from the get go. I will not pounder what awaits him in captivity.


America would have seen this and much, much worse if don trump had been re-elected. You guys have no idea how close you came to losing your country.

Your first sentence is quite correct, and in certain slight majority segments of the population well understood - which somewhat belies your last sentence.


They’re talking about it, at least. Belarus doesn’t care about planes avoiding its airspace, but its national airline being banned from the EU will hurt.


Rogue regimes are everywhere these days…


You assume far too much.

As someone else has already stated, the fight is still on.


The battle is long and protracted. Belarus is most definitely not a leader in this particular dimension. In case you forgot, the reason Edward Snowden is living in Russia, is that the US was prepared to intercept and force down any flight he got on to leave Moscow. For example, it doesn’t take much reading between the lines in this HuffPost piece: link. Or this much more effective piece of work reviewing US history at the time: Snowden’s fear of flying, 2013

Of course it was only lightly reported in the US, but the US has already done almost exactly the same as Belarus (to considerably different effect). The key difference was that the US’s reach made it possible to have the action performed by its “friends”, who later found out just what patsies they had been: the WaPo reporting, and Julian Assange putting it in context, two years later with help from more leaks.

Thanks again to Edward Snowden for showing so clearly how desperate the hour has become.


Not only are we still in the middle of the fight, I’d go one further and say we’re actually in worse trouble now than under Trump. Trump was one guy, albeit in a powerful position. Now the entire Republican party has been Trumpified. Most of them denounced what happened on January 6th on the day - now they’re actively trying to make sure it happens again because they see it as their only path to power. They’re passing laws to destroy democracy and Trump paved the way by packing the courts with the most unqualified ideologues who are likely to let those laws stand.


The real test is the next election. When Joe Biden is re-elected in 2024, will trumpist forces in state legislatures override their losses and hand the electoral college votes instead to the GOP candidate (as Trump attempted to do Jan 6th)? (This assumes the trumpist voter suppression laws do not have the intended effect and hand an outright victory to the GOP-- no easy assumption.)

Also, when the GOP takes back the Senate in 2022, and Justice Breyer dies on Jan 21, 2023-- will America stand for McConnell to shut down any SCOTUS nomination for 2 full years?


Yeah, at best we’ve gotten to “The end of the beginning.”


Yeah that’s what I suspect. After all, how would they know the passenger list for a plane that was not scheduled to stop in their country?

And the “implausible deniability” of the cover story certainly resembles that of many Russian actions.