Front Burner

A 'hijacking' in Belarus, a dissident arrested

After the shocking interception of a commercial flight to arrest a dissident journalist, CBC’s Moscow correspondent explains Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s escalating crackdown on opposition.
Belarusian blogger Roman Protasevich, detained when a Ryanair plane was forced to land in Minsk, is seen in a pre-trial detention facility, May 24, 2021, in this still image taken from video. (Telegram@Zheltyeslivy/Reuters TV/Reuters)

The CEO of Ryanair called it a "state-sponsored hijacking." A commercial flight en route from Greece to Lithuania was forced to make an emergency landing in Belarus on Sunday, under the pretense of a bomb threat. But then, a dissident journalist on board was arrested. 

Today, CBC Moscow correspondent Chris Brown breaks down the shocking interception of a commercial flight, and what it says about Belarus's strongman president and his escalating crackdown following last summer's election that Canada called "fraudulent."