DISINFO: Lithuania, Poland plan to kill Pratasevich
  • Outlet: RIA (archived)*
  • Date of publication: August 09, 2021
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 254
  • Countries / regions discussed: Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Ukraine, US, EU
Raman Pratasevich Alexander Lukashenko Ryanair Flight 4978

DISINFO: Lithuania, Poland plan to kill Pratasevich


Lithuania and Poland are planning to kill Belarusian opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich, and now Minsk has to protect him.


This is a recent disinformation narrative about the West’s alleged subversive activities against Minsk.

In reality, this is an unsubstantiated claim as there is no evidence, motive or indication about the West’s attempts to kill any Belarusian opposition leaders or government officials for that matter. The West hopes for democratic elections in a free Belarus, but it does not approve of any violent action. The EU's policy on Belarus is detailed here.

It is a well-known tactic to advance far-fetched conspiracy claims in order to blur the picture and confuse the wider audiences. Esp. in sensitive cases like for instance the MH-17 airplane downing, case against opposition activitist Alexey Navalny, the Maidan-killings in 2014 et al.

It is a well-documented fact that Belarusian authorities on 23 May 2021 ordered the forceful landing of Ryanair flight 4978 en route from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania with Belarusian opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega on board. A Belarusian warplane was scrambled up to intercept the civilian plane by force when Ryanair flight 4978 was minutes away from the Lithuanian border on a fake threat. Pratasevich and Sapega were arrested and later appeared in forced confessing on camera, most likely obtained by force. Many countries denounced the interception of the civilian plane as a ‘state hijacking’. The EU imposed sanctions on Lukashenka.

Mass protests flared up all over Belarus in August 2020, after Lukashenka announced himself the winner in a presidential election that was widely considered to be rigged.

Western nations support the Belarusian opposition financially and do it openly and transparently. However, Belarusian authorities have since last August been accusing the West, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Czechia, of interfering in Belarus’ affairs through alleged violent actions and attempts at overthrowing his regime.

Often, Lukashenka alleges that the West has attempted to topple him before. Read more disinformation narratives about the West’s alleged attempts to remove Lukashenka by force.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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