Opinion: The real meaning of Belarus’ kidnapping of American citizen

Youras Ziankovich, a lawyer with American citizenship, has been in Belarussian hands since April. He has long been a critic of the Belarussian strongman and he, too, thought he could protect himself from a repressive regime by staying beyond its borders. But Lukashenko is proving once again that tyrants don’t respect national borders. Transnational repression is becoming increasingly common, further evidence of the global threat posed by authoritarianism.

This time, it was different. Ziankovich was apparently kidnapped in Moscow, with full support of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

Ziankovich’s wife, Alena Dzenisavets, says she has not seen or spoken to her husband since April 11, shortly before four men in plain clothes, who were waiting for him at his Moscow hotel, threw a hood over his head and stuffed him in a car. She says she put together a sequence of events by speaking to his lawyer and hotel witnesses in Moscow. The kidnappers…

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