Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi, Russia, May 2022
Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters

Last year was a particularly dangerous time to be a Belarusian political dissident—not just in Belarus, but anywhere in the world. In 2021, after months of violently cracking down on peaceful opposition protests at home, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko began exporting his repressive tactics abroad. His targets ranged widely, from longtime dissidents to novice critics. Although many of his efforts flew under the international radar, others attracted major public attention. In May 2021, for instance, Lukashenko’s regime concocted a false bomb threat to force a passenger airliner traveling between Greece and Lithuania to land in Minsk so that Roman Pratasevich,

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