sierakowski75_Omar MarquesGetty Images_belarusprotest Omar Marques/Getty Images

Hijacking Western Complacency

By hijacking a commercial flight in order to arrest a dissident journalist, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko would appear to have crossed a new red line vis-à-vis the West. And yet, Western governments for years have shown that they are perfectly willing to tolerate KGB-style abuses right under their noses.

WARSAW – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has once again demonstrated the lengths to which he will go to crack down on his opponents. On May 23, he deployed a MiG-29 fighter jet to force down a commercial flight, which was traveling from Athens to Vilnius, shortly before it left Belarusian airspace. The purpose was to apprehend Roman Protasevich, the former editor-in-chief of the Belarusian opposition publication and social-media channel Nexta, who was arrested after the plane landed in Minsk.