The Hijack

Europe, Belarus, and the Abduction of Roman Protasevich
Panels and Discussions

On 23 May, a Belarusian fighter plane intercepted Ryanair 4978 and forced the European commercial airliner to land in Minsk. The reporter Roman Protasevich (26), known for his coverage of pro-democracy protests,was then abducted by Belarusian authorities, along with the student Sofia Sapega (23).  How can reporters be protected against the use of military force by dictators?  And how should the EU react to the state hijacking of an aircraft bound from one EU capital to another?  Given Russia’s dominant role in Belarus, might it bear responsibility? 


Fiona Hill, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution.

Martin Malek, independent Austrian political scientist.

Viktoras Bachmetjevas, Associate Professor at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania and current IWM Visiting Fellow.

Ivan Krastev, IWM Permanent Fellow

Francois Heisbourg, Senior Adviser for Europe for the IISS, as well as Special Adviser for the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS).

Sławomir Sierakowski, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Krytyka Polityczna.

The discussion was moderated by Timothy Snyder, IWM Permanent Fellow.

Introduction by Marci Shore, Associate Professor of Intellectual History at Yale University and IWM Visiting Fellow.