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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…

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