Disinfo: The Pratasevich incident could have been a provocation of the British special services

Summary

Someone else deliberately carried out this operation (MI6, SBU, or Polish special services). The British version is more likely. Because the company is British, although it is located in the tax jurisdiction of Ireland. It is also rather difficult to understand why the pilot (Lithuanian by nationality) chose the more distant Minsk and not Vilnius.

These are all British games. It was them who prepared the message (Lukashenka says it came from Switzerland), sent the plane to Minsk, and the Belarusians had no choice but to arrest Raman [Pratasevich]. All this created a lot of noise all over the world. Moreover, pay attention that the plane had just landed, and the British Foreign Minister had already demanded that Nord Stream 2 be stopped.

If this version is correct, then Lukashenka is a victim, not the initiator of this whole story.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the forced diversion of Ryanair flight 4978 from Athens to Vilnius and detainment of Belarusian journalist Roman Pratasevich in Minsk airport when flying from Athens to Vilnius.

There is no evidence is presented to support the claim which appears to be a part of a larger campaign to confuse the public with a smoke screens of conspiracies and alternative speculations.

On Sunday, May 23, 2021, the Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced by Belarusian authorities to turn back before crossing the Lithuanian border and land in the Belarusian capital. The plane was forced to land in the Belarusian capital by a Belarusian military aircraft MiG-29. The pretext for landing in Minsk was a false report about the bomb on board. At the moment when the plane changed its course, it was closer to Vilnius airport than to Minsk.

Belarusian dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich was detained during a repeated security check of passengers. Belarusian authorities are persecuting him due to activities in reporting on the 2020 presidential election on his NEXTA Telegram channel used by the country's opposition. The Belarusian security service, KGB, has listed him as a terrorist (Read more about Pratasevich here). Sofia Sapega, his girlfriend, and a citizen of the Russian Federation was detained at the same time.

The EU condemned Belarusian actions against a civil airplane 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.

The incident is investigated as an act of terrorism by Lithuanian authorities.

See similar cases: Security Service of Ukraine could have set up the detainment of Pratasevich to harm Belarus; Minsk forced Ryanair flight to land in full accordance with international law; Pratasevich could tell how the West supported and coordinated protests in Belarus; Belarus defended Europe against a terrorist attack, allowing the Ryanair plane to land in Minsk; Forcing down aircraft is common practice among special forces and Belarus acted strict in accordance with international law in the Ryanair incident.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 246
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/05/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, UK
  • Keywords: Ryanair Flight 4978, Raman Pratasevich
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Disproof

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about elections and Moldova.

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Disproof

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