When Roman Protasevi arrived at the airport in Athens, he noticed that several men were filming him with their phones. He writes the Daily Mail, and refers to people from the Protasevic circle. According to The Guardian, the journalist and activist must have noticed the filming of the men when one of them, a Russian-speaking man in a hoodie and T-shirt, tried to get pictures of his passport.
In Minsk, four men were said to have disembarked and disappeared. At least two of them must have Russian passports. It is not clear if Russia had anything to do with the kidnapping, as The Guardian writes, but even more important are the opinions that the four men on the ship were KGB agents.
“I think the KGB is involved”
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, described the incident as a state-sponsored kidnapping, and told Irish broadcaster Newstalk of his suspicions:
We believe KGB agents were on board.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney also shares the view that many people who may have been agents of the KGB left the plane after landing in Belarus.
Five or six people left the plane at once. Only one of them was arrested, indicating that the rest were agents, he said.
The KGB is an intelligence service in Belarus. It originated from the infamous KGB, and is one of the few to keep its name after the fall of the Soviet Union. In Russia, the name was changed to FSB.
According to human rights organizations such as American Amnesty The KGB plays a major role in human rights violations in Belarus.