Disinfo: Belarus may have fallen into the trap, rigged by the Ukrainians


The Belarusian authorities arrested Pratasevich, trigerring literaly hysterical reactions from the West, which accuses Minsk of having hijacked the plane on purpose to detain Raman Pratasevich, and threatens Belarus with retaliatory measures with significant consequences for the Belarusian economy. What if this hijacking of the flight with Pratasevich on board was a Ukrainian trap that Belarus fell into with both feet?


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the forced diversion and landing of Ryanair flight 4978 and the arrest of a Belarusian dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich.

The claim that the situation around the Ryanair flight and Raman Pratasevich was staged in order to “take over” Belarus and repeat the “Maidan” scenario in this country is ungrounded.

Pratasevich became a target of the Belarusian regime due to his role as a co-founder of the opposition Nexta channel on Telegram, which played an important role in providing information and broadcasting huge opposition protests against electoral fraud perpetrated by Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in 2020. Pratasevich fled Belarus for Poland in 2019 due to pressure from the authorities. He later relocated to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, where Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is also based due to Belarus government pressure against her.

On 23 May 2021, Belarusian authorities orchestrated the forced landing in Minsk of the Ryanair flight that was carrying out Pratasevich from Athens to Vilnius in order to snatch him. The incident, which included a fake bomb alert and the implicit threat of downing the flight by a Belarusian Mig-29, has been deemed as a serious breach of international aviation law and denounced as an act of “piracy” and “state-sponsored hijacking” by Ryanair.

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. On 4 June 2021, the European Council introduced a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Belarusian carriers of all kinds.

After Pratasevich arrest, pro-Kremlin outlets launched a wide disinformation campaign about the incident. See other examples in our database, such as claims that Belarus acted in strict accordance with international law in the Ryanair incident, that Hamas sent an email to Minsk airport, that the security service of Ukraine could have set up the incident to harm Belarus, that Roman Protasevich is a professional media extremist, or that the Ryanair case is similar to the forced landing of Evo Morales’s plane.


  • Reported in: Issue 245
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/05/2021
  • Article language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ryanair Flight 4978, Terrorism, Raman Pratasevich
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Disinfo: After a coup in 2000, the US, UK and the EU took control of Serbia's security, defence services

After the coup d'ètat in Serbia in 2000 the US, the UK and their EU slaves have taken control over Serbia's security services and defence sector, colonising the country. Serbia has become a Western colony because of traitors in the state apparatus and NGOs who have been brainwashed and paid by the West.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU and US presence in Europe.

There was no coup d'ètat in Serbia in 2000. On October 5, 2000, ten days after the presidential elections won by Vojislav Kostunica, the regime of President Slobodan Milošević, who had just passed a law specifically designed to guarantee him a further term in office, fell. Despite being defeated by the multi-party democratic coalition, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) largely supported by public opinion, the government-controlled Federal Electoral Committee claimed that no candidate won over 50% of the votes and that a second round between Koštunica and Milošević would take place.

Disinfo: The West employs double standards in its treatment of the Ryanair flight incident in Belarus

It is appalling that the West describes the incident in the airspace of Belarus as shocking. The life of civilised democracies, which in reality takes place according to the principle of quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi (what is permissible for Jupiter may not be permissible for a bull), has not been unique for a long time because these democracies have lost the true leadership qualities they once possessed, and caused the blood and suffering of millions around the world.

Either you express your shock at everything: from forcing the plane of the President of Bolivia to make an emergency landing in Austria at the request of the United States, and forcing a Belarusian plane to land in Ukraine 11 minutes after taking off with a Ukrainian opposition activist, or you do not.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the interception of the Ryanair flight FR4987 claiming that it is standard practice. None of the examples cited in the claim involved tailing by fighter jets, the communication of false information or crackdowns on the political opposition.

On 23 May 2021, a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet belonging to the Belarusian Airforce armed with air-to-air missiles intercepted Ryanair flight FR4987 en route from Athens to Vilnius. The Minsk Air Control reported a bomb on board the aircraft and demanded the flight redirected to Minsk. As the plane landed, a dissident journalist wanted by the Belarusian authorities for “extremism” was detained.

Disinfo: Minsk forced Ryanair flight to land in full accordance with international law

In forcing the Ryanair Athens-Vilnius flight to land in Minsk, the Belarusian flight authorities followed all international norms.


Roman Pratasevich was detained in Minsk airport when flying from Athens to Vilnius.

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.