EXPLAINER: What was behind a jet’s diversion to Belarus?

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The diversion of a Ryanair flight to Lithuania by Belarus, leading to the arrest of an opposition journalist who was a passenger, has sparked international outrage and calls for tough sanctions against the former Soviet nation. The Ryanair flight was traveling from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, and was in Belarus airspace when Belarusian flight controllers told the crew that there was a bomb threat against the plane and ordered it to land in Minsk. At the airport, Belarusian security agents arrested Raman Pratasevich, who ran a popular messaging app that helped organize massive protests against authoritarian Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

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