There is more to say about the Ryanair incident in Belarus and the arrest of the ‘regime change’ operative Roman Protasevich.
We will start with the latter.
The sympathetic portraits of Protasevich in the New York Times and in the Guardian are only of interest for what they leave out.
FOIA Research and The Canadafiles have very well sourced and way more complete pieces on him. They link to a mountain of evidence in form of social media postings, photos and videos which support their findings.
From those we learn that Protasevich has long been a member of the fascist “Young Front” militia of Belarus. He has fought alongside the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine’s post-Maidan civil war.
Here is a 2017 picture of Protasevich during a Belorussian court hearing.
Here is Protasevich in 2015 on the cover of the recruitment magazine “Black Sun” of the Azov Battalion.
Here is Protasevich during an Azov parade (video from the event).
Protasevich – back row, third from right
There are more pictures sourced from his friends’ social media accounts. They all show him with Azov in full battle dress, with Azov insignia and guns. There have been claims that Protasevich was only working as a journalist for an Azov paper. That seems to be false. His father confirmed that his son ‘fought’ in Donbass. The Azov leader Andriy Biletsky confirmed that Protasevich fought with them in Donbass and that he was wounded.
Neither the NYT nor the Guardian mention Proasevich’s ideological position or his involvement with the neo-nazis of Azov. The London Times had originally reported that Protasevich was involved with Azov but later silently removed that passage from its report.
Another point missing from ‘western’ media is that Protasevich has long been on the payroll of various ‘western’ government financed propaganda media:
After being arrested for hooliganism, Protasevich would leave for Prague, Czech Republic in December 2017, and begin formally integrating into the imperialist media sphere.
Protasevich was a 2017-18 Vaclav Havel Journalism fellow in Prague, for US funded regime change outlet Radio Free Liberty/Europe.
Four months after a week long tour of the US State Department, in April 2018, Protasevich began working for USAID funded Belarus Euroradio.fm on August 31, 2018.
He left this job in December 2019, and would announce his new job, as Editor-in-Chief of Nexta, a foreign funded Telegram messaging channel covering Belarusian news, located in Poland, beginning in March 2020.
Stepan Putila, Protasevich’s partner at Nexta, worked for years at Belsat, which has been funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry since 2007, before engaging closely with Nexta.
Nexta played a key role in organizing pro-coup demonstrations in Belarus to protest Western supported candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who only won 11 per cent of the vote, yet falsely claims that the election was rigged in Lukashenko’s favour, along with regime change organization NED’s funded activists in Belarus.
Protasevich’s 2018 visit to Washington DC is of special interest:
On April 20, 2018, he flew via Brussels to Washington. On April 23, 2018, he posted a picture with the subtitle “The most important week in my life begins.” The same day he posted a picture of himself inside the US State Department, stating “Never had so many important and interesting encounters in my life. Tired but very pleased.” In DC he met with fellow regime change swamp creature, the Ukrainian-American Gleb Zhavoronkov.
Someone should ask the State Department what it thinks of Roman Protasevich’s fashion habits.
Volodymyr Ishchenko @Volod_Ishchenko – 1:20 PM · May 26, 2021
Protasevich’s selfie in an explicitly neo-Nazi brand Sva Stone. It’s extremely unlikely that one can wear these T-shirts without being “in”.
Neither is astonishing. A recent job description by the New York Times for a correspondent position in Moscow demanded extreme anti-Russian bias. The Guardian piece was co-authored by Luke Harding who is well known for his anti-Russian slant, his closeness to MI6 and his fake reporting:
In a recent book, Luke Harding, an investigative reporter at The Guardian, described how Mr. Steele had dispatched his “collector” [Danchenko] to surreptitiously approach a real estate broker, Sergei Millian, who was a peripheral figure in the Trump/Russia saga. “Millian spoke at length and privately to this person, believing him or her to be trustworthy — a kindred soul,” Mr. Harding wrote.
But the trouble for Mr. Harding, who is close to both Mr. Steele and Mr. Simpson, was that he wrote those lines before the release of the F.B.I. interview of Mr. Danchenko.
In the interview, the collector said that he and Mr. Millian might have spoken briefly over the phone, but that the two had never met.
Mr. Harding did not respond to requests for comment.
That the London Times silently deleted the well-sourced Protasevich-Azov relationship from its report let’s one to assume that the British government has issued a D-notice to hide that fact.