Disinfo: Ryanair flight 4978 incident was organised to damage the image of president Lukashenka


Hijacking Ryanair flight 4978 is shameful. But why did the Belarussian do this?

Why create a diplomatic incident when the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages?

Stopping Raman Pratasevich doesn't help much, it's marginal. There is a war inside Belarus, between the president and its intelligence services. The president used them to reach 80% at the presidential election when only 60% of the electors voted for him. Since then, the secret services became almighty and want to trap Lukashenka. They might have manipulated him to make him believe that there was truly a bomb in the plane, or maybe he only pretended to believe them in order to reverse the trap and blame the secret services for this crime. These are very interesting speculations.


One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives around the hijacking of RyanAir flight 4978. The article aims to exonerate Alyaksandr Lukashenka from any responsibility for the incident by blaming shadowy people/the security services who purportedly organised the incident to damage the image of the Belarus president. It is not the first time this theory is advanced, see here.

The analysis is based only on the cui bono / who’s interests does it serve question. The article posits that since the disadvantages of hijacking a commercial plane to arrest an insignificant young journalist vastly exceed the advantages, then this was done by someone in the shadows - the security services - aiming to hurt the president.

There is no evidence to substantiate any of the presented claims.

On Sunday, May 23, 2021, the Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced to turn back before crossing the Lithuanian border and land in the Belarusian capital. The pretext for landing in Minsk was a false report about the bomb on board. At the moment when the plane changed course, it was closer to Vilnius airport than to Minsk. The plane was forced to land in the Belarusian capital by a Belarusian military aircraft.

Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protasevich was detained during a repeated security check of passengers.

The EU condemned Belarusian action against civil plane and the detention of Pratasevich. In a declaration on behalf of the EU on the forced diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 to Minsk on 23 May 2021, the High Representative called for the immediate release of Mr Pratasevich. This was followed by a European Council statement, in which the EU leaders called for targeted individual and economic sanctions as well as to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access to EU airports of flights operated by these.

See related disinformation claims, alleging that Belarus acted in strict accordance with international law in the Ryanair incident, Hamas sent an e-email to Minsk airport threatening to blow up a Ryanair flight over Vilnius.