The dispatcher of the Minsk airport, who called the Ryanair plane with Roman Protasevich on board for an emergency landing at the national airport, left Belarus with his family. About it reported “Nasha Niva” with reference to a source in “Belaeronavigatsia”.
It is noted that Oleg Galegov went on vacation at the end of June, but in July he did not return to work in due time. Belaeronavigatsia reported that they could not get through to the dispatcher, but they allegedly know that he is now living with his mother-in-law.
Galegov’s colleagues added that he also deleted social media accounts. According to preliminary data, the dispatcher could go home to Georgia, from where he came to Belarus. He has been working at Belaeronavigatsia since 2010.
On May 23, a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius made an emergency landing in Minsk after reports of mining operations. A MiG-29 fighter was raised to escort the aircraft. Immediately after landing, the Belarusian security forces detained the creator and editor-in-chief of the NEXTA Telegram channel Roman Protasevich, who was on board, and his girlfriend, Russian woman Sofia Sapega.
Soon, the authorities of the republic officially assured that the message about the threat of an explosion came on behalf of the Palestinian movement Hamas. In their letter, they allegedly demanded that the European Union stop supporting Israel’s actions. The organization has denied any involvement in the bombing threats.
The editor-in-chief of the Telegram channel NEXTA and Sapega were accused of violating order and organizing mass events after the presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020. Because of this incident, relations between Belarus and Western countries, in particular with Lithuania, have sharply deteriorated.
On June 3, the Belarusian state channel ONT showed an interview with Protasevich, where he made a number of high-profile confessions. In particular, he took responsibility for organizing the protests in Belarus and named his supporters, spoke about the preparation of a forceful seizure of power, and also that NEXTA is funded by a Russian oligarch, and the headquarters of the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya – by Lithuanian businessmen.
Speaker of the Riigikogu (Estonian parliament) Juri Ratas, at a meeting with the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, called the forced landing of the Ryanair plane in Minsk “a terrorist act.”
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, in turn, stated that the actions of the Belarusian authorities are a threat to international security and appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organization to immediately launch an investigation “with appropriate consequences” for all those involved.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he did not approve or condemn the incident with the Ryanair plane.
According to the Russian president, he has no reason not to trust the Belarusian leader.
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary said the pilot was forced to land the plane because he “could not have done otherwise” due to the threat of an explosion. He added that the pilot had no choice, since the air traffic control service of the Belarusian airport recorded a red, that is, the maximum level of threat. The Belarusian authorities gave him a signal about the threat of an explosion.
Seven European countries have joined the declaration of the Council of the European Union, ordering to block the sky for Belarusian aircraft. Among them are Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
Russia promised to help Belarus. At the same time, experts have repeatedly pointed out how much damage Moscow suffers from such assistance. In particular, Ivan Timofeev, Program Director of the Russian International Affairs Council, noted that this primarily harms the Russian economy.