Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 24, 2021

Lukashenko's Revenge (Served Cold)

On yesterday's threat Petri Krohn wrote of:

LUKASHENKO'S REVENGE (Best served cold)

Last summer Ukraine's security service SBU tried to play dirty trick on Lukashenko. Russian volunteers, who had fought on the Novorossiyan side in the Ukrainian civil war were made a fake job offer, "security" work on Syrian oil fields. The Wagnerites (as private military contractors are called in Russia) were to gather in Minsk. A Turkish airways flight would then take them to Syria.

SBU's secret plan was to intercept the Turkish plane while in Ukrainian airspace, force it to land and arrest the "terrorists". Something went wrong. Plan B was to claim the mercenaries had been sent by Russia and Putin to stage a coup against Lukashenko. The Belarusians in fact believed this lie for a week.

Moon of Alabama reported on the events here:

The 'Russian Coup' Plot In Belarus Was Faked By Ukraine

Also remember, that the plane of Bolivian president Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria in July 2013, after France, Spain, Portugal and Italy had closed their airspace on American orders.

Now read this:

‘Hijacked’: President uses fighter jet to force Ryanair flight to land in BelarusSidney Morning Herald

Moscow: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday personally ordered a fighter jet to intercept a Ryanair flight carrying a young opposition blogger, forcing it to redirect and land in Belarus.

The Boeing aircraft, flying from the Greek capital Athens to Vilnius, had almost reached Lithuania when it changed direction and was escorted to the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

On arrival, police detained activist Roman Protasevich, 26, who had been on a wanted list after last year’s mass street protests in the wake of an election in which Lukashenko claimed a landslide but disputed victory.

While the incident unfolded yesterday I amused myself with reading the know-nothing responses from several European prime minister and officials.

The President of Lithuania:

Gitanas Nausėda @GitanasNauseda - 13:14 utc · May 23, 2021

Unprecedented event! A civilian passenger plane flying to Vilnius was forcibly landed in #Minsk. Belarusian political activist & founder of @NEXTA_EN was on the plane. He is arrested. 🇧🇾 regime is behind the abhorrent action. I demand to free Roman Protasevič urgently!

The President of the Nordic Council of Ministers:

Mateusz Morawiecki @MorawieckiM - 15:20 utc · May 23, 2021

I have asked @eucopresident to expand tomorrow's #EUCO agenda and discuss immediate sanctions against A. Lukashenka regime. Hijacking of a civilian plane is an unprecedented act of state terrorism. It cannot go unpunished.

The Prime Minister of Greece:

Prime Minister GR @PrimeministerGR - 15:43 utc · May 23, 2021

The forced landing of a commercial plane to detain a journalist is an unprecedented, shocking act. We demand all passengers’ immediate release. Tomorrow’s #EUCO must address the need to step up pressure on Belarus. Enough is enough.

The incident is totally NOT unprecedented.

In 1954 Israel forced a Syrian passenger plane to land to gain hostages which it hoped to exchange for captured Israeli soldiers.

France behaved similarly.

Conor Daly @ConorAJDaly - 15:32 utc · May 23, 2021

In 1957 French authorities diverted a Morocco-Spain Air Maroc flight to Algiers. Algerian independence leader Ahmed Ben Bella (based in MA) was on board. Air Maroc was mostly French-owned. ABB was jailed in Algiers but became the first President of Algeria 5 years later.

In 2010 the U.S. wanted to arrest a man who was on a flight from France to Mexico. On U.S. instigation the plane was diverted to Canada where the man was arrested and later transferred to the U.S.

In 2012 Turkey forced down a Syrian passenger plane flying from Moscow to Damascus to search it for weapons. None were found.

In 2013 U.S. allies shut down their airspace for a flight carrying the Bolivian President Evo Morales from Moscow. The plane had to divert to Austria where the authorities insisted on searching the plane for the "fugitive" Edward Snowden before letting it fly again. Snowden was not on board.

In 2016 the Ukraine sent military jets to force a plane flying from Kiev to Minsk to return to Kiev. The authorities were looking for a certain passenger on board who was later found to have be the wrong man.

As Petri Krohn notes above the Ukraine in 2020 had planned to abduct Russian mercenaries on a flight from Minsk to Turkey by forcing the plane to land in Kiev. The plot failed.

Barfingcat 'investigator' Christo Grozev also marveled the similarity:

Christo Grozev @christogrozev - 12:34 utc · May 23, 2021

Shit. Lukashenko copied part of Ukraine's 2020 (unfinished) sting operation, forced a @Ryanair plane to land in Minsk under a false bomb threat pretense, and arrested the former chief editor of opposition platform NEXTA.

Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times notes that the 'west' can hardly complain about yesterday's incident when I behaves in even more egregious ways:

That thought raises the unfortunate precedent set by the US through its policies of drone strikes and “extraordinary renditions”, during its “war on terror”. The Americans can point out that this kind of treatment was reserved for those who used or planned actual violence against the US or its allies. But, to invert the old saying, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. Belarus had placed Protasevich on a terrorist watchlist.

Nobody reasonable should accept the Belarusian (or Chinese or Russian) equation of peaceful dissent with terrorism. But America has encouraged the idea that powerful countries can reach out beyond their borders and grab people.

Belarus did not even reach beyond its borders but acted fully within its rights under international law.

Roman Protasevich is, like his partner the Atlantic Council fellow Franak Viačorka, a U.S. trained and financed regime operator who tried to violently overthrow the government of Belarus to then install a neoliberal U.S. client regime:

Franak Viačorka @franakviacorka - 10:38 utc · May 24, 2021

I know Raman Pratasevich for 8 years as principled, brave journalist. He is always on the frontline. Raman, Ihar Losik & I — we were Havel fellows at @rferl. When Ihar Losik was imprisoned last summer, Raman kindly took over Ihar’s project @belamova. He may be tortured by KGB now

When the color revolution in Belarus failed we wrote about the Viačorka/Protasevich run Telegram channel Nexta which directed the protests in Minsk:

Nexta is led by anti-Lukashenko pro-Western 'activists' in Poland. The editor in chief is one Roman Protasevich. He was perviously a journalist for the Polish-Lithuanian-funded Euroradio, as well as for the CIA's Radio Liberty. Nexta was founded by Stepan Putila who earlier worked for the Polish-Belarusian channel Belsat which is based in Warsaw and is funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry. Both currently live in Warsaw.

As these media produce fresh videos 24 by 7 and do many online post there must be a sizeable staff behind Nexta, in Poland as well as on the ground in Belarus. This is certainly not a cheep operation and it certainly has nation state backing. Obama's deputy national security advisor left little doubt about who is behind this game.

(There is more about Nexta in this open thread.)

Protasevich is by the way no heart bleeding liberal. Ivan Katchanowski of the University of Ottawa notes that his political leanings are quite dubious:

Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski - 13:15 utc · May 24, 2021

Google searches show no references in Western media to past service in neo-Nazi-led Azov battalion in Ukraine of Belarusian opposition blogger, who was arrested by Belarus KGB after it diverted Irish Ryanair passenger plane that was flying over Belarus

Ukrainian media reports that Protasevich served in the press-service of the neo-Nazi-led Azov battalion in Ukraine during the war in Donbas: "... украинскую страницу в биографии Протасевича: белорус одно время работал в пресс-службе «Азова»."

Promoting fascists in the Ukraine, working for U.S. government regime change media, collaborating with various secret services in east Europe and directing a color revolution attempt in Belarus from abroad should be enough reason for Belarus to put the man into jail. Protasevich clearly worked against the interest of his country.

The 'west' is of course furious that one of its regime change operators has been taken down in a way it similar uses. It will try to think up some sanctions or other measures it can impose on Belarus. But the only effect such pressure has is to push Belarus further into the Union State with Russia. It was the Union State that saved Belarus and will do so again.

Measures like the one below are counterproductive to their real aim and only hurt people who are not involved in the game:

Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski - 15:16 utc · May 24, 2021

Zelensky bans Ukrainian flights to #Belarus & over Belarus. Ukrainian secret services last year planned to divert Belarusian passenger #plane flying over #Ukraine to Turkey to arrest lured in false flag op #Russian mercenaries, who fought in #Donbas war.

Posted by b on May 24, 2021 at 16:40 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

if an airliner is rerouted whose sovereign immunity applies in the place of the landing?

there are at least four components to consider, the air craft, its passengers, its crew and its cargo.

If an airliner is rerouted for any purpose. and any of the four components are molested by the authorities at the landing place is that not the same , hijacking and air piracy? Its just that the hijacker pirate is or was remote to the aircraft at reroute time, and fully protected in his or her hijacking piracy by sovereign immunity of the place that allowed the rerouting. Is remote hijacking a violation of human rights, national sovereignty, international law, or just plain opportunity smart thinking.

Posted by: snake | May 25 2021 11:33 utc | 101

@45 steven t johnson
According to the link in b`s article Franak Viačorka looks pretty male.

Posted by: m | May 25 2021 11:56 utc | 102

@ Paco

Holy shit, did Luka really say "Better to be a dictator than a faggot"? What a chad.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if he was the one to take the mantle instead of Putin.

Posted by: Smith | May 25 2021 12:09 utc | 103

Postponed until tomorrow, it seems like they've not been able to parse all the goodies in the notebook, so Luka will address the Parliament and the government tomorrow. We'll take a break today, enough of this "unprecedented" stuff.

Posted by: Paco | May 25 2021 12:10 utc | 104

m@103 thinks Franak Viacorka was arrested with Protasevich? It was a girlfriend arrested too. Like the dingbat ranting about "Eurofag" states, this is galloping neurosis, lurid projections of irrepressible mental disturbance, not decent politics. The people who are delusional enough to think that homosexuals will cause earthquakes or something and therefore liberal imperialism is all about depraving the people of the world with perversion? Homosexuality was largely illegal while the empires were riding high across the bodies of conquered peoples across the world. The idea that heterosexuality has to be enforced by tyranny, lest society fall apart is very much like the old idea that a uniform religion had to be enforced, lest society fall apart. Both ideas are specious BS that served the powers that be. The real essence of sexual morality is centered on taking care of the children. By that standard, assholes ranting about "faggots" are quite often moral imbeciles.

Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 14:27 utc | 105

By that standard, assholes ranting about "faggots" are quite often moral imbeciles.
Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 14:27 utc | 106

...except, warmongers and haters, having sacrificed their "feminine" side, and principles, in pursuit of $$$$-for-bullshit, are rightly called faggots.
i.e. Sluts.
That's what Lukashenka was alluding to.
Have you forgotten what the Official German Sluts were saying about Russia during the Navalny/NoviCrock SNAFU?

Nice try though, and I LOVED the piety...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 25 2021 15:51 utc | 106

Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 14:27 utc | 106

Mr. Johnson, I read your postings with attention, erudition and great command of your English language are evident. So I think picking a squabble with you is a dangerous proposition, I would be clearly disadvantaged. But I’ll just point that for an important nation’s foreign minister, that is Germany, to call a neighbor nation leader a dictator openly can be qualified as an insult, to which the alluded dictator answered with another insult.

Please allow me to quote you:

The real essence of sexual morality is centered on taking care of the children.

Difficult not to agree, but that’s the essence of the question, homosexuality and children are self excluding.

My personal opinion is that sexuality and religion are private matters and as such should be absent from the public realm.

Posted by: Paco | May 25 2021 16:30 utc | 107

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 14:27 utc | 106

Don't extrapolate. Lukashenko was clearly responding to a very vulgar and aggressive provocation by a German official at the heat of the moment.

Posted by: vk | May 25 2021 16:42 utc | 108

Reuters is now reporting that Roman is being tortured so they must really be worried about the facts that will come out.....of course they are wrong because they came from torture.........

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 25 2021 16:42 utc | 109

@ psychohistorian | May 25 2021 16:42 utc | 110
Torture, torture...don't badmouth. Just some "enhanced interrogation techniques"
Remember Abou Graib

The techniques Fair used were considered legal by the U.S. government,

Posted by: Արարատ | May 25 2021 17:18 utc | 111

Media bias / Fact Check / Dem Party Fascio-Pseudo-Progressives

Fact Check in the mail...

Posted by: blues | May 25 2021 17:26 utc | 112

The care for children is always an issue for everyone, except far too many, especially those with great responsibilities, neglect their duties in this regard. Children today will build the world tomorrow, so yes, the care of children is an issue for homosexuals, just as it is for heterosexuals who don't have children themselves. Paco@108 is wrong on this point. Paco and vk also forget that Lukashenko didn't even insult the German spokesman, but some portion of the Belrusian people, possibly even members of his own extended family. Worse, only by pretending that treating sexuality as such as a private matter is an imperialist thing (which it's not, thank God, because if it were it really would be an argument in favor of imperialism, which would be crazy.) Ignorant homophobia is an argument against "traditional" cultures, which sometimes have legally enshrined homophobia as colonialist/imperialist legacy. Again, everything changes, and homosexuality will no more crack the sky than people *not* believing in the official church, or any church at all, will. That said, given the likelihood Tsikhanouskaya actually won the election is nil, "dictator" is an egregious insult. Also, dictatorship-ness also has the substantive component, where the dictator is oppressing the mass of the people to make the owners richer. By that standard, Lukashenko has much to say for himself, though less over the decades.

(By the way, Tsikhanouskaya may have won Minsk, which as the most bourgeois part means it's the only part that counts for the petty bourgeois/would be haute bourgeois chafing at the remnants of socialism in Belarus. It's like the comprador democrats in Iran shrieking about the election being stolen in Iran. The real problems with the presidential election in Belarus is that Lukashenko pressured out legitimate candidates who actually represented domestic forces. Tsikhanouskaya is just a nobody left standing. In practical terms, Lukashenko won because genuine figures with real support weren't an option. This is by the way why Tsikhanouskaya could have lost by such a large margin, while it's why she didn't actually win the vote.)

Hoarsewhisperer@107 is more incoherent than his co-thinkers Paco and vk. The insult "faggot" is not about the pro-imperialist, etc. failings of, for instance, the same US government that hounded gays as well as leftists/Communists at the same time it was tormenting the people of Korea and later Vietnam. That's just BS. It's exactly the same as claiming the insult "nigger" wasn't about skin color but about being a layabout, a thief and a thug.

Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 18:13 utc | 113

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 18:13 utc | 114

There's absolutely no reason to think Lukashenko lost in Minsk. Only a vulgar extrapolation of the Western pattern of general elections - where victorious candidates with more than 60% of the vote are an endangered, if not extinct, species - could somewhat give some rise to this hypothesis. But Belarus is not a Western Democracy, so the parameter doesn't even apply.

There's no reason to think the Belarusian elections were rigged at any degree.

Posted by: vk | May 25 2021 18:37 utc | 114

@ steven... actually @ 107 hoarsewhisperer is more coherent then you might like or appreciate!

Posted by: james | May 25 2021 19:14 utc | 115

craig murray's take - EU States Combined to Force Down Snowden Flight

Posted by: james | May 25 2021 19:26 utc | 116

@vk 115 "There's no reason to think the Belarusian elections were rigged at any degree."

I have no idea if it was or was not, but I wonder if it's as dangerous in Belarus to suggest that the election was rigged as it is in the US.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 25 2021 19:31 utc | 117

Posted by: Smith | May 25 2021 12:09 utc | 104

Holy shit, did Luka really say "Better to be a dictator than a faggot"? What a chad.

My reaction too. Unbelievable.

So the man is homophobic. He certainly won't be the first. But to show so little consideration for the one crucial battleground that could determine the outcome of this show is just unbelievable. Don't these people have staff and image coaches?

Not satisfied with the West's solid hold on the narrative, this fool has to make things easy and offer himself up for a thorough flogging.

Posted by: robin | May 25 2021 19:55 utc | 118

I advise "b" [why is he/she ashamed of his/her name ?], the author of the article, to get educated.
He/she has no idea what "nazism" was and what "fascism" was. The author naively passes on disinformation as "information", because of his/her ignorance.

Posted by: Stan Zorin | May 25 2021 19:56 utc | 119

Anybody here remember the shoot down of Gary Francis Powers and it's impact on the follow-on summit between Kruschev and Kennedy...?

Wonder how this will play out in the upcoming summit.

We shall see....

Posted by: solo | May 25 2021 20:15 utc | 120

New chapter concerning the Protasyevich girlfriend and/or "sputnitsa" i.e. travel companion. Russian citizen studying in Latvia, Sapega. She declares to be the editor of a Telegram channel by the name "Belarus Black Book", I was not aware of that channel's existence unlike NEXTA, but quickly checked it out and it is a register of interior ministry members and workers, a rolodex, so the Russian citizen will be facing a serious offense in Belarus just like she would in any other country. Those are successful students, bloggers, influencers and grant hunters, not like the Chinese whose three million engineering graduates every year will be condemned to nuts and bolts the rest of their lives. Being cool is so cool, and flying from here to there feeling completely invulnerable and out of reach has been swatted by Luka with just one blow.

Here Sapega declaring:

Posted by: Paco | May 25 2021 20:19 utc | 121

vk@115 is incorrect, the large turnout in demonstrations in Minsk is a reason to think lots of people thought they were the majority there and to be outraged enough to hit the streets. I'm agnostic on that, the mass response to color agitprop might have been more the product of frustration of Lukashenko's slow whittling away at state property/indifference to the people's welfare in the face of covid. If 80% of the people of Minsk knew they had voted for Lukashenko, would they have turned out for those reasons rather than outrage over a rigged count? Maybe. But regardless every person who was in the streets was a reason for wondering whether the count was falsified. I still say that Tsikhanouskaya being an insignificant figure allowed to "run" precisely because there was no way nobody could really win the election means Lukashenko could have won by 80% and why it is exceedingly unlikely the woman won. Rigging elections by making sure nobody significant can run against the candidate is not the same as falsifying the vote count, not in Belarus, not in Iran and and not in the US.

james@116 is confused by my excessive caution. *Nobody* ever called "warmongers and haters, [who have] sacrificed their 'feminine' side, and principles, in pursuit of $$$$-for-bullshit" "faggots." *Nobody* does this, not even wrongly (much less "rightly!") *Nobody* uses "faggots" to mean "Sluts," either. Hoarsewhisperer typing "i.e. Sluts..." is just more BS. It's a tired old racist excuse.

Again, the issue is that Lukashenko didn't insult the German diplomat, he insulted some of his own people. Worse, the EU and the US are not bad because they're pushing sexual depravity. Whether you offend God with your genitals is a matter of opinion and should be private, like all religion.

Mao Cheng Ji@118 follows up on vk's support by pretending there are consequences for believing the US vote count was falsified. (The Democratic Party nomination was manipulated to a fare-thee-well, but that's *not* what is at issue with Mao Cheng Ji.) There aren't, because people knowing that only shameless liars and gullible fools claim the Republicans cooperated in falsifying the vote counts across a large nation with multiple jurisdictions. Votes are miscounted by the people in control, and that wasn't the Democrats in too many places for both sane and decent people to believe the count was falsified.

Lukashenko's personal homophobia is deplorable, but no one is all one thing. That's a level of integrity no human can attain, as near as I can tell.

The other incidents where western powers interfered with airliners to seize or attempt to seize passengers are deplorable too. Again, the issue on that is first of all, get the beam out of your own eye before you damn another for the mote in their eye. (Some real piety, just to satisfy Hoarsewhisperer!)

Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 20:24 utc | 122

@Stan Zorin, 120
your maniacally ethnocentric comrades using Nazi emblems and openly performing Nazi greetings and rituals probably wouldn't object to being called "neo-nazis".

Your goebbelsian journo comrades, like the one linked below, might object, but shouldn't.

So, what's your problem?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 25 2021 20:29 utc | 123

Smith #96

Garlic and soap perhaps explain the Belarus covid miracle. Unlikly to be Norwegian fairies ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 20:46 utc | 124

robin #119

On the contrary, Lukashenko made the most politically correct retort. His people would have fully appreciated the clarity of it.

Lukashenko has no need to fear loss of any westerners support as those governments are out to KILL him.

These are times for blunt words. The weasel words of the past decades have enabled the West.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 20:57 utc | 125

Paco #122

Good work comrade, and Raman loads her up with his phone and laptop on the descent. I guess as a Russian citizen she will be allowed consular contact. Unlike Julia Skripal in the UKi.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 21:06 utc | 126

One of these days North Americans will look back incredulously on this period of ridiculous hysteria about imaginary racism, homophobia, misogyny, and other bigotries; hysteria demonstrated by so many white middle class liberals who think very highly of themselves because they have college degrees in the university equivalent of Special Education (business, journalism, psych/soc, etc... participation trophies). Kinda like how we now look back on the Prohibition era. People of the future will wonder "Couldn't those middle class virtue-signalers see that it was their own insistent misunderstandings that were causing the problems in society that they were bemoaning? It seems so obvious!"

It will be obvious in hindsight. It is difficult for those immersed in mass hysteria to recognize it in themselves because that is all they can see around them. At least the faux left liberal venting his hysteria above doesn't post in ALL CAPS.

Our host observes concerning Iran in the next thread:

"A confusing aspect of Iranian politics is that the socially conservatives, which the west unfairly calls 'hardliners', are on the social-democratic left on economic issues while the socially liberal reformers tend to favor the bazaari and capitalists."

I contend that what is currently considered "socially liberal" has little to do with true leftist thought. What is viewed as "socially liberal" in the West at this point in history is just a different spin on hate. It may take some time to pass for there to be sufficient distance from the hysteria for North Americans to acknowledge it, though.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 25 2021 21:16 utc | 127

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 20:57 utc | 126

"We won't move NATO to the east ONE inch...." and poor Pizza Hut Gorbachev swallowed that. Weasel words you say...

She has had consular service already as per Russian FM.

There are screen shots of phones with chat groups in which known celebrities of the ColorRev world appear, but since that can be manipulated better wait for Luka before Parliament, Government and MSM all invited, tomorrow, I have the feeling it is going to be like the opening of the pipe going out of a huge levee full of "excréments".

Yeah right, that takes us to Led Zep, When the Levee Breaks...

Posted by: Paco | May 25 2021 21:18 utc | 128

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | May 25 2021 20:24 utc | 123

The opposition (i.e. non-Lukashenko) won a total 35% of the votes in Minsk (i.e. Lukashenko won 65%-35%). That result, coupled with some creative extrapolations on margins of error, made the Western propagandists claim at the time that Lukashenko probably only won by some 55% in the whole country (the assumption was that, in the countryside, fraud was rampant, therefore the result in Minsk was the most reliable).

The USA's own Unconventional Warfare manual, leaked in 2012 but dated from 2010, states that it is possible to trigger a color revolution with just 10% of the voting population. In Minsk, the opposition certainly had (and still have) more than that, so it is not farfetched to claim that the elections happened without frauds or repression, and that the opposition used those 35% they have in the capital to do their coup attempt. Reinforcing this is also in the fact that the color revolutionaries were basically concentrated in Minsk and not in the countryside.

It is now a consensus, based on the available evidence, that the result of the Belarusian elections are precise and legitimate by any modern standards, that they reflect the reality of Lukashenko's prestige, and that the color revolution was sustained basically by a Westernized middle class urban elite that wants to take power and Westernize Belarus and/or immigrate with status to some Western European country or even the USA in order to have either an NGO sinecure or a highly paid middle class job in the areas they're specialized. Western NGO/covert financing and advising did the rest.

Another sign Lukashenko is really popular on the paradigms of the last elections result lies in the fact that the vertebral column of the Belarusian economy didn't fold (agriculture and the heavy industry working class), and that he was easily able to keep the entire government together, including the high echelon, the parliament, the military and the intelligence services. His constitutional reforms are going on like a steamroller, without any effective opposition either by the "exiled government" (Tikhanovskaya et caterva) or by any of the remnants of the color revolutionaries in Minsk. They're now outright appealing for the destruction of the Belarusian economy from the outside in order to induce a popular revolt that could topple the government (έπίτέίχίσµός), a la the siege of Venezuela by the American Empire.

Posted by: vk | May 25 2021 21:59 utc | 129

Paco, thanks for the Led Zep. Great music ~ old memories.

William Gruff #128 thank you, well said.
US hysteria is a sad thing and has been building and refined for many decades ~ William Sargent "Battle for the mind"

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 22:12 utc | 130

vk #130

They're now outright appealing for the destruction of the Belarusian economy from the outside in order to induce a popular revolt that could topple the government (έπίτέίχίσµός), a la the siege of Venezuela by the American Empire.

Same as in the Hong Kong province of China. Next they will be incinerating their opponents with lighter fluid.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 22:21 utc | 131

Mao Cheng Ji #124

excellent retort and thank you.

Bogdan Butkevych: POS.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 22:23 utc | 132

There is one forced landing of a civilian plane, that you have not mentioned. That is the forced landing of a civilian BOAC (British VC-10 jet) in 1971, by Ghaddafi (then president of Libya), who sent up military jets to force the plane down. The plane was overflying Libya at the time on a scheduled flight from London to Sudan. This was a successful coup and the coup leaders were flying back to Sudan. This put an end to the coup and they were returned to Sudan as prisoners. They were arrested by the ousted president and shot by firing squad. The British Government protested (even though the coup plotters were quite left wing or socialist), but of course to no avail. One can speculate, had the coup been successful, whether the hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the installation of an extreme Islamic state in the Sudan might have been avoided.

Posted by: Antony Manolis | May 25 2021 22:35 utc | 133

Mr Gruff wrote:

Mr Gruff

One of these days North Americans will look back incredulously on this period of ridiculous hysteria about imaginary racism, homophobia, misogyny, and other bigotries; hysteria

All that shows is a glimpse into Mr Gruff's own mental problems...

years from now no one will care about any current hysteria any more than anyone cares about all the past hysteria. For example, who now cares about flappers in the 1920's?

Posted by: jinn | May 25 2021 22:55 utc | 134

The Nazi credentials of Roman Protasevich are clear. He was a spokesman for the Azov Battalion in 2015, when Azov's war crimes were at their highest.
Protasevich was on the cover of "Black Sun", « Чорне Сонце » in Ukrainian and Russian. It's a Ukrainian Nazi publication, and this is Number 15, 03.07.2015. Too bad I can't post it here.

However, the magazine cover is towards the bottom of the page at

Colonel Cassad blog

Note the Azov Battalion patch on his sleeve. That's a wolfsangel, a common Nazi symbol from WW2. The Black Sun is a powerful symbol in Nazi theology. Protasevich is pure Nazi scum.

Posted by: Cosimo | May 26 2021 0:18 utc | 135

Smith @ 96:

My understanding is that Belarus has been engaged in mass production of the Sputnik V vaccine since mid to late March this year. Health care clinics and institutions started receiving doses of the vaccine in April.

It has been supposed that the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine, normally used to protect against tuberculosis and which was mandatory for everyone in the Soviet Union in the past (and is still mandatory in some ex-Soviet states including Belarus), can also protect against COVID-19. This might help to explain low death rates especially among older people who would have had to undergo compulsory inoculation against tuberculosis at a time when the disease was more prevalent in most countries or regions within countries than now.

Escobar, Molina-Cruz, Barillas-Mury, BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)

Klinger, Blass, Rappoport, Linial, Significantly Improved COVID-19 Outcomes in Countries with Higher BCG Vaccination Coverage: A Multivariable Analysis (

Posted by: Jen | May 26 2021 0:58 utc | 136

@97 SumGuy Oh, so I didn't dream the entire episode? Thank goodness.

That was indeed a vastly more outrageous act of air piracy by the United States since it involved interception in international air space and diversion to a 3rd country without that country's permission or foreknowledge.

No wonder it has been shoved so hard down the memory hole.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 26 2021 1:01 utc | 137

Cosimo #136

Thank you, this site makes barfingcat look like useless morons. But then they are anyway.

Roman is no longer staring into the future he imagined. His associates are likely in the same situation.

Good to see another Nazi bite the dust.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 2:33 utc | 138

@137 Jen

Fascinating information, thank you. And brilliant that this is crucially on-topic. To paraphrase Frank Herbert, Covid passes everywhere.

It almost could seem that the world already possessed a myriad treatments and prophylaxes, all long established as safe and beneficial.


If only Pfizer had known this, it could have lowered its earnings forecasts, and stayed home. /s

Posted by: Grieved | May 26 2021 2:58 utc | 139

@steven t johnson
I didnt judge homosexuality or homosexual people. It just seemed to me a piece of information that didn't fit into the pattern (the historical Nais of the 1930's-1940's weren't exactly rewown for their tolerance of gay people). That might have shed some light of the ideology of Azov battailon.

As it turned out I just misunderstood the word "partner" in this context. Sorry

Posted by: m | May 26 2021 3:58 utc | 140

@ Bemildred & Jen

Look like the old Soviet healthcare system and medicine continue to save the day again, long after the USSR is gone.

Oh god, I miss the USSR so fucking much.

Posted by: Smith | May 26 2021 4:53 utc | 141

Posted by: Smith | May 26 2021 4:53 utc | 142

Yeah, Lukashenko doesn't seem to be the most sensitive guy, but I give him a lot of credit for preserving the Soviet legacy there, and you can see he still has a lot of support. Like with Assad, they underestimated him. I think he was trying to play both sides with the west, until this coup attempt. That seems to have wised him up very quickly.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 26 2021 5:04 utc | 142

Lukashenkos revenge or Lukashenkos blunder? He knows the United States and NATO are trying to remove him and install a puppet president. Why give them a pretext to do just that?

Was it worth all the international heat he is now receiving to arrest this blogger? It looks like Belarus will now face all kinds of international sanctions including denial of foreign airspace. This cannot be good for that country or for Lukashenko.

Posted by: Keith | May 26 2021 7:53 utc | 144

Jen on BCG vax.

Thank you.
As the Canadian virologist and solid vaccine advocate, Dr Byram Bridle has pointed out. The wests covid response is is a failed response.

He loosens up for the condemnation toward the end after an excellent report and a few questions.

An hour of in depth at the recent Covid-19 Symposium 2021.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 8:11 utc | 145

Keith #145

Lukashenkos revenge or Lukashenkos blunder? He knows the United States and NATO are trying to remove him and install a puppet president. Why give them a pretext to do just that?

This is no pretext. This is what a self respecting, independent state does when it knows that both the USA and its flunky EU are out to destroy its leadership, economy and political system. Its called self respect. One does not kowtow to the USA / EU murderous turds ~ one confronts their assassins and colour revolution managers and jails them. There is only one direction if a nation capitulates to these threats and it looks a lot like Libya today NOT as it was with Qaddafi.

Was it worth all the international heat he is now receiving to arrest this blogger? It looks like Belarus will now face all kinds of international sanctions including denial of foreign airspace.

Diversionary nonsense at its most puerile. Exactly whose 'international sanctions'? Legal UN based sanctions or more of the illegal USA sanctions. So responding to bomb threats against an airline is a crime? What is one to do - say nothing and watch it blown to pieces on its Vilnius descent?

If it turns out to be a fake threat in the email then so what? One flag waving NAZI terrorist is in jail where they should ll be.

Better to be a President than a bayonet in your rs.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 9:22 utc | 146

Alexander Mercouris gives a good rendition and analysis of Lukashenko's checkmate move plus a reference to MoA. He also gives a big shout out to Piotr Berman.

Its a worthy piece.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 11:00 utc | 147

It could have been a pawn sacrifice after all:

Lukashenko says bomb threat against Ryanair plane came from Switzerland

Switzerland is a de facto EU member and, therefore, an allied of the West. It's highly unlikely it would have given this false intelligence to Belarus without the USA's permission (the USA controls the EU through NATO).

If true, then there are many reasons they could've done that. Protasevich may have given less than he promised and become a disappointment to the Western powers. Combined with that, the West may have acted to get rid of a rotten asset (he's a confirmed neonazi) while escalating the propaganda war. There may have been some inner struggle between powerful first rank color revolutionaries to take Protasevich's place (and generous salary). It could be a combination of all three.

I think it is very unlikely Switzerland was fooled to believe there was a bomb on that plane. It was most likely a counterintelligence move to induce Belarus an intelligence blunder. However, this would assume Protasevich is not a valuable asset, because he will certainly cough everything up to the KGB. Either that, or the USA is planning to reform the entire department (expect a lot of "accidental deaths" and "mysterious murders associated to Russia and Belarus" if true) in a way that Protasevich's info would be outdated by the time the KGB can do anything with it.

Alternatively (more likely), the color revolution structure in Belarus may be extremely decentralized and uncoordinated, in a way NEXTA has not direct ties with Tikhanovskaya and so on, everything being glued together exclusively by the CIA or whatever American department.

Posted by: vk | May 26 2021 14:20 utc | 148

The key to the whole business is where did the bomb hoax call come from?
And, to make it even weirder, this is the third time a Ryanair plane has been forced by armed fighter jets to land.

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | May 26 2021 14:27 utc | 149

Posted by: vk | May 26 2021 14:20 utc | 149

There are a lot of conjectures about that character, it seems he left the NEXTA channel a few months ago and among all the speculation there is talk of an inside job from the Tikhanovskaya entourage, banal reasons that bring us back to the typical trail, follow the money…

In any case the Belarusian KGB is dropping morsels, slowly but hinting that they struck gold, look at this picture, Protasevich fought in Donbas with the nazi battalion Azov, so much for bringing democracy to Belarus. There’ll be a trickle and that is why the curators in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are screaming wild, but the western MSM is in full damage control mode, our “paper of reference” El Pais wrote a panegyric this morning describing the poor soul as an apollonian god descended from Olympus just to be captured by the monster Luka.

Posted by: Paco | May 26 2021 16:23 utc | 150

Do we yet know the identities of the other passengers who did not fly on from Minsk? This detail would seem crucial, if identified as KGB then Lukashenko knew he was on board, if not no proof that the Lukashenko version of events isn’t genuine.

Posted by: Keith | May 26 2021 17:51 utc | 151

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 9:22 utc | 147

Exactly whose 'international sanctions'? Legal UN based sanctions or more of the illegal USA sanctions.

I must point out that what matters to the sanctioned is the impact and not the legality of the operation. The most glaring example being the economic warfare waged against Iran. By sanctioning the targeted country and, more importantly, third parties considering trade with Iran, the US has had a devastating impact on the economy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2021 20:57 utc | 126

On the contrary, Lukashenko made the most politically correct retort. His people would have fully appreciated the clarity of it.

Lukashenko has no need to fear loss of any westerners support as those governments are out to KILL him.

These are times for blunt words. The weasel words of the past decades have enabled the West.

You know, you would make a terrible advisor. As you point out yourself, the west is out to kill (or neutralize) him. This is another blatant war of choice by the West. Therefore, what the people of Belarus may think does not condition the way the West can conduct its war. What matters is how the West can sell its latest operation to a domestic public not particularly keen on wearing the aggressor's outfit. Poor image management by the target will simply facilitate the job for the marketers.

Posted by: robin | May 26 2021 18:22 utc | 152

@ vk and Patrick Amstrong
The key to the whole business is where did the bomb hoax call come from?
Came from any VPN....but where it was received and on wich time? Yes, this mail is key

@ Keith: if a plot from one or other side, probably many "special passengers from both side...

But we got some FACTS
Usual Suspects
Since the first minute, all the commentators of the Western press are in hyper ventilating and list the "contradictions of Lukashenko" to prove the plot of the dictator.

“I acted legally, protecting people, in accordance with all international rules,” said Lukashenko
"How should we have acted, especially amid a cascade of bomb threats targeting our facilities? You live in Belarus and know that either schools or universities or enterprises receive bomb threats every day. Even airliners receive such messages from IP-addresses in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

From the beginning, I find the case suspicious. Starting with the presence of the boy in a Ryannair plane flying over Belarus and "apparently" without security escorts, while he may be carrying information in his famous computer. And in what serves as his brain.

Thanks to Gary #144 for the script of the Pilot-ATC conversation

Thanks to Patrick Armstrong #150 as we know this is not a first for Ryannair. And we also know that the pilots are of course trained in emergency situations, including bomb threats which are quite common.

Here is my analysis
At 9:28:58, the pilot contacted air traffic control and was immediately informed of the threat.

Translated with (free version)
Pilot: 09:28:58 Minsk, Good day, RYR 1TZ, FL390 approaching SOMAT
ATC:09:29:04 RYR 1TZ, Minsk Control, good afternoon, radar contact.
ATC: 09:30:49 RYR 1TZ, Minsk
Pilot: Yes, go ahead.
ATC: RYR 1TZ for your information, we have information from special services that you have bomb on board and it can be activated over Vilnius.

Where exactly was the plane? we need to calculate

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.

The pilot declare emergency and decide to divert to Minsk 09:47:12:
a B737 flying 18mn at FL390 (39000 ft max cruise level) = 250km!
Check on any maps app, on the route to Vilnius from Athens, 250km
The route of the plane was on flightradar (and reproduce on some links). At 9:28:58 it was entering Belarus airspace. And Belarus ATC informed as soon as possible. Check and correct if you think it's a mistake.

The procedure in this case for a pilot is simple. Descend as quickly as possible because an explosion, even of small amplitude, becomes dramatic in case of sudden depressurization. You have all seen this in a movie.
Here is the procedure
Although historical evidence shows the vast majority of bomb threats are false, all received bomb warnings must be considered real and ATCOs must be ready to manage such situations for the protection of human life and property.
As a controller, one can expect that pilots who become aware of a bomb threat will request:
• To stop climb and/or descend if the aircraft is climbing.
• Immediate flight level (FL) re-clearance, usually to lower FL
• Landing at the nearest suitable aerodrome
• Information about such aerodromes such as runway in use, runway length, runway surface, aerodrome elevation and approach aids and frequencies.

but what does the Ryannair pilot do ?
For 19 minutes, he will not make any decision!
Is this guy a total rookie? or...
Apparently, he wants to know who received the message, how, why? He repeats the same things several times...

Why, when your plane is threatened by a bomb, would you insist on saying (and recording in the Cockpit Voice Recorder) that it is a recommendation from the Belarusian authorities (when the decision belongs to you)

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: can you say again?
ATC: RYR 1TZ   this is our recommendations.
Pilot : unreadable.
Pilot:Did you say that your recommendation?
ATC: RYR 1TZ   , Charlie-Charlie.

Surprisingly, he asks for a frequency to reach the arrival airport and even his own company. I still doubt that during the preparation of the flight, for a company that has experience with this type of problem, the pilot does not have this information

ATC:09:45:09 RYR 1TZ  they say code is red.
Pilot: Roger that, in that case we request holding at present position.
ATC: RYR 1TZ   Roger, hold over your position, mantain FL390 turns at own discretion.
Pilot; Ok holding at our discretion at present position mantaining FL390 RYR 1TZ.
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.

What we need to know is about the mail. Protonmail, Gaza, Delphi Summit (10th May)...nothing match.
At what time and where was it received is a main information and I miss it

Posted by: Rêver | May 26 2021 18:35 utc | 153

add to #154

SOMAT is an entry point in west Belarus
I was right.

ATC:09:29:04 RYR 1TZ, Minsk Control, good afternoon, radar contact.
means: "you are entering airspace, I see you on radar.

1/ ATC does it job
2/ Pilot doesn't (and not afraid to fly FL390 for 20 mn with bomb scare)
Even if plot from Belarus, behavior from pilot is strange


Posted by: Rêver | May 26 2021 19:23 utc | 154

Rêver | May 26 2021 18:35 utc | 154

Sous-entendu the pilot was aware of the plot. Which is why the origin of of the "responsibilty" is repeatedly asked for (taped).

Was Protasyevich also aware? If so, this is another Navalny type set-up, where the "arrest" is a forgone conclusion - and sanctions pre-prepared..
The possible avantages for the US and EU are - They now have another martyr as Navalny (or Guaido) are both beyond their respective "best before dates". They can scream and impose more prepared sanctions. (The UK had a list of 99 ready) They may be able to introduce false information via the laptop and the Proto-Type talking.

It gives a chance for lame-duck EU politicians to act "tough and hairy".

Israel is happy as Gaza has been taken off the the MSM and the persecution of Palestinians takes second place,in the daily news. (TV talking heads have a newbie after Covid, and Gaza. Everyone is an international expert)

PS: Warning to self; Don't fly in a Boeing 737 under any circumstances.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 26 2021 19:32 utc | 155

Robin #153

When it comes to image management Lukashenko is streets ahead, thanks to repeated image fails of the Western Orcs and his refreshing push backs.

As Qadafi discovered the West is relentless when you are the target and no image management will deter the thieving, murderous dogs.

This story will be deliberately twirled around and re-engineered as you can see above. But the essence is that the western regime change team have been defeated for now and soon their network dismembered. Good.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 19:58 utc | 156

Rêver #154

Thank you. This pilot is a git. When ATC passes on a bomb threat advice a pilot should assume it has been well checked. This pilot seems like an ex Western military fool.

Dont fly Ryanair no matter what brand of plane.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 20:05 utc | 157

Stonebird #156

Thank you, yes there will be happy people for this diversion from front page news. I doubt this is a rigged game though as I do not think Protasyevich is entirely stupid. A Belarus prison is likely unpleasant and certainly permanent following a failed coup plot no matter how remote he was from that blunder.

We must remember that a Belarus prison is unlikely to be as grim as Guatanamo prison but then Lukashenko is a more capable leader than Joe Biden ;)

I suspect Protasyevich is a keystone player and the game has been FUBARed by this mouse that roared in Belarus.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2021 20:18 utc | 158

Robin @ 153

You seem to be saying that Lukashenko or any of the target countries should be too afraid to give the west the middle finger.
I am noticing that the middle finger has been popping up more and more lately and it would appear that the people in these countries are onside with the leaders who do that.

Posted by: arby | May 26 2021 21:09 utc | 159

uncle tungsten # 157

The thieving, murderous dogs you speak of expend considerable resources to shape the narrative. It's pretty much the dominant theme of this entire blog. From the exposure of wide scale propaganda operations like Integrity Initiative, to b's regular breaking down of mainstream media lies and obfuscation, it should be obvious that this battleground is crucial for the West.

The Libyan example is in fact one of remarkable success in terms of narrative management. Here, an unprovoked, lethal assault on a sovereign state by a gang of conspiring thugs turned the country with one of the highest standard of living of the continent into a smouldering heap of rubble. An action which crippled the country for generations and set forth a cascading set of destabilizing events in the region and beyond, is, to this day, perceived as a humanitarian operation by the Western public.

As electors and consumers, this general public is the principal enabler of the system. What the propagandists aim for is tacit acquiescence or at the very least, absence of organized opposition. This has worked very well so far because, for one, folks are more receptive to flattering lies than embarrassing truths. The main reason, however, is that the West is far, far ahead of its adversaries in this field.

Posted by: robin | May 26 2021 21:21 utc | 160

Belarusian Interior Ministry seizes over $300,000 intended for protesters over past month

"Minsk, May 26. /TASS/. The Belarusian Interior Ministry has seized more than $300,000 earmarked for supporting the protest movement over the past month, Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakov said on Wednesday.

"We are constantly working to identify and bring to justice organizers and coordinators of protests, administrators of destructive Internet resources and other individuals inciting citizens to protests. Sources and channels of funding for this kind of activity, a hidden mechanism for the receipt of funds from the founders of various foundations and centers have been established. A number of criminal cases have been opened, more than $300,000 meant for organizing support for the protest movement has been seized over the past month alone," he said."

Posted by: arby | May 26 2021 21:22 utc | 161

arby # 160

What I'm saying is that giving the middle finger is not an effective defense strategy. When known snipers abound, you don't expose yourself in defiance wearing a bright yellow vest. Martyrdom has little tactical benefit and valour won't matter much when you're dead.

Posted by: robin | May 26 2021 21:30 utc | 162


At some point you have to stand up to a bully. Especially one who more and more looks like he is slowly turning into paper.

Posted by: arby | May 26 2021 21:44 utc | 163

@Stonebird | May 26 2021 19:32 utc | 156

Israel is happy as Gaza has been taken off the the MSM and the persecution of Palestinians takes second place,in the daily news. (TV talking heads have a newbie after Covid, and Gaza. Everyone is an international expert)

This is key to understanding this event.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 27 2021 6:08 utc | 164

chu teh | May 25 2021 1:06 utc | 72

FOOD IS MONEY; all else is derivative. This holds for human life on Earth.

Food is the sine qua non, the most important human right and the foundation for the whole structure of society. Without farmers, hunters and fishermen, nothing would get done. Civilization would be impossible and yet, on the whole these are the worst paid, frequently despised and have the worst conditions of any large working group.

"There's fishermen and farmers and firemen and a'
Men diggin' ditches and men shovlin' snaw.
If it was'na for their work
Not a thing wud graw
If it was'na for the men wearin' wellies!"

The Wellie Song. Ewan McColl & Peggie Seager

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jun 3 2021 19:36 utc | 165

Smith | May 25 2021 9:14 utc | 96

Is it the cold weather or something?

Could it be that they are using Ivermectin?
Links from Dr. Kory Safety review paper is here on the medincell website

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jun 3 2021 20:05 utc | 166

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