Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 27, 2021

By The Book - What Really Happened With The Ryanair Flight In Belarus

We yesterday looked at the record of Roman Protasevich, the western financed neo-nazi arrested on Sunday in Belarus. Another still open issue is how the incident developed.

Protasevich was arrested after a plane he was flying on from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to Minsk due to a bomb threat. There had been an open warrant of arrest against Protasevich which was enforced as he entered the country. NEXTA, the regime change organization in Poland where Protasevich had previously worked to organize a coup in Belarus, had doxxed policemen in Belarus and thereby endangered their families.

The Aviation Department of the Belorussian Ministry for Transport and Communication has published its official report of the incident. It is written in Russian and English language (scroll down for the English version). The report includes what seems to be the full transcript of the radio traffic between the plane and the air traffic control.

The report and the transcript debunk a number of false claims made in the 'western' reporting on the issue.

The main facts:

Department of Aviation in accordance with the requirements of Standards 5.2.5 and 5.3.1 of Annex 17 to the Convention on the International Civil Aviation, the Department of Aviation informs about the fact of an act of unlawful interference in the activities of civil aviation on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

On May 23, 2021, a written message with the following content in English was sent to the e-mail of the National Airport Minsk from the e-mail address

“We, Hamas soldiers, demand that Israel cease fire in the Gaza Strip. We demand that the European Union abandon its support for Israel in this war. We know that the participants of Delphi Economic Forum are returning home on May 23 via flight FR4978. A bomb has been planted onto this aircraft. If you don’t meet our demands the bomb will explode on May 23 over Vilnius. Allahu Akbar.”

Taking into account the seriousness of the threat received, the information from the National Airport Minsk was forwarded to the relevant air traffic control services of Belaeronavigatsia State-Owned-Enterprise.

In accordance with the requirements of the Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention and the National Program for the Protection of Civil Aviation from Acts of Unlawful Interference in the Republic of Belarus, a response actions mechanism was put into effect in connection with acts of unlawful interference in the civil aviation activity.

The flight FR4978 en route Athens (Greece) - Vilnius (Lithuania), operated on a Boeing 737-800 by Ryanair. The aircraft departed from Athens airport at 07.10 UTC (10.10 Belarusian time), entered into the Republic of Belarus airspace under the control of the Minsk ACC at 09.30 UTC (12.30 Belarusian time). The entry point into the airspace of the Minsk FIR was SOMAT.

Some comments on this:

The report is 'by the book' as it should be.

Protonmail, from where the email was received, is a encrypted web-email service hosted in Switzerland which allows more or less anonymous traffic.

An alleged screenshot of the email currently gets peddled around by the Editor-in-Chief of NEXTA:

Tadeusz Giczan @TadeuszGiczan - 11:59 PM · May 26, 2021

Not that anyone had any doubts but ‘Hamas email’ was sent to Minsk airport 24 minutes after Belarusian air controllers warned Ryanair pilots there’s a bomb onboard.


Giczan is right in that the time shown in the screenshot is inconsistent with the timing of the Ryanair flight in the Belorussian airspace.

That however proves nothing. Time stamps in emails are notoriously unreliable as they depend on various computer timezone settings and several other variables.

Clocks, computers and phones in Switzerland are currently set to UTC(GMT)+2 hours. Clocks, computers and phones in Belarus to UTC+3. A email sent at 10:57 Geneva time would likely show up as sent at 11:57 in Minsk time. However, if the timezone of the computer/phone that is used to look at the email is set to UTC+4 the email time would be shown as 12:57.

Nice trick Mr. Nexta but that screenshot is unconvincing.

The content of the email is not convincing as a threat. The demand for a ceasefire in Gaza is nonsense as one was already in place since May 21. The mentioning of the Delphi Economic Forum in Greece is of interest. Roman Protasevich had taken part in it and was on his way back to Vilnius. Why was that explicitly mentioned? If Belarus used the email as a trick to catch Protasevich why mention the Delphi Forum in the threat email?

The last sentence of the email is of high interest because it decided where the plan would land: "If you don’t meet our demands the bomb will explode on May 23 over Vilnius."

In previous incidents of bombs on civil aircraft these were either set off by a timer or by a barometer (pressure = height over ground). That the extortionist would name a specific location for the bomb explosion can only mean that the bomb would be set off by a GPS device. This explains why the pilots decided to diverted to Minsk instead of finishing the much shorter leg to Vilnius.


The pilots decided to go to Minsk because the risk of a potential bomb going off over Vilnius, as announced in the email, was high.

The transcript of the radio traffic shows that the pilots, not the authorities in Belarus, made that decision.

Pilot: OK, I give you (unreadable) can you say again IATA code of the airport that authorities have recommended us to divert to?
ATC: RYR 1TZ Standby.
Pilot: Standby, Roger.
ATC :09:41:00: RYR 1TZ .
Pilot: Go ahead.
ATC: IATA code is MSQ.
Pilot: can you say again please?
Pilot: MSQ, thanks.
Pilot: 09:41:58: RYR 1TZ Again, this recommendation to divert to Minsk where did it come from? Where did it come from? Company? Did it come from departure airport authorities or arrival airport authorities?
ATC: RYR 1TZ this is our recommendations.
Pilot:09:47:12: RYR 1TZ we are declaring an emergency MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY RYR 1TZ. our intentions would be to divert to Minsk airport
ATC: RYR 1TZ MAYDAY, Roger. Standby for vectors.
Pilot: Standby RYR 1TZ.
Pilot: 09:48:10 RYR 1TZ request descent to 10000 feet.
ATC: RYR 1TZ , descend FL100.
Pilot: descend (unreadable) RYR 1TZ.

I am convinced that the radio transcript as presented by the Belorussian air authority is complete and that nothing in it is fake. Air control radio traffic is not encrypted and lots of amateurs constantly record it. The Cockpit Voice Recorder of the Ryanair machine will also have a full copy of the talk.

Reportedly the Belorussian airforce sent up fighter jet to watch over the Ryanair flight. The Ryanair pilots were not made aware of that. There is no mention of it in the radio traffic transcript.

Sending up fighter jets to watch over planes under bomb or hijacking threat is however a standard operation procedure.

On July 14 2020 a bomb threat was made against a Ryanair flight from Krakow to Dublin. The plane made an emergency landing in Stansted:

The security scare on a Ryanair flight which sparked the RAF to scramble two fighter jets was due to a note claiming there was bomb on board the plane, airline bosses revealed last night.

Just three days later another Ryanair flight came under threat:

A 51-year-old British man has been arrested after a Ryanair flight from London to Oslo received a bomb threat.

Danish F-16 military aircraft were scrambled to escort the plane to Gardermoen Airport - the main international airport in Norway.

In a statement, police said the situation is now under control and the aircraft will now be examined by the emergency squad and bomb group.

It seems to me that the Belorussian authorities did everything by the book. Like in Norway the aircraft, its cargo and the passengers were examined by an emergency bomb squad. Here is how that looked in Minsk.


After the plane was declared clear by the bomb squad the authorities let the passengers board and leave to their original destination. Roman Protasevich and his Russian girlfriend, who had had a role in his regime-change efforts, were taken under arrest. At least one other passenger, who had originally planned to fly from Greece to Minsk with only a stopover in Vilnius, also went from board. Earlier speculations of KGB agents leaving the plane in Minsk have not been confirmed.

The aviation department report closes with this:

The Department of Aviation also wants to assure that the Belarusian aviation authorities, aviation organizations and the relevant law enforcement agencies of the state have taken and will continue to take the necessary measures and actions provided for by international and national legislation aimed at ensuring reliable protection of civil aviation from acts of unlawful interference.

For further consideration of the circumstances the Department of Aviation has invited representatives of ICAO, IATA, EASA, and EU and USA Civil Aviation Authorities.

Those international organizations should accept the invitation and take a deeper look at the issue. They should talk to the pilots and listen to the radio traffic as recorded by the cockpit voice recorder. I am convinced that they will find that everything happened exactly as the Belorussian authorities said. They received a bomb threat against the plane, informed the pilot and recommended to land in Minsk. The pilot weighted the circumstances and decided correctly to follow the advise.

There is only one big question for which we have yet to find an answer.

Who send the email that led to all this and for which purpose?

One can easily construe motives for both sides.

A. Belarus secret services wanted to capture Roman Protasevich no matter what and sent the email. They were willing to accept the predictable sanctions that would follow such a move.

B. The regime change gang that met in Greece wanted new attention and fresh sanctions on Belarus. Someone in the team sent the email. The group was willing to accept a few years of jail time for Protasevich who might or might not have been in on this.

I have no further evidence to decide if A or B is right. There is however a lot of historic evidence that 'western' supported regime-changers are extremely ruthless and willing to play with the lives and well being of other people. My gut feeling therefore tends to B.

In light of the above it is quite curious (but not astonishing) that 'western' governments are now pressing their airlines to avoid Belorussian airspace.

Russia, Belarus' big ally, is currently responding to that measure by prohibiting flights that avoid Belarussian from entering Russian airspace. A lot of flight schedules will have to change if this nonsense continues.

Posted by b on May 27, 2021 at 15:19 UTC | Permalink


thanks b... "Who send the email that led to all this and for which purpose?" i wonder if we will find out.. probably not.. will it be A or B? i remain open minded about this..

Posted by: james | May 27 2021 15:45 utc | 1

If the flunkie was aware that option "B" was happening, then he should've wiped his phone. The neo-Nazi photos and links are embarrassing for the rainbow reich.

Posted by: Jesrad | May 27 2021 15:53 utc | 2

@ petri on the last thread on this topic mentions this - "Vilnius ATC denied the Ryanair plane entry into Lithuanian airspace." lithuania being a stooge of the west, i don't suppose we will have access to the validity of this would we?? thanks for everyone's posts here at moa..

Posted by: james | May 27 2021 15:55 utc | 3

Apologies for self-indulgent copy-pasta from the last thread, but it seems appropriate to the topic at hand.

On communications,

According to Lukashenko, the Belorussians have all the communications of the flight on record, but don't consider it appropriate to release any but that of their own ATC and the flight crew. This was coupled with a plea for all sides involved in the incident to be transparent, which can be interpreted as a veiled threat that the full release of all communications is being considered. I see it as bargaining -- presumably Lukashenko would be more than happy to let the states and organizations involved keep their faces for back-room concessions. Whether the same consider anything that Belarus may have on record a serious threat is up for debate.

On option C,

That said, it's not a binary choice between either a CIA or KGB operation. Nothing says that only a state-backed organization could have pulled off a well-timed bomb-threat and forced an emergency landing. Or that Lukashenko really wanted anything to do with this hot mess. Or, for that matter, that the primary objective really was the arrest of Protasevich in Belarus. There's little to go on, but if the pebble that got the whole ball rolling was an e-mail directed specifically to Minsk air-control, this would be well within the capabilities of smaller hacker groups or citizen organizations. Also not out of the question is revenge by someone close to Protasevich, over a private matter.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 27 2021 15:59 utc | 4

"Russia, Belarus' big ally, is currently responding to that measure by prohibiting flights that avoid Belarussian from entering Russian airspace. "


Doesn't seem to be consistent, atm LOT677 flight skirted Belorussian airspace and is approaching Moscow. Compare flight paths with previous ones on flightrader24.

Posted by: MapleLeaf | May 27 2021 16:00 utc | 5

Who is the biggest bully in the playground?

Are there any movements to bring down the bully?

I vote for option C

Option C is an "ally" of Belarus, an enemy of empire and has the ability to spoof the email origin.

So it could have been Hamas as indicated by the email, Iran, Russia, China and a few others....yeah, option C

The shit show Narrative continues until it doesn't and I hope this is another of those thousand cuts that are effective at bringing the bully of global private finance down.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 27 2021 16:07 utc | 6

Indeed. Option C is Russia. Cui bono? Quid boni?

1. Make an example of the hapless millennial CIA asset. What you are doing, trying to overthrow a government, is NOT A GAME. Look at his face, he is absolutely clueless. Definitely a "journalist", not a soldier. The message to his peers is: Don't think your handlers will have your back.

2. Move Belarus closer to Moscow, further from West.

Posted by: veto | May 27 2021 16:19 utc | 7

Time will reveal reality! It is good that Russia is supporting Belarus, and Lukashenko will meet Putin tomorrow. Russia will drive this situation going forward.

One might SPECULATE another scenario. Sofia is like Mariya Butina, a Russian agent? She successfully penetrated the regime change network and enabled the capture of Romans! Russian networks and KGB created the pretext for this event. Maybe Russia is outsmarting the Empire, now that it knows the Empire wants a regime change in Belarus and capture Russia too. The Dollar Empire likes to frame the situation or believe that it is driving them.

In Russia’s global war with the Dollar Empire, who are its allies? Most nations in the Non-$ (sovereign) bloc are under attack by the Dollar Empire. If they don’t stand together then they will be captured sequentially. Name a Russian partner that isn’t being challenged by this Empire. If Russia doesn’t stand with its partners then it won’t have any allies. The suzerainties of the Empire work together to ENSLAVE more nations for the monetary imperialism.

It is time that nations that want to be SOVEREIGN unite and make a stand against IMPERIALISM.

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you do know that ain’t so.”
- Mark Twain

Posted by: Max | May 27 2021 16:19 utc | 8

A third option would be possible, or maybe a variant of B, the regime change gang is at each other’s throats for money since in spite of all the noise they've been defeated, so someone got rid of a competitor for grants, and a rival for leadership. Protasyevich left NEXTA a few months ago. Too bad the interview with Dud' is really long, both psychopaths reveal a lot since they're interviewed by a popular liberal TV star for the pro western urban crowd mainly in Moscow, and in a relaxed and show off atmosphere.

The girlfriend was the editor of the doxxing channel, not only policemen but judges and functionaries were posted as well. Her channel was unknown to me before the scandal but I used to take a look at NEXTA and the guys are radical but at ease in the digital realm, directing crowds, giving instructions for sabotage, and probably the main thing, distilling hate. Team work was obvious since they were on the ball constantly.

The Dud' interview in Russian, and good news, there is a version with English subtitles, no need to watch it all, it's easy to get the swing of the characters:

Posted by: Paco | May 27 2021 16:34 utc | 9

The e-mail is clearly a fake, who faked it and why I don't know, but look at the adress: it was sent to the reception / callcenter.

Given the pattern of false bombthreats against Ryan Air I give you D: the target was the airline, everything else is collateral.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | May 27 2021 16:43 utc | 10

In response to psychohistorian@8,

Is there actually a need to spoof the email? I'm not sure even protonmail staff would be able to trace the location of the particular address that sent the message, the way that their service is constructed. Even then, a rudimentary set of proxies should be sufficient to create a comfortably acceptable false trail in such a politicized affair.

The presumed capabilities of the op's initiator are more evident from the mention of the Delphi Economic Forum and, going by the assumption that getting at Protasevich was the ultimate goal, access to the passenger list, flight plan and so on. This information would of course be available to any close associate of Protasevich. It also wouldn't be beyond civil defense or hacker groups, ala Cyberberkut or separatist secret services, which may harbor animosity towards this individual. These smaller groups, or individuals, would naturally not have the ability to influence the ultimate course of events, but the influence of even state actors would also be severely limited, once the plane was within Belorussian airspace.

Any number of random factors could have taken place to entirely alter the situation. Minsk ATC could, after all, have ignored the bomb threat as being "none of their business" and only the person or people who sent the email would know about it. These kinds of fishing expeditions are not uncommon, especially from actors with limited international reach, and we still can't be sure if the operation was entirely successful or at all. It's possible that other passengers were the targets, or some entirely different objective was being pursued.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 27 2021 16:44 utc | 11

Yes, a curious saga to be sure. The C-Option hypothesis has credence given the Resistance Axis's greater arc of activity and Nasrallah's most recent promise of action. Thus, IMO it's important to rethink who the actors are in the complete Arc of Resistance, which as Nasrallah mentions includes the Ummah, not just Palestinians or Arabs. Further, I suggest the content of this news item be carefully considered, particularly what lurks the between the lines given the ongoing Hybrid War.

Considering the great escalation in Hybrid Warfare by the Outlaw US Empire, we should expect to see more attempts at counter measures such as this one and others. The current Global Times editorial I'm going to cite in the comment I'm about to post to the Lab-Leak thread also points in that direction, the following being its key pronouncement:

"We need to abandon any illusions. The Biden administration will not obey the rules. It will continue most of the Trump administration's ferocious moves."

And to counter those as the second link suggests, the China-Russia part of the Arc of Resistance will draw closer.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2021 16:55 utc | 12

Why send an email at all?

Especially such a stupid one: "If you don’t meet our demands the bomb will explode on May 23 over Vilnius". Is the EU supposed to abandon its support for Israel while the plane is in the air? What is it, must be about an hour?

Plus, there's no guarantee whatsoever that someone will read it at the exactly right moment. Email is not an emergency communication. Why not make a call, to the emergency number?

All this, I believe, indicates option A, the KGB. Or, less likely, just a stupid meaningless prank.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 27 2021 17:06 utc | 13

A true "tour de force" review and rebuttal of North Atlantisistic false Mainstreom Media willingly off course news reports!
Cannot --of course -- be printed nor posted by the same false propaganda outfits in the West Europe Union lands -- nor in North America.
In another wain: In a few days is June 4th. The same media will overflow anew with old false news concerning a massacre on Tiananmen square in Beijing that never happened. I hope our respected b and acortated in-the-know barflies will write and de-robe and de-frock the emperor of his old clothes!

Posted by: Theo Oros אש תיצפ | May 27 2021 17:07 utc | 14

Even if it is option A, it may only include a small group within the Belarussian Security Services. No requirement for Lukashenko's involvement. 'Raman' had threatened the families of Security people on a very personal level, they may well have plotted revenge against him specifically on the basis of a personal animus without any greater geopolitical goal. Simply send an anon email and then the Air control of Belarus acts completely by the book as does Luka... When Raman is discovered at Minsk he is arrested, again completely by the book, by policemen who are not in anyway related to the plot.

I know it's not gonna happen, but I wish that Luka would on the world stage offer to release 'Raman' (who is really unimportant small fry-in reality) in exchange for the release of Assange/pardon Snowden... that'd be great owning of the neolibs

Posted by: kons | May 27 2021 17:07 utc | 15

Yes, I vote "stupid prank" or somebody out to get the little Nazi. If the "stupid prank" option, they may have gotten a bigger effect than they wanted. I can see clever Belarussian cops being involved too, like another poster here mentioned.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 27 2021 17:18 utc | 16

@ kons | May 27 2021 17:07 utc | 15 who wrote

I know it's not gonna happen, but I wish that Luka would on the world stage offer to release 'Raman' (who is really unimportant small fry-in reality) in exchange for the release of Assange/pardon Snowden... that'd be great owning of the neolibs

Nice thought! If the Axis against evil was more organized this could be a reality but now just a pipe dream....hold your breath a long time.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 27 2021 17:22 utc | 17

Something is clear though, they are western trained, all the staff are from Belarus but long living in Poland, Putilo's western style "marketing" and brain storming is evident starting with their name, NEXTA, it is a really good brand, universally pronounced and understood as things to come and at the same time if the X is pronounced the slavic way then it is NEKHTA which means someone. Poland is up to its neck in it, those guys keep on dreaming about their "from sea to sea" empire and are dragging down the EU. The Brits jumped ship but surely left a heavy trojan horse.

Posted by: Paco | May 27 2021 17:25 utc | 18

Ehm ...

Doesn't the air traffic protocol say the exact opposite of what you claim? The "recommendation" to land at Minsk comes from (Belarusian) Air Traffic Control. The pilots are surprised and ask who had that idea. ATC confirms "our [Belarusian authorities] recommendation". The pilots do what they are told.

Posted by: m | May 27 2021 17:31 utc | 19

The problem with option B is that Protasevich is too high value a target for the Belarus authorities. They want information on the regime change operations being carried out and Protasevich knows it all. . He simply knows too much for the to let him be captured alive.

Had they done a false flag assassination whereby they tie up a loose end or Protasevich was more useful to them alive than dead, whilst using it to demonise Lukashenko then option B would make sense.

No, this was a brilliant counterintelligence move that bagged a high value target whilst leaving no traces as to the agency behind it. Belarus can wash their hands of this and simply say they were following standard operating procedure.

Whoever pulled this off is a genius.

Posted by: Down South | May 27 2021 17:35 utc | 20

In response to Mao Cheng Ji@13,

Why send an email at all?

The email really is stupid, if taken literally, but in the end it really doesn't matter how unrealistic the demands are or the deadline for those demands. If the claim of an explosive on board turns out to be genuine and results in civilian casualties, no one will accept the unreasonable structure and composition of the threat as a valid excuse for inaction. There's no longer such a thing as a prank bomb threat, at least not without a full investigation. But, of course, Minsk could have missed or intentionally ignored the email at their leisure, much like they technically could have ignored Protasevich and his girlfriend. If the bomb threat wasn't a formal justification by Belarus, it was very much a fishing expedition, but that doesn't make it implausible.

As for a call to the emergency number, that would probably be an easier sell for the KGB -- they could release a recording of the threat in a scary, Arabic-sounding voice, and the general public would lap it up as a valid reason for grounding the plane much more readily. Of course, the KGB wouldn't even have to worry about being traced, since they would be tasked with investigating themselves. Not as comfortable for any outside actors who would want to stay anonymous though -- much easier with electronic communication.

The Russian public is fairly convinced that Protasevich was set up by his NEXTA colleagues, alluding to postings by the same in social media on the persecution of Protasevich before Belorussian authorities even became aware of his presence on the plane. His girlfriend, who was on the same flight and was also arrested, spammed her social media accounts with photos of Protasevich while bomb disposal units were going through the plane and luggage, unwisely bringing a lot of attention to Roman and herself. It all sounds very circumstantial to me, but it's a valid theory.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 27 2021 17:45 utc | 21

The recommend to land at Minsk does come from Minsk ATC and they openly say that-nothing untoward about that-according to the (obviously fake-but still have to take it serious) threat flying onto Vilnius is not an option and Minsk is closeby and with the facilities to deal with a possible bomb as is discussed between teh pilot and Minsk ATC. The Pilot questions who the recommendation comes from which is also understandable and reasonable-he wants to cover his ass and that he is following orders from a higher responsibility. If you read the whole transcript you can see that the Pilot is trying to contact someone (anyone!) at Ryanair to presumably get their take on what to do. If you have had anything to do with Ryanair then you won't be surprised to hear that they were uncontactable.

Posted by: kons | May 27 2021 17:46 utc | 22

Wondering if RF preventing planes from being diverted into its airspace is a subtle reminder of the impact of playing such games with Russia. Block airspace access across Russia's 12 time zones could have massive impacts on civil aviation.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 27 2021 17:49 utc | 23

Posted by: m | May 27 2021 17:31 utc | 19

Well I'm not the only one asking this...

Posted by: notlurking | May 27 2021 17:50 utc | 24

@kons 15 "Simply send an anon email and then the Air control of Belarus acts completely by the book"

Meh. What if the email goes to the spam folder? What if the secretary who reads emails is at the lunch break, or making copies of the code of conduct manual for everyone in the office, or on the phone with her boyfriend, for the whole time the plane's in the air?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 27 2021 17:51 utc | 25

@Skiffer "The Russian public is fairly convinced that Protasevich was set up by his NEXTA colleagues"

Then, I think, it's a stroke of luck that it worked.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 27 2021 18:03 utc | 27

@Mao Cheng Ji 25
Cops with threatened families: Shrug the shoulders, give it a go, if it works it works, if it doesn't well maybe get him some other time, some other way...

they are not working with an operational need for 100%.

Posted by: kons | May 27 2021 18:07 utc | 28

In response to Mao Cheng Ji@27,

I agree. If the ultimate goal of the person(s) who sent the email was to get Roman arrested, independent of Belorussian security services, it would have been a long-shot with numerous potential hiccups in its path. However, it also wouldn't have cost the person(s) anything, whether successful or not, which makes it an attractive possibility. If this is the result of someone close to Roman being out to get him, we couldn't even be sure they succeeded on their first try.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 27 2021 18:15 utc | 29

Massive uptick in hybrid information war this week, focussed on establishing an even greater divide between the western capitalist regimes and their "adversaries". This incident, but also the Americans have just stated that they will no longer "engage" China but from now on will "compete" with it. That announcement coincided with NY Times running a Wuhan "lab leak" story on its front page today, and Biden admin directs intelligence agencies to specifically investigate.

Posted by: jayc | May 27 2021 18:19 utc | 30

Regarding the bomb threat, it certainly looks like someone was getting fooled, but there are so many parties here, it isn't clear who was in on it and who was not.

* Belarus bags this right wing doofus, and perhaps shines some light on where the budding color revolution is coming from

* US drives another wedge between EU and Russia

* Israel gets relief from unwelcome attention

* Ukraine gets to have western media vilify Russia

* Russia then diakite points with non western audience as the western media discredits itself some more

* Internet-age revolutionaries get more funding

Posted by: ptb | May 27 2021 18:21 utc | 31

*scores points with non western audience... autotypo

Posted by: ptb | May 27 2021 18:22 utc | 32

“This debate has moved so far from the evidence that I don’t know if we can dial it back,”
---says virologist Angela Rasmussen.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 27 2021 18:25 utc | 33

The imperial narrative is now set in concrete. They continue to add upon the false edifice.
Here is the next story or layer.

Turkey pushed NATO allies into watering down an official reaction to the forced landing by Belarus of a passenger plane and the detention of a dissident journalist on Sunday, two diplomats familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Posted by: librul | May 27 2021 18:37 utc | 34

Meanwhile, this important development and is being missed by many. Yet another move on the global checkerboard. It should be read in concert with these remarks made by Putin today, while thinking about the nature of the ongoing conflict.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2021 18:56 utc | 35

There is a fingerprint in the email but we do not know if it is a real fingerprint or a fake fingerprint.

We know that the participants of Delphi Economic Forum are returning home on May 23 via flight FR4978

First, this proves the email was not sent by some joker or random hacker, but by some clandestine intelligence service. (I count RFE/RL and their assets as an intelligence service.) How many Delphi Economic Forum participants were there on the flight? I think we can assume that the "Russian-looking" agent that took a photo of Roman Protasevich at the Athens airport was working for the same service that sent the email. They would need to confirm that Protasevich was on the plane before sending the email.

Mentioning the passengers proves that the sender had real intelligence capabilities and thus should be taken seriously.

Second, mentioning the Delphi Economic Forum is a tip for Belarusian intelligence to alert them that Protasevich or some other fugitive was onboard. Would the email have been taken seriously, if the forum had not been mentioned? If yes, then the fingerprint points to Western origin.


If the photo incident happened at the Athens airport, as I assume, then Greek law enforcement should have surveillance video of this person. Is Greece searching for him? If he really was Belorussian (or Russian), then they should. If not, then most likely he was working for Team West.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 27 2021 18:56 utc | 36

Having left NEXTA Potatoface became expendable, (as were Navalny and Guaido).

The Delphi meeting was to give him "importance", and to aid his ego. If he forgot his lines then there was always the laptop to hunt inside.
1) The plane was also "forced" to land in Minsk by Ryanair and the others the pilot was trying to contact. HE didn't want to land in Minsk (which is why he tried to find a way out,) As b says, one of the only ways for bomb to be set off over Vilnius was by GPS or similar, leaving no other choice.
2) Once there, the local airport staff were more or less informed that he was on the plane, and given a photo to recognise him. So as to make really sure they arrested him. (=> .....spammed her social media accounts with photos of Protasevich while bomb disposal units were going through the plane and luggage, unwisely bringing a lot of attention to Roman and herself.
: Skiffer | May 27 2021 17:45 utc | 21 . query; I thought it was by a friend of potatohead, whose name starts with a vi....... ?)

Note that the Belorussians have recently seized about $300'000 and are clamping down on the "Regime change" infrastructure within the country. The group has to be compromised as would be their next series of demonstrations.

Delphi; Nuland and Pyatt may have been thought worthwhile to change tactics. Both rabid Zionists, they could also consider it worthwhile to sacrifice one small nazi pawn for a cover-up of Gazan and Palestinian ethnic cleaning. This will also possibly give them more financial backing to set up a new undercover operation in Belaruss.


And all that takes the narrative spotlight off Gaza.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 27 2021 19:03 utc | 37

karlof1 | May 27 2021 18:56 utc | 35

This is supposed to enble long range bomber flights across and around the med, in reply to NATO flights along the Russian borders. They now have the ability to do without a refuelling base in Iran. The Cyprus (UK) and Turkish military must be jumping up and down with joy to have new neighbours on their southern flanks.

Note that Israel, the UAE, and the US are setting up bases on Perim island and Socottra. (Bab el Mandab, and both islands belong to Yemen. Yemen has stated that there is NO treaty agreeing to this.)

Posted by: Stonebird | May 27 2021 19:16 utc | 38

In response to Petri Krohn@36,

If the photo incident happened at the Athens airport, as I assume, then Greek law enforcement should have surveillance video of this person. Is Greece searching for him?

According to the Indicator, Greek law enforcement is reviewing surveillance footage, but have not found anything suspicious. They have not been able to confirm that the photo incident actually took place.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 27 2021 19:18 utc | 39

Just to add to the speculation, how about the bomb threat being emailed in by someone trying to discredit Hamas? Mossad, perhaps? And the Nazi kid getting arrested was purely unintentional. That might seem somewhat unlikely but the Zionists would certainly appreciate the world's attention being directed somewhere else for a while.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 27 2021 19:18 utc | 40

My Money would be on the Ukraine and the SBU. They have a history of using the texas 2 step, especially with aircraft. They are probably the ones likely to gain the most also. With recent news of the US softening to Nord stream it would be in the benefit of Ukraine to drive a wedge into russian-EU relations at this moment. I would imagine that Roman and the Azov battalion who were useful idiots in the beginning are now getting in the way, Think brown shirts and Nazi Germany. We know the SBU will literally do anything necessary in pursuit of their goals. I highly suspect it was the SBU that Novichocked Salisbury in the Uk and i suspect the UK government sussed that pretty quickly but were stuck with there back against a wall given our support of Euromaiden. Also Roman and his crew are a US UK 5 eyes asset, he could be used against Ukraine, Zelensky is unknown to me but seems a little less shill like than hes previous Candy man president.

Just my thoughts, i could be way off because there is so much i dont know.

Posted by: jack lockwood | May 27 2021 19:20 utc | 41

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 27 2021 18:56 utc | 36

'Raman' and his buddies shared on open social media where they were (Greece) and why and where they were going (Vilnius) and when... didn't require any sophisticated hacking or complex intel to sus that out, simply follow some twatter/fb profiles and google flight times from Athens to Vilnius. follow flight on until it enters Belorussian airspace and then send email.

Posted by: kons | May 27 2021 19:38 utc | 42

There are some things that this story has in common with the Navalny poisoning:

- Emergency landing of a plane carrying a Western-backed activist in his home country.
- Fake bomb scare, whose purpose was to prevent landing of the aircraft (a threat of bombs in Omsk was reported soon after the request for permission to land Navalny's plane at Omsk airport to bring him to the hospital).
- The activist ends up in custody in his home country, very likely for a long time.

It looks as if whoever planned Protasevich's arrest was copying some details of the Navalny case.

It could be that Lukashenko or the KGB were sending out some kind of message that Protasevich would face the same fate as Navalny.

Another possibility is that the same people arranged both incidents. Why not use the same techniques again when were so successful the first time?

In both cases they could have been getting rid of allies that had got out of control. Navalny is a money-grabbing megalomaniac. Perhaps Protasevich would have to face questions about his Nazi past if he got more and more exposure?

By turning those loose cannons into heroic martyrs, the plotters could kill two birds with one stone: Not only could they get rid of those problems, but they could make their enemies (Russia and Belarus) look like oppressive dictatorships that persecute journalists.

Posted by: Brendan | May 27 2021 19:41 utc | 43

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is described on the Delphi Forum speakers' roster as 'Leader of Belarus.' Though in attendance, the individual destained in Minsk is not listed.

Posted by: Fred A. Reed | May 27 2021 19:48 utc | 44

Along with the other speculation, someone (I think on Saker) suggested that there could be disinformation seeded onto the electronic devices, including a laptop, that RP had with him.

If you want to go deeper into speculation, the Hamas connection suggests another country which has been suspected of creating laptops with interesting information on them.

Posted by: billb | May 27 2021 20:12 utc | 45


So, assuming this is all about Protasevich,
1. the email works only for the KGB. The KGB can also make sure there's a slot in the Minsk airport. The only gamble is pilot's acceptance, but there's no obvious reason for the pilot to decline. So, I'd say for the KGB it's a ~90% chance of success. Not to mention that MiG-29, in case they reeeeally want the kid.

2. For everyone else, the chance of success would be much, much less, with the email read and acted upon at the right time being the biggest gamble.

3. The CIA. If I were a CIA, I'd make a call, on the emergency line, right at the moment when the plane is crossing into Belarus. So, it seems unlikely it's the CIA. Or any external spook agency. Too unprofessional.

4. A casual attempt by NEXTA colleagues or other non-professionals? Yes, possible. However, if I were a NEXTA colleague doing this, I think I might've also anonymously contacted the KGB a few days before the event. Raising the chances tenfold just by sending another untraceable email -- a no-brainer...

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 27 2021 20:43 utc | 46

There is also the possibility that Belarus KGB thought, based on social media trawling about the Athens conference, that Tsikhanouskaya herself would be on the flight. that the KGB didn't actually have on the ground people at Athens airport or on the flight. She would be a much more likely target that the Belarus KGB higher ups (maybe even Lukashenko) would consider worth pulling this stunt to get.

Posted by: kons | May 27 2021 21:05 utc | 47

As I posted on MoA

something smell rats with the mail. Now, West is pushing that the mail was "late" (Reuters et al.), and "confirm" by Swiss Proton...wait and see
But in the same "research", Reuters explain the Proton Account for "Ahmed Yourlanov" was created on May 14th.

Question 1: why a well organised plot one week in advance...and a mail send to [email protected] and "unfortunatly" 1/2 hour too late???

Question 2: as I wrote yesterday and from the beginning, how too explain that the pilot maintain FL390, 20 mn? Even when not deleting the only urgent think to do was descend under FL100 (I am not sure for mountain in Belarus but on Internet: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara is the highest point and the highest mountains in Belarus. It is more of a hill than a mountain with an elevation of 1,132 feet above the sea level.)

Question 3: we need ALL conversation in Cockpit Voice Recorder, Belarus know only those with Belarus ATC, not in the Cockpit, not on other frequency (Ryannair, Vilnius , ...). When not's an answer

Posted by: Rêver | May 27 2021 21:25 utc | 48

Both scenarios represent a huge W for Belarus:

1) if A is the case, then it is just a sample of the efficiency and reach of the KGB;

2) if B is the case, then the Belarusian color revolutionaries are cannibalizing themselves because victory is not in sight (degeneration).

Of course, there are other possibilities (including the mathematically possible scenario of pure, dumb luck - ironically, the only one that would not represent such a win for Belarus). But, in general, suffice us to see that Lukashenko has already figured everything up on the opposition and the battle will essentially come down to brute force (economic sanctions, assassinations, sabotage of infrastructure, terrorism etc.) , and not propaganda warfare.

Posted by: vk | May 27 2021 21:35 utc | 49

Don't ignore this scenario - Sheer Incompetence aka (The) Ukrainian Brain Drain

Maybe someone in Ukraine is responsible for thinking this one through (snicker).

Remember 'The Purpose Of The Babchenko Hoax'?

As former British ambassador Craig Murray comments on the SBU's explanation:

Craig Murray @CraigMurrayOrg - 19:24 UTC- 30 May 2018

If you believe that particular piece of Ukrainian propaganda you are even more stupid than I had already deduced. I wore a book on my head today to prevent Boris Johnson stealing my fridge. My fridge is so there, which is undoubted proof that my scheme worked and Johnson guilty.

There is so much stupidity that has gone under the bridge these last several years that it is hard to keep track of it all.
So here is a quick refresher:

Babchenko was a Russian journalist who had exiled himself to Ukraine.
He thought it would be a good idea to smear Putin by staging his - Babchenko - own murder.
So he did. Then he realized: "Now what am I going to do with the rest of my life now that I am 'dead'".
Well, he decided to just show up by surprise at a news conference - alive, of course.
After that the Ukrainians had to wing it and fake it with some explanation, and of course the western MSM
was compliant.

Posted by: librul | May 27 2021 22:14 utc | 50

The email warning is implausible, so not likely planned by a major power:
1. No sensible person would expect the EU to make a major new decision during a plane flight; if anyone thought blackmail would work, they would give the EU time. Even if blackmail extracted a statement, it would be retracted.
2. The Russian surname (Yurlanov) smears Russia, so the source is likely US/Ukraine/Israel, not Belarus/Russia.
3. If a bomb was used, it would discredit the alleged source (Hamas/Russia), which was likely their enemies.
Neither Hamas/Russia would expect threats to gain EU support, so the US/Israel are likely sources.

Option A (Belarus source) is unlikely because a Russian surname was used, and Russia is supporting Hamas. Belarus would use a surname from a group they wished to discredit.
Option B seems likely as Protasevich is too young to lead, but a useful sacrifice for regime change propaganda, very likely recruited for that purpose, to persuade young Westerners that Russia = bad.
“Option C” Russia is unlikely because the email if believed damages their interests.

Posted by: Joe B | May 27 2021 22:27 utc | 51

The airports in Lithuania (Vilnius), Ukraine (Lvov and Kiev), and also in Poland (Warsaw) refused permission for the Ryanair plane to land, they thought the bomb is a genuine threat.

It's amazing no Western journalist has yet interviewed the crew, the refusal of the three countries (two are NATO members), one is run by the Americans may well be the reason the pilot and the rest of the crew are silent.

Posted by: Baron | May 27 2021 22:32 utc | 52

If Protasevich was a sacrificial lamb and the email was sent by regime-change forces, there's no way Protasevich was aware of it. You'd have to be braindead to rely on that cutthroat gang, they will leave you out to dry, like they've done so many times, because at the end of the day, all the traitors to their countries are just pawns to them. That and Protasevich must have feared what Belarusian authorities, justice, police and jails could do to him if he was caught - he surely wasn't going to get a comfy Norwegian "prison cell".

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 27 2021 22:34 utc | 53

@Baron 52
Where are you getting that info from?

Posted by: kons | May 27 2021 23:00 utc | 54

kons | May 27 2021 23:00

It's in Russian, kons, but if you google translate the second paragraph it says what Baron said, the airports refused the permission to land the Ryanair contraption (you can translate the lot and the postings, too, of course).

Posted by: Baron | May 27 2021 23:09 utc | 55

The West's noise at Protasevich's capture is an indicator as someone noted in the first thread as he's linked to the entire NeoNazi-NATO "Nexus" about which a great deal more will now be discovered. What few realize, however, is that nexus is deeply involved with the attempt to rewrite WW2's history and cast the Russians--and All Communists--as evil devils on the same level as Hitler's and Tojo's Fascists in an attempt to legitimize the West's own brand of Fascism--Neoliberalism--which has the same global goals as Hitler and Tojo.

This ongoing deeper, darker effort Putin has spoken about on numerous occasions, prompting him to initiate several organizations to negate those efforts, which is why I took the effort to link to what was an important meeting of the Pobeda Committee, which coordinates the efforts to derail the efforts to alter WW2's historic outcome. What's most important about that meeting is Putin's revealing his innermost emotions, which is extremely rare.

The ideological aspect here is huge but is hard to recognize given decades of Western propaganda. The key point is the decision by Russia and China for their nation's political-economy to support their #1 national asset--their citizenry: those that made the sacrifices that were required for both nations to emerge victorious over the Fascist forces both faced and now face again in their hybridized form with the same goal to control the world.

Another key link is to the events in the UK as were discussed by John Cleary over the past few weeks, particularly on May 19-23's open thread. The UK is very deeply involved in the Outlaw US Empire's plan, which is why we see it in action so often--White Helmets, Assange, etc. Remember, both China and Russia were very explicit about their being Anti-Reset. And the ongoing Hybrid War is about that and so much more.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2021 23:11 utc | 56

When was the email sent?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the source of this fake story. Read carefully and you will see that Lithuanian ATC received a copy of the email 6 minutes before Ryanair entered Belorussian airspace. Today's fake news is about a screenshot of another copy of the email sent half an hour later (assuming it is real).

Inconsistencies in the "terrorist" version of the Belarusian authorities - Dossier Center, May 27, 2021

On May 23, at 12:25 pm Belarusian time, the administration of "Lithuanian Airports" received a letter with the threat of a bomb explosion on board the flight FR4978 by e-mail, sent from the address [email protected] . It reported the following: “We, the Hamas soldiers, demand that Israel cease fire in the Gaza Strip. We demand that the EU renounce its support for Israel in this war. It is known that the participants of the Delphic Economic Forum are returning home on May 23 on flight FR4978. This plane has a bomb. If you do not fulfill our demands, the bomb will explode on May 23 over Vilnius. Allahu Akbar ".

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 27 2021 23:27 utc | 57

Another interesting aspect has surfaced:

"In its turn, Russia’s position regarding the Ryanair airplane diversion in Belarus received support from China and South Africa during the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council meeting on the incident, but was "not heard" by other members, the Russian delegation told Sputnik.

"'We were under the impression that the Europeans had prepared their presentations in advance, with each state having been assigned a role to play,' Russian delegation member Sergey Gudkov said on Tuesday, lamenting that other member states were unwilling to consider Russia’s position." [My Emphasis]

This sort of behavior is consistent with Western sponsored provocations. And so the picture is further muddled.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2021 23:52 utc | 58

There is the possibility that NATO or the US government might have been testing Belarus defence readiness with the hoax Hamas bomb plot.

The presence of Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega on board the Ryanair jet could have been either incidental (which might explain the hysterical reaction of NATO governments to Protasevich's arrest, less so to Sapega's arrest) or it could have been planned without the couple's knowledge as cover for the hoax bomb plot and its purpose. This second option though depends on how valuable Protasevich and Sapega still are to the regime-change agenda. At his age, and given what and who Protasevich knows, has experience in, and might still be able to do, would his controllers have willingly given him up? Protasevich might well get more than a few years' jail-time.

Posted by: Jen | May 28 2021 0:12 utc | 59

Karlof1 beat me to it on the refresh but I'll chime in even so :)

Not proof by any stretch but we're probably beyond any such being relevant; judging by the ongoing series of own goals being performed by "the west" on this topic they are behind it.

UNSC and ICAO shenanigans on the topic (Sputniknews). (Same link as karlof1 made).

If "the west" really didn't do it they sure act as if they did and so they will continue to raise a stink about it in order to pretend to care about anyone they use (nazis or not, skripaled or not).

If they didn't do it they could sit still, remain silent, and let things develop in a normal manner, or only make a proper complaint about the arrest (would they even know how to do that any more?) and not focus on the bomb threat or invented issues.

Instead they act like complete idiots making fools of themselves, let's consider that a silver lining or blessing :)

- - - - -

Re.: "Russian-looking".

Which would be what exactly?

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 0:17 utc | 60

And as ever I don't get who they think their audience is because the vast majority simply don't care and those who do are either like us here or working for them. "The west" loves chasing no-wins (and no nobody is going to forget about "Israel", they didn't manage to keep out of the news either, or the rest of the world).

- - - -

"Russian-looking" like the blonde working part time at the kiosk or the fat guy jumping the queue? Like "Pussy Riot" or Lavrov? Like that endearing ex-Russian Navy strongman competitor (massive but they all are, and sorry I forgot the name, I'm sure he'll be there next christmas too at the World's Strongest Man competitions) or the (too ostentatious) luxurious young Russian embassy wives with their noses reaching for the moon or anyone wearing the "eastern Europe summer holiday uniform" of a thin-striped rugby shirt, or maybe the reporter getting her microphone stolen by that funny dog or the other reporter who didn't allow herself to laugh at it? Only mentioning some of the recent "Russians" (no guarantee about most of them) I've met/passed or seen during the last few years.

Not being mean :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 0:32 utc | 61

I forgot the ever so slightly older ladies walking in the street a late afternoon with a Russian flag or two celebrating something, I smiled of course :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 0:38 utc | 62

In the meantime, going off-topic, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has won a fourth term in office.

Voter turn-out in Syria was about 78% and of those who turned up to the polling booths, 95% voted for Assad.

Incidentally one of the countries invited to send observers to the Presidential elections in Syria was Belarus.

Posted by: Jen | May 28 2021 0:41 utc | 63

Exactly who was the email sent to? If it was about blowing the Ryanair flight over Vilnius, shouldn't it have been sent to the Baltic slagheaps, not Belarus, or not to Belarus alone at least? Were there other recipients? Who are they? Why did they not say anything?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 28 2021 1:00 utc | 64

No, this was a brilliant counterintelligence move that bagged a high value target whilst leaving no traces as to the agency behind it. Belarus can wash their hands of this and simply say they were following standard operating procedure.

Whoever pulled this off is a genius.

I agree.... first class intelligence work!

GRU... anyone???


Posted by: George W Oprisko | May 28 2021 1:08 utc | 65

The Company They Keep

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2021 1:14 utc | 66

A tiny obscure(?) nitpick rambling comment on a line or two of the content in the link to Strategic Culture by Bemildered.

It's easy to not know it but the "black sun" symbol is not a "cleverly downplayed, almost-but-deniably-and-not-quite Hakenkreuz logo" as the writer thinks but (at least an attempt at) a stronger and more potent symbol than the swastika cooked up afaik at the latest during the early part of WWII by the more occult-interested parts of the NSDAP and/or "thule society".

While the swastika (whether round or square, left or right, hindu, buddhist, pagan, or as plain logo or decoration) is/was a global cross-cultural (and mostly non-political) symbol of the sun and time symbolizing power the symbol which is named (the) "black sun" is an amalgamation of four swastikas and twelve inverted "sun runes" (normal sun or s runes also represent the sun and power). The name "black sun" for the symbol ties to some important or crucial part of the nazi mumbo jumbo about their aliens (was it Sirius? Not a pun. Guess it went to the dogs —now that was pun & no offense to any aliens intended), the guidance to "victory" they promised, something cosmic energy this-or-that and loads of blah-blah-blah.

Think nazi "Star Wars" (the entertainment movies etc.) as pseudo-religion.

Their alien backers must have had second thoughts but then inter-civilizational communication hasn't ever been easy on Earth either *snicker* :D and when it can only happen through using mediums in trance as intermediaries in a long distance call across the stars then well all bets should be off XD At least they didn't try to call Cthulhu or maybe HPL would have answered :P

So no obfuscation at all (unless the hocus-pocus counts). No I don't blame any would-be aliens (and certainly not the maligned HPL RIP). The world (or the humans on it) is an equally strange place either way :)

If it wasn't for all the violence/war/torture etc. nobody but weirdos (like me) or maybe fantasy authors would care (or "care") about any of this.

- - -

Anyone who likes to not enable JavaScript on sites to read articles can (when viewing that site) choose the "view" menu or similar in the browser, go down that menu to "page style" and in the sub-menu that pops out to the side choose "basic style" or similar and then you can see the text without the (JS-)formatting (three times over in fact and you might have to scroll down some).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 3:18 utc | 67

Correction: three not four.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 3:27 utc | 68

@Sunny Runny Burger

You have read WAY TOO MUCH Robert Anton Wilson.

Posted by: Hoyeru | May 28 2021 3:38 utc | 69

This operation was planned well in advance and involved a number of states; Protasevich was the bait and sacrificial lamb. The West that set up this operation knew perfectly well that once the plane touched down the authorities who were tipped off were obliged in arresting the culprit. Very good plan but it has a major flaw and that is the plane' captain who made the decision to land in Belarus and unfortunately under International law, Belarus was obliged to offer assistance and this played into the West's hands. Hopefully the ICAO hasn't been corrupted as has the UNSC and OPCW.

Posted by: john mason | May 28 2021 4:47 utc | 70

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 3:18 utc | 67

Well, I was more interested in thre name check Moon got in there, but OK.

I haven't read Robert Anton Wilson, but I have read Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun which has plenty of torturers and other such. Big two-handed swords too.

I thought it looked infantile, like they all do. Marching around and wearing ribbons and badges is lots of fun until the shooting starts. I'm not opposed to LARPing at all, but it remains important to know what is real and what is stuff you made up.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2021 8:12 utc | 71

Here is something that has been bubbling away in the Pacific for weeks without as all too often occurs, any global media trying to latch on to it to get more than a stringer's neo-lib imperial take. That in turn means few will pay it any mind as too many of us have fallen for the bait - "If it ain't on the 7 o'clock news, it don't matter.

Still it concerns Samoans & the colour revolution that BidenCorp have pulled on a society of ordinary honest humans whose innate but obvious decency failed to give the imperialists at foggy bottom a moment's pause.

I doubt many - any in fact, MoA readers will have noticed but Samoa (The independent state to the west of 'amerikan Samoa' which is the joint like Puerto Rico where no one gets to vote my doesn't amerika do that 'democracy thing so well?) has been suffering a constitutional crisis brought
about by an allegedly successful western 'colour revolution' - although you won't hear that side of it on CNN .

WTF! Why? Well why not? Samoa has been dicked around by all sorts of arseholes since being visited by the first arsehole to screw it over, James Cook who visited on his 2nd 'voyage' aka, 2nd plunder & loot around the Pacific. Jacob Roggeveen a Dutch fella was the first euro to come across Samoa. Discovery is the wrong term because Polynesian mariners (highly skilled navigators) had been sailing &trading around Samoa, Tonga Fiji etc for thousands of years.

Kaiser Wilhelm was the second arsehole. Samoa had been a German possession until 1915 after which the englanders snaffled it & appointed the Aotearoa government as their agents.

Margaret Mead was the 3rd arsehole as she portrayed Samoans as licentious 'free loving' types when the truth was that after a century of bible bashing colonial style (make chiefs clergymen & royalty bishops) Samoans were strict, straight & generally boring unless they were playing rugby or kilikiti. Samoa was 'granted" independence in 1962.
Anyway nuff background, since 1981 Samoa has been run by a single political party the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) under one Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi all that time.

As is pretty much standard in those Pacific nations who were fortunate not to have a mob of former Indian, Pakistani or Chinese 'indentured workers' aka, slaves, to create a schism post decolonisation, Samoa has been run on a consensus basis, whereby important decisions are only made after each MP has consulted with all the Matai (tribal chiefs) in the MP's region. It is somewhat complex, but you can read all about it here.
Politics has always been pretty much friendly and nothing like as confrontational as 'western' politics.

Of course Samoa has been impoverished from the moment whitefellas introduced consumerism & the accompanied dependence on dosh, dough, ackers, aka cash money.

Many Samoans migrate to Aotearoa where they can find employment that pays cash and like so many other nation states also in the hole with banks &
greedies, Samoa's economy depends upon migrant remittances of earnings from another nation they went to to find employment.

So a good deal of Samoa's people/extended families, are spread between Samoa & Aotearoa & families just scrape by. Still thus far they have retained their culture and language. eg they have really added to Auckland which Aotearoa's largest city. Many other kiwi towns in fact.

Aotearoa spends most of its foreign aid in the Pacific as do many kiwi charities, especially those which are based on the xtian superstition.
Even so in Samoa life can be tough, health services in particular are underfunded. This came to a crisis a coupla years ago when a measles epidemic, apparently caused by Samoan schoolkids who were being educated in Aotearoa returning home for holidays.
As of 6 January 2020, there were over 5,700 cases of measles and 83 deaths, out of a Samoan population of 200,874. Most of the dead were children.

So typical 'third world' nation as western pols like to say, Samoans slogged away even though they were trying to run the joint off the smell of an oily rag and although Aotearoa kicked in a bit & Australia some (although the current Oz government really seems to have it in for all Pacific people - eg deporting them from Oz whenever possible) no one else was interested in lending a hand.

Not amerika or former colonisers england. But then some other fellas came along and bailed Samoa outta hock with a $200 million long term loan that took a deal of the weight off.

Then the same crew asked the Samoan government if they would be interested in another $100 million to develop the main port - good for tourism because up until now the port at Samoa has not been anything like salubrious enough to be considered viable for those huge cruise boats that were ferrying geriatrics about the planet pre-Covid.

In addition a port renovation would be great for trade, maybe even allowing Samoa to manufacture & export in quantity.
So the government decided that would be a great idea and signed an agreement with these benefactors. No need to guess most of you will have worked out that said benefactors were 'the dreaded yellow peril', aka cause of everything from constipation to Covid 19 - China those buggers -eh!.

Things began to change and quickly. Deputy HRPP leader Naomi Mata'afa left the governing HRPP party to form a new one, Faith in the One True God (FAST) Party.

About half the HRPP pols moved with Mata'afa to the FAST Party and an election campaign far more boisterous, competitive and on the FAST side much more commercial with advertisements, rallies etc came to pass this year.

Election day duly came on April 9 2021 and the result was a draw - that is seats were evenly divided between HRPP and FAST, although HRPP had a few % more votes in total.
The caretaker PM announced he would call another election and then something really odd happened. An HRPP MP suddenly announced he was resigning from HRPP and going with FAST.

Whereupon FAST declared now they had an extra seat, they had won and there is no need for another election - except of course that the citizens who had voted for this turncoat had done so on the basis of him being in HRPP not FAST. 'Bugger the voters full steam ahead' shouted amerikan puppet Mata'afa.

The media in Aotearoa, Oz, and around the world has played this as PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi trying to do a trump by ignoring the election result when this is nothing the same, Malielegaoi raises a serious issue about the intent of those who voted for a man in HRPP and ended up with a bloke in the FAST Party, no one can know what was on those voters' intention, so the only way to determine what voters want is to hold a re-election.
Neo-lib blogger and political sychophant Chris Trotter has blogged his rather worthless take on the situation here. He says:

"THE QUESTION challenging both Samoans and Non-Samoans is “Why?”
Surely, after more than two decades as Samoa’s prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has earned a respite from the cares of office? Obviously, that’s not how sees it. Why then, at the first signs of Tuilaepa’s unwillingness to surrender power voluntarily, didn’t the Prime Minister’s colleagues, especially his Attorney-General, counsel him sternly against the folly of resistance? Why didn’t Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, Samoa’s Head of Government, fulfil his constitutional duty to gently edge his old friend into retirement? These are the questions Samoa’s friends and allies are asking themselves. Why is Tuilaepa making such a fight of it?

The most obvious response is also the most troubling. Because Tuilaepa simply cannot afford to lose the protection of his office. Something he has done: some enterprise in which he and his colleagues have become entangled; must, at all costs, be kept hidden. Nobody, least of all Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, former Deputy-Prime Minister and now the triumphant leader of the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Party (FAST) can be allowed free access to information that absolutely must remain secret."


This is an attempt to turn the issue on its side. The real question is "Why doesn't Mata'afa want to face a new election?"
A new election would be the most just decision - unless of course you are concerned that a closer scrutiny of the 2nd election could prevent the amerikan puppets from pulling the same ballot box stuffing shonkies again.

The Judiciary who as some of us have previously pointed out, are always eager to back the money, have been over-ruling the caretaker government in order to foist amerika's choice on the people rather than allow a new ballot.

An absolutely standard, by the numbers colour revolution then.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 28 2021 8:27 utc | 72

Bemildred #66

re The Company They Keep

thank you for the link. I guess life will become interesting for some in Warsaw over the coming weeks. Perhaps there will be a bit of an exodus as in Afghanistan last week or two.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2021 8:38 utc | 73

This article is an insult to our intelligence. Sure you can do better than that.

Posted by: Jon | May 28 2021 8:40 utc | 74

LOT flights should be banned by both Belarus and Russia with immediate effect.

Posted by: Ian | May 28 2021 8:42 utc | 75

@ Petri Krohn | May 27 2021 23:27 utc | 57

Thanks Petri, a few minutes before entering Belarus airspace is the right time for the trap.

On May 23, at 12:25 pm Belarusian time, the administration of "Lithuanian Airports" received a letter with the threat of a bomb explosion on board the flight FR4978 by e-mail, sent from the address [email protected]

Who said that? Where does the information come from? And a few hours later, even Proton said "post diverting" [but not really affirmative, just "no evidence... Blah blah.."]

@Biswapriya Purkayast | May 28 2021 1:00 utc | 64
Right, sending this email just on [email protected] is stupide.

@karlof1 | May 27 2021 23:52 utc | 58
And OACI seems not ready for a real investigation [normally, as soon as possible, isolate and interview pilots (both separately) and crew. Compare to Cockpit Voice Recorder and technical data.

With a bomb threat NO PILOT MAINTAINS FL390 [max cruise altitude] FOR 20 mn.

@ john mason | May 28 2021 4:47 utc | 70

a major flaw and that is the plane' captain who made the decision to land in Belarus and unfortunately under International law, Belarus was obliged to offer assistance

Yes. Belarus ATC played by the rules [A or B or C hypothesis, it couldn't have done anything wrong]
Not the pilot. When [after 20mn] he decided to diverting, he was closer to Vilnius and get time and frequencies. We are supposed to believe that he does not contact Ryanair and Vilnius?

Reading carefully the conversation with ATC, he used 20 mn to oblige Belarus ATC to take "a responsibility" [technically none but who care for evidence]

Next steps: CVR and pilots [who are they]

Posted by: Rêver | May 28 2021 8:44 utc | 76

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2021 8:38 utc | 73

You're welcome. Yep, not business as usual. Hopefully we will learn more about it. We've certainly done a good job of driving Belarus into Russia's arms.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 28 2021 8:45 utc | 77

And now, with a "no flight zone" declared on Belarus, a dimmed flight zone between western Europe and Russia.

Posted by: Rêver | May 28 2021 8:48 utc | 78

On topic the clowns have now invoked the FBI to do their "investigation" :D

If their airplane travel industry wasn't already dead living on handouts there would be a massive outcry from the western ones against their governments.

- - -

Hoyeru and Bemildered: I haven't read any Robert Anton Wilson except perhaps a back cover or two and don't intend to either in the foreseeable future (got better plans for as long as I live), and I don't know who Gene Wolfe is.

Beyond the few uncontroversial factual bits (history of the symbols and a few cults) I was poking fun at the "Blavatsky style" nazis (although calling them that is a bit harsh since they at least didn't put everything they found into a blender like she did).

Much of this comes from a time period which brings into context the (currently more pronounced than usual) bs hyping of "the paranormal" in US entertainment and elsewhere (in Russia too). Maybe it tries to recreate the same kind of stage as those decades in Europe roughly from 1880 to 1940.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 28 2021 10:11 utc | 79

In response to Mao Cheng Ji@46,

1. the email works only for the KGB. The KGB can also make sure there's a slot in the Minsk airport. The only gamble is pilot's acceptance, but there's no obvious reason for the pilot to decline. So, I'd say for the KGB it's a ~90% chance of success. Not to mention that MiG-29, in case they reeeeally want the kid.


4. A casual attempt by NEXTA colleagues or other non-professionals? Yes, possible. However, if I were a NEXTA colleague doing this, I think I might've also anonymously contacted the KGB a few days before the event. Raising the chances tenfold just by sending another untraceable email -- a no-brainer...

Whoever the culprit is, they would presumably have the option of contacting and forewarning the KGB, thus increasing their chance of success to at least whatever it would be for the KGB. We, the public, would have no reason to anticipate transparency of any communications received by the KGB, so the idea that there's more to go on than just email threats is a plausible one.

The KGB would, presumably, focus the attention of Minsk airport staff to the email. They might not do so openly, to maintain some degree of deniability -- if not, the whole charade with the bomb threat becomes rather pointless. This option is also available to parties independent of the KGB. There are also, arguably, options for indirectly bringing the attention of airport staff to email threats, via short-term disruptions of internet services, throttling and other forms of hacker attacks that would draw the attention of network engineers on staff. This would not be beyond the capabilities of private citizens.

If Belorussian security services badly wanted Protasevich, they have the capability of ordering an intercept and forced landing of the commercial flight sans any bomb threat or other formal excuse, on the grounds that they consider him a terrorist. As it turned out, his backers and the Western world at large, reacted and continues to react as if that is precisely what happened -- in fact, the reaction to an otherwise fairly commonplace occurrence is uncharacteristically severe. What purpose did the bomb threat ultimately serve in the case of a KGB operation, and what importance would they have attached to it during the planning phase? Would it have been the best fig-leaf at their disposal?

The few exceptions to all this, would be,

- an improvised operation, conducted on the fly, with no preparation time
- a "prank" with no underlying goals
- an operation involving objectives not related to Protasevich or his arrest, i.e a screw-up that ends up looking like a win for someone else

Posted by: Skiffer | May 28 2021 11:16 utc | 80

"This option is also available to parties independent of the KGB"

Fair enough, I did miss this possibility. Indeed, the CIA (or another external spook agency) could have (for example) Lithuanian air control call their Belarusian colleagues at the right time and notify them of the email threat. Also, someone would probably have to alert Belarusian authorities of a wanted criminal being on the plane, lest they screw up and let him go with the rest of passengers. Complicated, but feasible.

Yeah, who the hell knows.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 28 2021 11:33 utc | 81

All that increased aviation fuel to be used in avoiding Belarussian air space would have Greta foaming at the mouth. Luckily the Russians are kind and have "cancelled" some flights to keep the emissions down.

Posted by: Kaiama | May 28 2021 12:15 utc | 82

I can find no concrete information about if Vilnius Airport or Athens Airport actually received emails. Also tellingly I can't find anywhere that a journalist has actually gone to the trouble of asking anyone from Vilnius Airport about it.

At the point the plane was in Belarus airspace the most suitable re-direct airport was Minsk as the closest large civil airport with the facilities to handle a bomb situation. and the Pilots obligation was to generally follow the directions of ATC. Even the western propaganda fed air-boffins at pprune agree on this. The pilot was seemingly never aware of the (routine in situation) fighter jet escort. Again tellingly no journalist is actually asking the pilot about this.

I can find no reliable evidence that Kiev or Warsaw refused the plane (seems like a rumor from Rus social media). The plane was in Belarus airspace the ultimate authority is Minsk ATC. Kiev or Warsaw would not have been contacted.

In the case of a plane being diverted because of a bomb threat, you can be 100% sure that part of the 100% routine is that the Airport security will check the identity of every single passenger and crew on the flight and cross reference it to their 'wanted/criminal database. It is a 100% certainty that Raman would be discovered by Minsk Airport security, they would not need to be pre-alerted to his presence.

Technical speculation about the plausibility of a geolocated bomb:
I can imagine that it is feasible to target a bomb to explode in the vicinity of Vilnius. A switched on cellphone with a SIM locked to Lithuania mobile network that triggers a bomb when it establishes a connection to a cell tower within lithuania, presumably on descent into Vilnius when it would be low enough to pick up a network connection. Not difficult or complicated.

Posted by: kons | May 28 2021 12:41 utc | 83

In response to kons@83,

I can find no reliable evidence that Kiev or Warsaw refused the plane (seems like a rumor from Rus social media). The plane was in Belarus airspace the ultimate authority is Minsk ATC. Kiev or Warsaw would not have been contacted.

The rumor would presumably be based on Lukashenko's statements in the Belorussian parliament on the 26'th.

I'm currently unable to locate a full transcript of his address, which is a shame since it contains a number of interesting statements. For instance, that the flight remained in Minsk a further 10-12(?) hours after being given permission to depart, at the behest of the crew and despite protests from Minsk airport staff. During this time, the crew of the flight supposedly maintained frantic communications with their company and other (?) agencies.

In the case of a plane being diverted because of a bomb threat, you can be 100% sure that part of the 100% routine is that the Airport security will check the identity of every single passenger and crew on the flight and cross reference it to their 'wanted/criminal database. It is a 100% certainty that Raman would be discovered by Minsk Airport security, they would not need to be pre-alerted to his presence.

Protasevich has, as far as I know, applied for citizenship in a number of different countries. A cursory search has not helped me confirm any country that has granted him citizenship, only hits for numerous applications, nor which citizenship he traveled under on that particular flight. I would not exclude the possibility of his identity being red-flagged only on his Belorussian credentials, and that alternate spelling of his name or an outright alias on foreign identification could avoid alerting the authorities. Barring, of course, the highly public photo-documentation conducted by his girlfriend and colleagues.

There's also the possibility of identification without subsequent arrest, i.e authorities intentionally making the "mistake" of letting him go, out of political considerations. They could hold him or, even better, some other completely irrelevant passenger for a few hours, while they ostensibly review international arrest warrants, when in actual fact they're allowing high command to make a decision.

I've seen this very thing happen up close and personal a long time ago.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 28 2021 13:22 utc | 84

I posted a link to an article on the last thread, but since this thread is more on point I'll re-post it.

This person presented much of the evidence set out by b here, i.e. that the Belarus authorities appeared to treat the threat seriously and by-the-book (whether or not they were skeptical, based on the content of the email). As a slight twist on the "regime change" crowd, this article queries whether or not perhaps the actual execution (if not the idea) might not have come from Ukraine's SBU. Why? Well, for one thing they certainly have seemed to be playing a prominent role in the regime change activities in Belarus. But also this closely resembles the plan they recently had foiled by the FSB and KGB involving the attempt to capture Russians who had fought in the Donbass, much to the embarrassment of the SBU. But Ukraine (in concert with their US masters) would have the further goal of sabotaging the Minsk process, which has had them stymied for years (and the US is pissed because they weren't invited). Now not only is Belarus painted yet further as a bad guy, but as b and others point out there is an odd and perhaps pre-orchestrated campaign against Belarusian aviation, and in particular the banning of flights from the EU to Minsk. How soon until we hear how Minsk Accords must be abandoned because no-one can fly there to negotiate?

What if it was a trap?

Posted by: J Swift | May 28 2021 13:34 utc | 85

Something to consider and this perhaps is not obvious. Roman Protasevich may be a double agent. Wouldn't his PC have all the info on everyone and everything the secret services will need ?

Posted by: MG | May 28 2021 13:34 utc | 86

Vilnius Minsk

Looking for the pilot's behavior, I found a First Class Burial's Attempt.
In order to explain the pilot's behavior and other riddles.
I found a 3D View of Flightradar24, in fact, when the pilot "decided" to divert he was where normally planes are beginning descend to Vilnius (and have already contact Vilnius)

Another curiosity: a crew usually initiates the descent long before reaching the destination airport. Comparable flights show that this point is 170 kilometers south of the airport on Ryanair flights from Athens to Vilnius. The Boeing with Roman Protasewitsch flew up to 83 kilometers before the planned landing at the cruising altitude of flight level 39, which corresponds to an altitude of around 11,900 meters. The aircraft only decreased in altitude when the crew had already changed their flight destination to Minsk – just a few kilometers before reaching Lithuanian territory.

Possible explanation: The pilots were concerned that the bomb allegedly on board could cause unpredictable damage in the event of an explosion and that they would have more time to get the machine under control before landing. Or that the detonator could be triggered by the pressure increasing during descent.

Oh, Oh, Oh...The pilot was not a rookie, but a well trained specialist of IED?
The 6 others riddles are well prepared to turn responsibility to Belarus. Must read
A little more digging, I found "Reuters To The Rescue"

A probe would not take place entirely behind closed doors. The United States, where the Boeing 737 was made, and Poland, where it is registered, would be accredited. And states with passengers on board would have access to some information.

but finally

"We've already questioned several dozen people who were aboard the flight, including crew members," Rolandas Kiškis, head of the Criminal Police Bureau, told reporters on Monday. "The plane is currently being inspected at the airport, which may take until the evening,"

Those questioned include the captain of the aircraft who "made the decision [to change course to Minsk] after consulting Ryanair's management", according to Kiskis.

According to Lithanian Police, the decision to divert lately to Minsk is ....Ryanair's one!

Posted by: Rêver | May 28 2021 13:39 utc | 87

Rêver | May 28 2021 13:39 utc | 87

I get the impression that the plane had become a "hot potato" by the time it finally decided to descend. No one wanted to touch it. (Which suggests that even Vilnius took the threat seriously).

"Go blow up somewhere else" shows a remarkable lack of International solidarity.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 28 2021 14:51 utc | 88

@kons 83 "I can find no concrete information about if Vilnius Airport or Athens Airport actually received emails."

According to this (looks like an anti-Luka) website - - the email was 'received' by the 'administration of the Lithuanian airports' 5 minutes before the plane entered the Belarusian air space. Not clear what 'received' means here, 'downloaded from the server' (could be automatic) or 'opened and read'. But if it's the latter, 5 minutes before crossing the Belarusian border is good timing. A few minutes to go thru the chain of command, the plane is already in Belarus, contact them, it's their headache.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 28 2021 15:51 utc | 89

Posted by: Rêver | May 28 2021 13:39 utc | 87

Lithuanian police question pilot who diverted to Minsk ‘after consulting Ryanair’

According to Lithuanian Police, the decision to divert lately to Minsk is ....Ryanair's one!

Note, that Ryanair in this case is a Polish company.

At first glance it seems like the captain made the U-turn because he hit a brick wall when he was not allowed to enter Lithuanian airspace. This is what caused him to declare an emergency and squawk 7700. But maybe not so...

There is an enlightening post on Flightradar24:

Squawking 7700—In-flight Emergencies from a Pilot’s Perspective

The default procedure would be to maintain course and altitude and go through the checklist. Only when the decision was made to land, would the pilot declare an emergency and request priority at the runway. The Flightradar24 page has this example.

A couple of years ago while flying a 757 to Osaka, Japan, we discovered a leading edge slats problem as we prepared to land. We told the controller that we may have a problem and needed time to sort it out. The controller vectored us around Osaka Bay while we ran the checklist. We were able to extend the slats using a back up system. It wasn’t a big deal, we were able to get the aircraft in a normal landing configuration.

The next thing we did was tell the controller we were ready for the approach and… we declared an emergency.

Maybe it took the captain 20 minutes to decide what to do, and he just happened to be at the Lithuanian border when he was ready to decide. But I find this unlikely. Until the transcript of the conversation between Ryanair flight FR4978 and Vilnius ATC proves otherwise, I say Lithuania denied Ryanair entry to its airspace. I believe Lithuanian media and Lithuanian authorities would do everything to hide this fact, including blaming "Ryanair."

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 28 2021 16:30 utc | 90

"At first glance it seems like the captain made the U-turn because he hit a brick wall when he was not allowed to enter Lithuanian airspace."

The letter said "the bomb will explode on May 23 over Vilnius". So, the hypothetical bomb could be triggered by a GPS device, specifically over (or near) Vilnius.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 28 2021 16:46 utc | 91


50 years ago my mother worked at the New York Public Library, at the main branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. 1969-1971 were very turbulent times in the United States, with urban terrorist groups and militant underground cells and townhouses blowing up.

Every day, usually just before lunch time, someone called in a bomb threat. The whole library was evacuated, while sniffer dogs searched the building. Administrators decided that employees should delay their lunch brake until the bomb threat, and if the bomb threat came early, employees should count it as their lunch break.

A huge number of people, most normal library users, would be seen sitting outside the building around noon every day. Nothing about this was ever reported in the press. The established procedure in dealing with anonymous bomb threats is to never to publicly reveal their existence. The terrorist should get no reward for their action, even if that reward was just infamy in the media.

Russia is currently going through a similar wave of bomb threats, with many of them coming from Ukraine. Every threat is taken seriously, but nothing is reported.

Suppose, for a moment...

No one knows who sent the fake "Hamas" bomb threat email, except maybe the senders.

Suppose for a moment that it was not Belarus, that sent the email. If so, isn't the EU giving terrorism the worst kind of support? Does this set a precedent? What will follow from this? Anyone can mail in bomb threats and expect political rewards? Maybe blow up an airliner and blame it on someone else?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 28 2021 17:24 utc | 92

The comments to this entry are closed.