Plane Used by the Sanctioned Son of Belarus’ President Lands in Israel

Plane Used by the Sanctioned Son of Belarus’ President Lands in Israel
Belarusian blogger and dissident reports that the jet took off Monday from Minsk, flew to Tbilisi and landed in Tel Aviv in the evening ■  found that the plane was in Israel, but could not confirm that Viktor Lukashenko was aboard

Viktor Lukashenko, the son of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, landed in Israel on Monday, the Belarusian blogger and dissident Anton Motolko reported on his Telegram channel.

Motolko reported that a business jet belonging to the Belarusian flag carrier Belavia and used by the Lukashenko family took off on Monday from Minsk at 12:10 P.M. local time, heading for Israel. He said the Bombardier Challenger 850 aircraft landed in Tbilisi, Georgia, at 3:15 P.M. local time, and less than an hour later flew to Israel, landing at 6:13 P.M. local time.

A Frontier investigation found that a business jet registered as EW-301PJ, the same registration number as the plane identified by Motolko, did land in Tel Aviv on Monday, and took off from Israel at noon local time the following day.

Motolko acts, among other things, as the head of Belarusian Hajun Project, which has been gathering and publishing information on military activities and the movement of military equipment in Belarusian territory since the start of the war in Ukraine. His Telegram channel boasts more than 100,000 followers.

Frontier confirmed that the plane's flight log matches the public meeting schedules of Lukashenko and Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko over the past year. Whether the president's son was aboard the plane when it landed in Israel, however, is still unknown.

The Belarusian plane took an especially circuitous route from Minsk to Tel Aviv, going by way of Russia and Georgia, because of the sanctions that have been imposed by the European Union on Belarus. These bar the country's national airline from flying over the bloc’s territory.

Viktor, 46, is the eldest of Alexander Lukashenko's two sons. For decades, Viktor Lukashenko served as his father’s assistant on national security matters, until he left the post last year. He is a member of the country’s national security council and has been subject to sanctions by the European Union, the United States, Britain and other countries.

Belarus was rocked by months of protests fueled by Lukashenko’s reelection to a sixth term in an August 2020 election that was widely seen as rigged. Authorities responded to the demonstrations with a massive crackdown that saw more than 35,000 people arrested and thousands beaten by police.

When the European Union imposed sanctions on Belarus in 2020, it asserted that Viktor Lukashenko was responsible for the campaign of intimidation and oppression mounted against the country’s citizens after the election. Brussels accused the younger Lukashenko of “arbitrary arrests and abuse, including torture, of non-violent protesters as well as threats and violence against journalists.”Past reports have linked Belarusian leaders to senior Israeli officials. TheMarker reported that in 2019, Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman and his son Amos with Belarusian business executives Vitali Fishman and Alexander Zingman met at the Carlton Hotel in Herzliya. Fishman and Zingman have been involved in arms dealing and are active in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, among other things. The meeting was also attended by a close Lukashenko aide, Viktor Sheiman.