Brussels Faces Off With ‘Europe’s Last Dictator’

Brussels Faces Off With ‘Europe’s Last Dictator’
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko addresses his supporters in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 16, 2020 (AP photo by Dmitri Lovetsky).

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only Weekly Wrap-Up newsletter, which uses relevant WPR coverage to provide background and context to the week’s top stories. Subscribe to receive it by email every Saturday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox.

For decades, the president of Belarus, known as “Europe’s last dictator,” has been a thorn in the side of the continent’s democracies. But the threat Alexander Lukashenko poses to European security suddenly grew more serious Sunday, when his security forces—with the help of a transparently false cover story and an armed MiG-29 fighter jet—forced a commercial airliner flying over Belarusian airspace to land in Minsk in order to arrest Roman Protasevich, a reporter associated with the opposition-in-exile who was on the flight.

The incident internationalized what had been an internal political crisis within Belarus and immediately resulted in sanctions from the European Union and the U.K., including the banning of overflights of Belarus by European carriers and the suspension of landing rights to Belarus’ national airline.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.