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.


  • Reported in: Issue 246
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/05/2021
  • Article language(s) French, Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: Ryanair Flight 4978, Alexander Lukashenko, KGB, Conspiracy theory
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White Americans could be deprived not only of their legal and constitutional rights, but also of their lives. Civil war is the only way to prevent America's traitors, who deprive white citizens of their constitutional rights, from overthrowing the United States.


This article contains recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the alleged victimisation of white Americans, about the current US government's alleged hostility towards the white American population, and about an imminent new American civil war and disintegration of the United States. These disinformation narratives have been frequently spread by pro-Kremlin outlets since the US racial justice protests erupted in May-June of 2020.

Strengthening societal divisions in the US and in other Western nations is a key goal of pro-Kremlin disinformation and, according to an in-depth analysis by European Parliament, pro-Kremlin actors used racial issues to stoke tensions in the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 mid-term elections .

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Moldova's authorities and their external partners abroad are preparing massive fraud in early [parliamentary] elections.

In recent days, we have witnessed the unprecedented activity of the authorities and representatives of the West regarding the massive participation of the diaspora in early parliamentary elections. Under pressure from the West, the Moldovan authorities are going to open even more polling stations abroad, but who will control the voting process?


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about elections and Moldova.

The aim of this narrative is to discredit Moldova's pro-European parties as well as the country's Western partners. See here a similar case saying that the West interfered in Moldova to help Maia Sandu win the presidential elections and here a case claiming that Maia Sandu won thanks to election fraud, which was a success of the "collective West".

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What we are observing here is Western ‘democracy’ in action. To understand what they want for Syria, it is enough to look at what they did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and many other countries. They call themselves defenders of rights and freedoms while they kill people all over the world. They funded and continue funding terrorism in countries like Syria. It is proven that extremists have the support of the US and its Western allies.


This disinformation narrative appeared around the presidential election in Syria on 26 May 2021.

Presidential elections in Syria were announced on 18 April and held on 26 May. On 3 May, the Constitutional Court announced that it had accepted only three candidates (including Bashar al-Assad) and rejected 48 candidacies for “failing to meet constitutional and legal requirements”.