Imagine this scenario.
You’re 26 years old. You no longer live in your country because your country is being run by a fat ugly asshole who has been running your country for far too long, and you’ve been an activist since you’ve been a teenager. You’re a good enough activist that — like Malala Yousafzai — you’ve actually been able to make a difference. Using the Telegram Messenger service you’ve managed to help keep activists in your own country informed, enough so that some people are calling you a “journalist.”
You get invited to a conference in Athens to participate in, and you and your Russian girlfriend take the trip from Vilnius (where you currently live). You have a nice conference and board a Ryanair — which is a carrier based in Ireland — for the nice direct flight back to Vilnius. You are, in fact, almost back in Vilnius (but still just in Belarusian airspace, the country from which you have fled) when your plane is diverted on the false pretense of a bomb threat to Minsk (which is the capital of Belarus), where you are arrested.
You are 26 fucking years old!
Authoritarians, like the fat ugly asshole who has been running Belarus for 27 years, never worry to much about the legitimacy of their actions, but this time Mr. Asshole may have gone too far.
- First of all, he hijacked the airliner of another country.
- Secondly, he apparently violated the 1971 Montreal Convention.
- Third, he guaranteed that the airlines of other countries would no longer fly into Belarus.
- Fourth, economic sanctions are sure to follow.
Mr. Asshole still has Mr. Putin’s support, and Mr. Putin is probably kicking himself that he didn’t think of this first. But Mr. Putin does have to attend the G7 summit, and he does have to work with the European Union in a way that Mr. Asshole does not.
It will be interesting to watch how this plays out. Like the January 6th Insurrection, Mr. Asshole crossed a very bright line here and there will be no forgive and forget.
And, he made Roman Protasevich internationally famous in an instant.
I’d never heard of him.
But should anything happen to him now, the whole world will know who was responsible.
What happens when the European Union really brings all of their economic power to bear against Belarus?
Will it make a difference?
I don’t know.
Keep your eyes on this one, folks. This will be one to watch.