New York Times: Belarusian air traffic controller provides Poland with information on Pratasevich’s case

Vasyatka1 /
5 mins

На русском языке: New York Times: Беларусский авиадиспетчер предоставил Польше информацию по делу Протасевича
На беларускай мове: New York Times: Беларускі авіядыспетчар прадаставіў Польшчы інфармацыю па справе Пратасевіча

The American publication The New York Times reports that the ex-air traffic controller of Minsk National Airport provided Polish investigators with evidence that the landing of the Ryanair flight in Minsk was an operation of the Belarusian special services to catch Raman Pratasevich. 

This was told to the publication by European officials who wished to remain unnamed. According to their information, in summer, during the escalation of the migrant crisis at the Belarusian-Polish border, an ex-air traffic controller who worked at the Minsk airport got into Poland. He provided the Polish special services with detailed evidence of a fake bomb threat aboard the Rayaniar Athens-Vilnius plane, and also said that during the situation with the board, a KGB officer was on the air traffic control tower, later he took control of the air traffic control service.

Stanislaw Zaryn, the Press Secretary of the Minister-Coordinator of the Polish special services, also told the publication that a «report of a direct witness to the events on the control tower» had been received. He also added that, according to the witness, the officer of the Belarusian KGB was then in the control room and «at a decisive moment took command of the air traffic controller».

«Throughout the incident, the Belarusian officer «was keeping in constant contact by phone with someone to whom he informed of what was currently happening with the plane»,– Zaryn said.

Probably, the source who fled to Poland is Oleg Galegov, the former air traffic controller of Belaeronavigatsia. In July, Nasha Niva reported that Galegov had gone on vacation with his family to Georgia, from which he had not returned. He has also deleted all of his social media accounts.

European security officials told the publication that he had initially contacted the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to desert, but the Americans had directed him towards Polish authorities. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw declined to comment.

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