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What to Make of Belarus’s Brazen Arrest of a Journalist

MIN READMay 24, 2021 | 20:14 GMT

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte (center) speaks to journalists in Vilnius on May 23, 2021, about the Ryanair passenger plane that was hijacked and diverted to Minsk, Belarus.

(PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images)

In Belarus, the controversial arrest of a prominent opposition activist will force a Western reaction, but the beleaguered opposition still faces major challenges, likely enabling the Belarusian regime to sustain its power. On May 23, Belarusian authorities arrested the wanted opposition journalist Roman Protasevich after forcing a passenger plane that he was on to divert and land in Minsk, using the pretense of a bomb scare. Protasevich, a former editor of the influential opposition Nexta channel and news organization, was returning from Athens, where he had been covering a visit by exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. The diverted Ryanair flight was headed to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, where Protasevich, Tikhanovskaya and a number of other Belarusian opposition figures are based....

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