Ryanair Flight 4978

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Ryanair Flight 4978 was an international scheduled passenger flight from Athens International Airport, Greece, to Vilnius Airport, Lithuania. On 23 May 2021, explosives were falsely reported on board the aircraft as it neared Lithuanian airspace.[1] The aircraft was forced to land by a Belarusian fighter jet when it was over Belarusian airspace. It landed at Minsk National Airport,[2] on the orders of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.[3]

Once the aircraft was on the ground, two of its passengers, opposition activist and journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega were arrested.[4][5]

On August 9, 2021, head of the Minsk National Airport Vyacheslav Khoroneko was put in the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List [en] of the USA.[6] He got a punishment as a person who made it possible to land the flight there.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Brunner, Simone (2021-05-24). "Niemand soll sich sicher fühlen" (in German). Die Zeit. Archived from the original on 2021-05-24. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  2. Lister, Tim; Pavlova, Olga (23 May 2021). "Belarus activist arrested after fighter jet intercepts his Ryanair flight". CNN.
  3. Plikūnė, Dalia; Užusienytė, Jogintė. "Be opozicionieriaus ir jo draugės į Lietuvą negrįžo ir dar keturi lėktuvo keleiviai: kas jie – kol kas mįslė" (in Lithuanian). Delfi. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  4. van Dorpe, Simon (23 May 2021). "EU blasts Belarus for 'hijack' of airliner and arrest of activist". POLITICO.
  5. "Human rights organizations call to release five more political prisoners". Viasna Human Rights Centre. 2021-05-26. Archived from the original on 2021-05-27. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  6. "США расширили санкции в отношении официального Минска. Полный список" (in Russian). ZERKALO.IO. 2021-08-09. Archived from the original on 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
  7. "Treasury Holds the Belarusian Regime to Account on Anniversary of Fraudulent Election". United States Department of the Treasury. 2021-08-09. Archived from the original on 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-10.