Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 26, 2023

Closing The Case Of Regime Changer Roman Protasevich And His Ryanair Flight To Minsk

Two years ago a Ryanair flight from Athens to Lithuania was diverted after the Belorussian flight control informed the pilot that it had received an email which said that the plane carried a bomb and would explode during landing in Lithuania.

The plane diverted to Minsk. All passengers stepped off board and where bused to the terminal. When they passed through passport control the immigration officers found that two of the passengers had outstanding arrest warrants against them. These were one Roman Protasevich and his Russian girlfriend and co-worker Sofia Sapega.

The 'western' media and politicians were up in arms over the 'unprecedented' incident. But the event was far from unprecedented.

Western media also failed to report that Roman Protasevich had been a western government financed neo-nazi who had fought with the fascist Ukrainian Azov battalion before working for U.S. sponsored regime change media in Poland. He was one of the persons who had directed the failed 2020 color-revolution in Belarus.

Belarus had handled the airplane incident by the book. During the following days claims were made that Belarus received the terror threat email after the plane was informed - i.e. the whole thing was a setup. However, Belarus has claimed that it received the threat email twice, once before it notified the pilots and another copy later.

Moon of Alabama has followed the case throughout. Those interested in the details of the original incident can find them in our June 2 2021 post. For a wider political view of the 'color revolution' business in east Europe see this piece by Kit Klarenberg. Links to all MoA posts about the case are listed at the end of this piece.

A week after the incident, during a long TV interview, Protasevich spilled the beans about the whole regime operation. He also says that he has come to believe that one of his regime changer colleagues had sent the bomb threat email to get him arrested.

A few weeks later Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega were released and put under house arrest. A trial followed and, in early May of this year, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

I though that the sentence, in light of his public turnabout, was quite harsh but others accused of the same regime change operations against Belarus had received up to 20 years prison time. Still, eight years is a long time for a young man who had clearly changed his mind. Sofia Sapega, who is a Russian citizen, had earlier received a 6 year sentence.

On May 22 Protasevich was unexpectedly pardoned:

Roman Protasevich said: “I've just signed the paperwork saying that I have been pardoned. This is certainly simply great news.”

BelTA reported earlier that on 3 May the Minsk Oblast Court sentenced Roman Protasevich to eight years in a prison colony. He was found guilty of making public appeals for seizing power, committing acts of terrorism, giving offence to the president, spreading knowingly fraudulent information about Belarus, and other crimes.

Protasevich was quite surprised:

"This news is extremely unexpected. A month ago I could not think that it was even possible, that it would happen. I am really overwhelmed," Roman Protasevich said. “I would like to thank President Aleksandr Grigorievich personally because this is his decision. This is a bold move, a decision of a strong-willed person. I want to thank the country and the people who believed in me, in my sincerity, who think that people can mend their ways and admit their mistakes."

According to him, he is focused on the positive agenda. "I don't read what they write about me. I unsubscribed from all possible information resources a long time ago. I mean pro-Western, opposition one because they recycle stuff about me. I'm not interested in what's going on there, what they're saying. I am focused [on] the positive agenda. I will devote maximum time to my family," Roman Protasevich emphasized.

Reporting on Protasevich's pardon the Washington Post notes:

Sapega, a Russian national, was accused of running another Telegram channel called “Belarus’s Black Book,” which published personal information about the country’s security forces. She was sentenced in 2022 to six years in prison. Last month, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus granted its Russian counterparts’ request to transfer Sapega to Russia following her family’s pleas.

I have found no other new information about Sapega but, if she is still with Protasevich, it is likely that she will now receive similar leniency.

Previous coverage of the case published on Moon of Alabama:

Posted by b on May 26, 2023 at 16:36 UTC | Permalink


Many months ago I said here that if Ukraine would devolve into a NATO war then Poland and Germany would be ruined immediately. It didn't take a soothsayer to figure this horrible turn of the war wheel. Today, England is also is a first wave target in any astute reading of the sadly arranged, miserable tea leaves. We shall see soon. When? June 12. The massive Air Defender 23 forces take to European skies that morning.

No matter what happens that day, Beijing or Rio de Janeiro will be safer places to be. Who knows about NYC or Washington.

It can't happen here.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | May 26 2023 16:38 utc | 1

Belgorod raid: Why are Russian neo-Nazis fighting Putin?
As so often, the reality is more complex than headlines would suggest.
As Professor Paul Robinson of the University of Ottawa explains, the 'freedom fighters' who just attacked Russian territory from Ukraine are comprised of Russian ultra-nationalists, including outright Neo-Nazis.

Posted by: Irish | May 26 2023 16:45 utc | 2

Protasevich pardoned!


Posted by: Don Firineach | May 26 2023 17:22 utc | 3

Don't forget, innocent littleEvan Gershkovich was agitating just after the 2020 Elections in Belarus.
Here he is August 26, 2020 on France24, lamenting that the

Belarusian authorities round up coordination council members

who were calling for New Elections...

Posted by: The Archivist | May 26 2023 17:28 utc | 4

One is tempted to hope that the young man was brought to his better senses.

Posted by: Josh | May 26 2023 17:30 utc | 5

Lukashenko hinted last year that this pardon might happen.

"There are all sorts of people among convicts, including those who slipped up by accident and committed crimes through negligence, as well as minor crimes, including protest actions. Everyone has smartened up in the past two years. If they repented, embarked on the path to correction and made amends fully, leniency could be shown to them,"

"in the past two years" presumably meant since the '2020 color revolution' that Protasevich was accused of directing.

Posted by: Brendan | May 26 2023 17:55 utc | 6

1. First guess is he has helped identify other trouble makers either in Belarus or Ukraine or both.

2. The 2020 Belarus and 2019 Hong Kong demonstrations were always a bit odd. It appeared that many years of US/USAID/CIA/MI6 preparations were being started much too early when they were bound to fail. Why not wait?

Well now we know. In 2019 Taiwan the lead in the Polls swung from the KMT (if not pro-China at least not pro-America or actively anti-mainland) to the DPP who won in Jan 2020. Fears of Chinese authoritarianism based of fake news of HK police violence were very influential.

Belarus was setting the scene for "Russia as the bad guy". Again for Regional but not local advantage.

My guess is that these American/UK funded groups will now largely be closed down by the Russian and Chinese intelligence services, and their experiences and tools will be passed on to other countries, even those with complex relationships to US like Hungary or Turkey. There will be no more color revolutions (outside EU/US).

Posted by: Michael Droy | May 26 2023 18:04 utc | 7

Poor BBC is trying to give an explanation for how Protasevich could say what he said.

He thanked authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko for the pardon, amid questions as to whether he was forced to make pro-regime statements.
It is not clear how the journalist was treated by the security services but it is believed that after his arrest he was coerced into making confessions and apologetic statements on state TV. Some opponents of the regime have accused him of collaborating with the authorities.

Posted by: Brendan | May 26 2023 18:07 utc | 8

looks like Protasevich completely ratted out his fellow Neo-Nazis!

Posted by: Kadath | May 26 2023 18:10 utc | 9

About ProtonMail and any other online "secure" services, please do not be naive and believe any online service secures your privacy. None do. Even if you type a message and don't post, it will probably be parsed using AJAX (asynchronous javascript) to look for keywords, spelling, tags, etc.

If you have anything controversial to say, don't post it online unless you are ready for the potential legal consequences of doing so.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | May 26 2023 18:13 utc | 10

thanks b...

it is a nice story.. maybe the chump had a change of heart... hopefully belarus and friends learned something, thanks his pardon..

i agree with @ 10 lovedonbass...

Posted by: james | May 26 2023 18:31 utc | 11

a couple of small points....
1. the media at the time said he was dragged off the aircraft....which was untrue...he disembarked with all the other pax with no hassle and they were all put in transit lounge...from where his silly girlfriend "facebooked" the world they were where they were.....
2. i believe MOB is in error in implying that he was detained by immigration officers ..
as i read it at the time the pax were treated as transit pax until re-boarded, ie they did not go through immigration...but when they finally departed to board their onward flight they did go through emmigration pax control and it was only then his passport was flagged and he was arrested.
also please not the Ryanair cockpit recording was over written (deleted) despite Ryainair standing instructions that in the even of "unusual circumstances" the record not be overwritten. this deleted all conversations with air traffic.
Weirdly NOT A SINGLE interview given by the Ryanair crew about their "ordeal". You'd have thought they's have been pestered to talk about being forced to land by the Belorus fighter, lol.

Posted by: Guy Thornton | May 26 2023 18:34 utc | 12

Imagine a notorious Mafia enforcer is arrested. He withstands every attempt to break him and get him to rat on his associates. He knows he'll die horribly if he does that, plus there's that code of honor.

Then, suddenly one day, the charges are completely dropped. He's not only released, but given fresh clothes and a chauffeur-driven limousine takes him back home (press are tipped off).

"Coincidentally", a day or two later, police move in on an associate they've had under surveillance since well before his arrest.

His half-life would be measured in hours.

Posted by: BillB | May 26 2023 18:40 utc | 13

I don't care. Russia will win. And the USA is the world's biggest terrorist organization. There, I said it

Posted by: G wiltek | May 26 2023 18:42 utc | 14


That's completely correct.

Posted by: AI | May 26 2023 19:25 utc | 15

He dumped Sapega and got married while serving out his sentence, or so I heard.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 26 2023 19:31 utc | 16

Poor BBC is trying to give an explanation for how Protasevich could say what he said. ...

Posted by: Brendan | May 26 2023 18:07 utc | 8

No way for BBC hacks to square an objective assessment of this pardon with their own careerism, to do so is to skirt the edge of a wrongthink abyss.

Posted by: anon2020 | May 26 2023 19:39 utc | 17

Thank you for this, b. Back in 2020 I was much more under the influence of the Western mainstream media and was disturbed by what appeared to be the arbitrary abduction of a dissident journalist just for exercising his right to speak. Now I understand better the color revolution program and how it has been used systematically to position pro-Western regimes around the perimeter of Russia. I wish I could convince more of my friends and relatives that the media sources they trust have been corrupted, but it's not easy. Anyway, thanks for keeping MoA open!

Posted by: Clever Dog | May 26 2023 19:46 utc | 18

Posted by: Irish | May 26 2023 16:45 utc | 2

That’s a pretty good link, though it doesn’t go far enough in explaining the context. Among other things, failed states produce “Nazis”. Russia had a fairly significant and very open neo-Nazi problem in the 90’s. They weren’t difficult to see in Moscow or Petersburg. One of the things Putin did in the 00’s was clean up the issue and he did so with serious prejudice. Many went to prison, a few died there. Others just died. (It does appear that a few were tolerated based on oaths of loyalty.) and the rest left, almost all of them went to Ukraine. They are Russian ethno-nationalists but will settle for Slavic ethno-nationalism.

They’ve almost all been open about how welcome they are in Ukraine and exactly why. Protasevich would obviously have been networking with them based on his Azov ties.

Posted by: Lex | May 26 2023 20:36 utc | 19

In response to Lex@19,

It's not like they were persecuted for their political or ideological position, however antisocial. The militant nazis who went to prison were involved in significant criminal activity, murders, robbery and the like. At the same time, plenty of neo-Nazi fanboys stayed in Russia and rebranded themselves as liberals, to push for a Russian ethnostate from a supposed anti-imperialist position, and generally they got away with it. These would have been the political arm and hangers-on of various neo-Nazi orgs who didn't get their hands dirty in the gang business, but the core of their ideology is the same crap in a different package.

I wouldn't say the issue is entirely cleaned up, although a lot has been done by criminalizing various forms of open display of Nazism and quite a number of prominent liberal nazis self-ejected with the start of the SMO.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 26 2023 21:13 utc | 20

That Roman Protasevich received a pardon from Lukashenko (which would have obliged Protasevich to admit guilt for any crimes that landed him in jail in the first place) may not be the end of this story.

Protasevich may be suspected by some of his former associates of ratting on them and their comrades. For this supposed treachery, his life could be in danger. He may need police protection if he stays in Belarus or should consider leaving the country for a safer haven. There may be people he knows in the Azov Battalion out to get him. They will not show him mercy in the way Lukashenko has done.

Posted by: Refinnejenna | May 26 2023 21:16 utc | 21

Imprisonment causes reflection; it can't be helped if you're a mostly normal human. And learning usually accompanies reflection. It must be admitted that the failed Color Revolution motivated Lukashenko in ways only that sort of event can do--his foot-dragging on the Umion State consummation disappeared as was his realization that some of the accusations were genuine and needed addressing, mostly socio-economic issues. When the attempt was made in Kazakhstan, Lukashenko was very forthright in saying those socio-economic issues must be at the forefront of domestic policy as people happy with their lot don't entertain revolt.

So, Protasevich learned as did Lukashenko. Currently there're many opportunities for the young man thanks to what the old man has learned. An Odd Couple to be sure.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 26 2023 21:18 utc | 22

@ karlof1 | May 26 2023 21:18 utc | 22

Your altruistic side is showing!

# I left links to ~3 hours of Beck Tribute Royal Albert Hall towards end of previous open thread ...

# still think his pardon is 'weird' - would bet that he sang for his supper

Posted by: Don Firineach | May 26 2023 22:01 utc | 23

@karlof1 (#22)

Thanks for that post, I hope that is what happened verses turning in others. Your version reminds me of Olga Baysha's story:

The real Zelensky: from celebrity populist to unpopular Pinochet-style neoliberal

In the overwhelming majority of cases, they (WE) were young ambitious people without any journalistic education or life experience. What united us was the desire to westernize, a lack of understanding of societal contradictions characterizing the post-Soviet transition, and deafness to the concerns of working people who opposed reforms. In our eyes, the latter were “retrograde”: they did not understand what civilization was about. We saw [our]selves as a revolutionary vanguard and chosen progressive reformers. It is we—media workers—who created a favorable environment for Ukraine’s neo-liberalization, presented as westernization and civilization, wit all disastrous consequences for society they brought. Only years after, I realized this.

Before Olga Baysha knew better, she would have been a huge Zelensky promotor. It is kind of amazing that Putin & Lukashenko are this charitable... I guess they know the power of the Western media and the lack of real education of young, well-meaning, but misguided activists. Maria Butina learned the hard way. (sigh)

Posted by: Rokossovsky | May 26 2023 22:06 utc | 24

Posted by: The Archivist | May 26 2023 17:28 utc | 4

Thanks for that time machine capsule, what can be said? Birds of a feather flock together. At least he pronounces Juanita© Tikhanovskaya’s name properly, and does not follow the instructions of the State Dep. to distort all family and geographical names in Ukraine and Belarus. Just imagine what would have happened if Belarus or Kazakhstan folded, it is more than obvious and now publicly stated the purpose and intentions of the US and Europe, to break up the RF in as many pieces as posible Yugoslavia style and appropriate all those riches, but as the old Cuban song says "En eso llegó Fidel", “And then Fidel arrived”, substitute Fidel for Putin.

I would not waste my time reading Aleksievich, as a matter of fact I read an early work of hers, the panegyric of Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky founder of the KGB, so as another star of our times -Annalena- would say she had a 360º turn, promising to take her future son to kneel before the grave of the KGB founder to winning the Nobel literature prize for his anti-Soviet propaganda.

Posted by: Paco | May 26 2023 22:15 utc | 25

I've just read an article about this in the Hungarian press, and they still running the usual bs, like the Mig forced the airplane to land, Roman was immediately dragged from the plane etc.

Posted by: nyolci | May 26 2023 22:38 utc | 26

What about closure on Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, pretender to the throne of Belarus?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 26 2023 22:40 utc | 27

As for Russian Nazis we saw it in WW2, Vlasov and Kaminsky, my opinion is any Russian who thinks it's ok to walk about any street in Russia with Nazi insignia deserves to be shot on sight.

Posted by: Englishman | May 26 2023 22:42 utc | 28

Posted by: Englishman | May 26 2023 22:42 utc | 28

No one can argue with that .

Posted by: Engineer-John | May 26 2023 23:58 utc | 29

" As for Russian Nazis we saw it in WW2, Vlasov and Kaminsky, my opinion is any Russian who thinks it's ok to walk about any street in Russia with Nazi insignia deserves to be shot on sight.

Posted by: Englishman | May 26 2023 22:42 utc | 28 "

What about someone with a Zionist star or the Israhelli flag ?

- Putin: First Soviet government was mostly Jewish -

Posted by: Deplorable Commisar | May 27 2023 0:01 utc | 30

Don Firineach | May 26 2023 22:01 utc | 23--

Thanks for your reply. I watched what was available on YouTube on the 23rd expecting more would come. Thanks for the links you left; I'll bookmark them.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2023 0:08 utc | 31

Rokossovsky | May 26 2023 22:06 utc | 24--

Thanks for your reply. I'm reminded of the 1960s to a degree and the saying "Feed your head," which was about becoming informed, not stoned. At the time and even now there're massive amounts of material available at university libraries capable of radicalizing student bodies, which is what happened back then. I recall the battles between students at California universities and Governor Reagan and the UC Board of Regents over Vietnam, Civil Rights, and many other issues. And that wasn't the only state experiencing ferment. Times are worse today; the Outlaw US Empire is just as murderous today, but college-aged youth act as if they're the stoners many thought all Hippies were except when it comes to Woke BS. Someone wrote about people being captured by their phones/social media. Perhaps the reason why the mid 1950s-mid 1970s were so rich in activism is because there were no computers, no "smart" phones; you had to be your own Google and Wikipedia; and you had to physically engage with people to communicate as phones weren't portable yet.

It was once thought that technology would set people free instead of further enslaving them. As we've seen, much technology is double-edged: It can free and enslave, and youth often doesn't see how that can be.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2023 0:33 utc | 32

karlof1 | May 27 2023 0:33 utc | 32 et al

"...that technology would set people free instead of further enslaving them".

"to lead out" is the original definition of "education".

cf. "the truth will set you free".

The mis-application of technology is surely an example of the human mind being the ultimate monster; a minefield that forbids exploration simply by crushing any who persist.

The mis-application of technology might suggest that the human mind is the ultimate monster; a minefield that forbids exploration simply by crushing any who persist. No one ever made it all the way in and got out to coherently tell about it. It remains Terra Incognito.

Posted by: chu teh | May 27 2023 4:38 utc | 33

I don't care. Russia will win. And the USA is the world's biggest terrorist organization. There, I said it

Posted by: G wiltek | May 26 2023 18:42 utc | 14

Except for the Russia winning part, I've been saying this for years. As for Russia winning, I see no signs of that. I don't see signs of them losing either. In fact, I see no signs at all right now.

Posted by: Cesar Jeopardy | May 27 2023 5:04 utc | 34

Do the Americans and Europeons still harbor ambitions to regime change and subjugate Belarus, as they inflicted on many nations around the world?

The Americans and their vassals might want to think twice, as this might blow up in their faces--quite literally....

Russia is now deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

No More Double Standards and Impunity. West Provokes Russia. Result: Nukes in Belarus on NATO’s Borders

Posted by: ak74 | May 27 2023 7:14 utc | 35

Everyone looking for hidden agendas when it is conceivable there are none. Lukashenko keeps getting re-elected despite fukusi et al calling him the most evil dictator on the planet.
I'm not a big fan of leaders much less leaders who stay in power for decades, but why cannot it be the reason that the people of Belarus continue to re-elect Mr Lukashenko is that most Belarusians see him as a decent human being, whilst they see all of these western indoctrinated & trained competitors for what they are; that is greedy materialist puppets of the self-same nations who want to destroy Belarus and its culture.

When Protasevich got plucked at the airport in a manner which suggested to him that Belarus border control weren't looking for him in particular, that they were surprised when his name came up on their most wanted list, then after he was arrested he wasn't mistreated in any way - remember the first vids of him after arrest showed him undamaged & sort of nonplussed at that, he questioned all the nonsense that nazis told him, waited for the fingernail extraction etc but nothing like that happened.

Eventually he told them a few things, described how he was indoctrinated into fascism and owned what he had done.

President Lukashenko had a bit of an awakening too and saw that this awful boogy-man was just a screwed up kid, smart but totally screwed up, so being a decent human being Lukashenko decided to give the bloke a chance, instead of locking him up with rapists and murderers for nearly a decade.

Of course Belarus officials are still going to keep an eye on him but if he does do as he says he wants to and lives a decent life, the entire matter will be forgotten, If he is just another lying fascist the Belarussian authorities will see that, real life not being a crappy hollywood saga and so deal with it.

Posted by: Debsis dead | May 27 2023 8:01 utc | 36

2. The 2020 Belarus and 2019 Hong Kong demonstrations were always a bit odd. It appeared that many years of US/USAID/CIA/MI6 preparations were being started much too early when they were bound to fail. Why not wait?

More odd still since there was NO democracy in Hong Kong in the 100 years the British controlled it............only when the lease expired did Chris Patten (Who had lost his seat in Parliament in UK) as Governor think it was a fine idea to bequeath "democracy" to China as a legacy fitting in the premises

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 27 2023 8:07 utc | 37

@ Michael Droy | 7

In 2019 Taiwan the lead in the Polls swung from the KMT (if not pro-China at least not pro-America or actively anti-mainland) to the DPP who won in Jan 2020. Fears of Chinese authoritarianism based of fake news of HK police violence were very influential.

I'm not sure what source you're basing this assertion on but I can guarantee it's wrong. The KMT fronted a simply awful, total idiot of a candidate during that election and the guy literally never "led in the polls." He led with some of the traditional KMT demographics, but that's about it. Anyone with any political sense knew he was going to lose spectacularly the moment he stepped into the candidacy.

What was really odd at the time is that the KMT had an excellent candidate in Guo Taiming (Terry Gou) but because the idiot had won the mayoral race the year before in Kaohsiung (traditionally a DPP stronghold) the party leadership thought he would stand a better chance of winning against the DPP. After losing the Presidential election of 2020 the idiot was impeached from his mayoral office for dereliction of duty. He's entirely out of politics, now, and pretty much everybody despises him.

In any event, the Hong Kong riots had little-to-no effect on local elections here in Taiwan.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 27 2023 10:34 utc | 38

As for Russia winning, I see no signs of that. I don't see signs of them losing either. In fact, I see no signs at all right now.

You see no signs because Russia is winning.

Posted by: Fred777 | May 27 2023 10:44 utc | 39

Posted by: Irish | May 26 2023 16:45 utc | 2

Irish - many thanks for that link. I read Canadian Dimension but had missed Professor Robinson's article. I wrote in to the comment section there hoping to maybe correct - well, to protest really - the attribution of "imperialist" motives to the SMO.

Faced with such a situation as that obtaining along the LoC in late February no responsible government on the planet - neocon, imperialist, predatory, any brand one chooses - could have failed to act. The threat was so immediate and urgent that it screamed out for action.

Of course it's relevant to examine the background against which the SMO took place. It's also relevant to examine the advantages and disadvantages to the various parties that resulted from that SMO. But all that can only be done after one has examined the immediate threat to the Donbass on that date.

This is relevant when one considers the repeated statements made from President Biden down that the SMO was "unprovoked". If that were true then the Russians are in the wrong. But it is not true. The threat posed by the Kiev forces on the LoC was not merely provocation. It was a threat that required and got a justified response.

Posted by: English Outsider | May 27 2023 11:00 utc | 40

Except for the Russia winning part, I've been saying this for years. As for Russia winning, I see no signs of that. I don't see signs of them losing either. In fact, I see no signs at all right now.

Posted by: Cesar Jeopardy | May 27 2023 5:04 utc | 35

Perhaps you are not looking at the right things, or not in the right places. Of course there is still the question of whom to believe, but that is much easier to answer.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 27 2023 11:38 utc | 41

More like semi-related musings but I see similarities with societies across Europe and in Belarus and Russia too and many of western European countries as well, perhaps even USA itself. I don't know if someone noticed but countries finding themselves against a spear point of empire or even as their puppets often have two kinds of people controlling political discourse. The lip service nationalists “my nation is best crowd" on one side (which curiously often misdirects) and autochauvinists on the other side of the spectrum (the “loathing one's own nation” lot). Both are equally damaging though in current dealing of cards autochauvinists have the power and are spread out by depth, have support of foreigners and can do much more damage. (In another dispersal of cards perhaps the other group would gain the upper hand).

Both actually have similar psychological profiles as individuals. Both actually have certain hatred or fetichization and tropization of country and culture of it as it is and as it was mostly due to their personal issues (narcissism) and want to conpensate by exchanging it for something else in both cases fictional (fictional idealised vision of western society for autochauvinists and fictional of one's own country for ubernationalists)

RN though in countries under attack by Empire (like Russia or Serbia) autochauvinists are bigger issue because lack of any kind of national pride and belief among "elites" is eating out many societies from the inside. In culture many of them are sort of monkeys with machinegun always playing on western imposed imagery and tropes of misery, especially in cinema. Lack of sense of community and nationhood can lead a great deal into fully self-interested "society of individuals" where nothing is sacred which can then lead to corruption, hopelessness, lack of any belief in oneself and lack of civic or any other virtue.

Posted by: Lazar | May 27 2023 15:08 utc | 42

@ Debsis dead | May 27 2023 8:01 utc | 37

thanks debs.. i agree with you in all that..

Posted by: james | May 27 2023 16:55 utc | 43

Debsisdead @ 36, James @ 43:

The Belarus voting public continue to support Lukashenko b/c he has maintained the country's socialist institutions and structures since its unexpected independence in 1991. What has probably helped the country as well is that, during the 1990s and the early years of the next decade, all its neighbours were preoccupied with their own economic woes and the resulting falls in their living standards.

Granting pardons has long been an official prerogative of the Presidents of Russia and Belarus. (As it is also of US Presidents.) Protasevich may have been nominated for a pardon by the relevant authorities or his lawyers may have applied on his behalf, and his case would have been bolstered by continued good behaviour in prison or cooperating with police and security authorities. As far as I am aware, the applicant for a pardon must sign papers stating that he is indeed guilty of the crimes listed in the application.

One reason that Russian business magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky stayed in jail for so long in Russia, in spite of pardons offered to him by Putin, was that Khodorkovsky consistently refused to admit to the crimes that he had committed. Only when he was coming close to the end of his prison sentence did Khodorkovsky finally admit his misdeeds and accepted Putin's pardon. Also, accepting a pardon makes a person look less of a martyr (and thus a celebrity) in Western mainstream media. I daresay that current Western MSM darling Alexei Navalny will be staying in jail for some time under orders from his foreign sponsors not to accept any pardons from Putin.

Posted by: Refinnejenna | May 27 2023 21:12 utc | 44

- Putin: First Soviet government was mostly Jewish -
Posted by: Deplorable Commisar | May 27 2023 0:01 utc | 30

This is BS. There was only one Jew - Lev Trotsky.

Posted by: graahnul.grom | May 28 2023 12:17 utc | 45

Many people are confused about Nazis. Who they came from and where they ended up.

Nazis were not just Germans.
That was just their special name.
Fascists were also Nazis.
Fascists were in every AngloEuropean Empire.
Including America which was set up exclusively by fascists for fascists to extend the Fascism of the European Imperialism.
Especially the English fascists - blackshirts, Royals, Aristos, Masons, Ulstermen - they had many names and titles but only one ever One Master.

The Popes are fascist. Jesuits are stormtroopers , the WASPs are just the Pepsi to that Coca-Cola

The Bankers are fascists . The capitalists and anti capitalists are fascist. Economics is fascism. Not just born to rule bastards.

That dipsomaniacal bastard Winston Churchill was one of the biggest fascists born to a fascist family with bloodlines to the Old Money. to attain their fascists long standing desire to own everything and everyone and have some ‘Aryan’ mythology that would allow the control of the Many by the Few and these Few to be wholly and not so secretly co trolled by the very few who have maintained their power and dynasties through centuries.
BoZo The Clown doll neoChurchill was the latest foisted upon us. Aided and abetted by a wholly controlled party political system and media controllers.

Their centuries old target has been Russia and Central Asia - they even had Academic underpinning for it - Mackinders World Island. ; they have tried with any number of ism’s and Philosophies to turn men into willing idiots to die to attain that singular goal.

They maintain their Power and Dynasties by inviting Psychopaths to run their Empires. Because the OverLords don’t like to get their hands dirtied. They are raised as such. The reward offered is a Seat At Their Table - actually multiple tables… many never get to see let alone know about who actually is in these Olympian godhead heights …

Many a fascist, Nazis. Nationalists , Racist, Xenophobe, Religious nutters….would have a brain explosion if they ever realised who their Masters really were. Some do and go ‘postal’ others recant, most bury that knowledge and carry on believing the fairy tale because they are too cowardly, stupid and have spent a lot of money on indelible ink on their skins and their minds.

They may have inturn raised their children to believe in the lie and they will die believing it rather than admit they have been fooled and foolish and will carry on with their psychosis.

Let us understand that the current standoff between the Old Imperialists Owners who have never resisted from their dumb Implacable Delusions and their old targets for slavery and exploitation is at an End.

Hiding away on far off continents, islands, undersea fortresses or space stations is as useless as these old nuclear shelters that many an idiot fascist Nazi believed would protect them. They should all be named , their collected wealth proscribed and their dynastic lines dissolved into anonymity to avoid any rise again in a few generations.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 28 2023 13:41 utc | 46

As an American, both the 8 year sentence and the subsequent pardon seem unreal to me. That's because the average sentences for crime in the US is among the highest in the world. And we don't send prisoners to fight our many wars. But we do use them a lot in prison factories which pay a small fraction of normal wages.

Posted by: HelenB | May 29 2023 5:32 utc | 47

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