Comment on the article Anger after Ryanair flight ‘hijacked’ by Lukashenko to arrest dissident by Marc Bennetts, The Times, May 24 2021.
The Nexta channel is run on Telegram, service operated by a Russian team from Dubai, as the company’s website explains:
“The Telegram development team is based in Dubai. Most of the developers behind Telegram originally come from St. Petersburg”, i.e. Leningrad.
Pavel Durov, Telegram’s chief, has an account on Twitter but remains mostly silent since January 2021. Similarly, Nexta stopped posting on Twitter in January 2021.
This story has Russian and Belarussian state written all over it. The so-called ‘opposition’ is fake. Gullible westerners will believe anything and will not ask any questions.
Nexta’s founder Stsiapan Putsila was born into Belarussian privileged class, Financial Times February 25 2021:
“[Putsila’s] father had been a sports presenter since the 1990s who was the only one who broadcast in the Belarusian language”
Putsila doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account.
Looking at the material posted by the Belarussian ‘opposition’ I haven’t noticed anything significant. Plenty of theatricals but no substance.
The Russian state is gradually wresting control over large portions of the Internet from western companies and governments. If you believe that Telegram has nothing to do with the Russian state, you are a complete fool. Those signing up for Telegram should be aware that they are giving their personal data and the contents of their communication to the Russian state.