Alexander Lukashenko (Image: AP/Sergei Shelega)

Back in 2011, a few years before he was murdered not far from the walls of the Kremlin, Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov had this to say about Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko:

Lukashenko is a kind of Slavic [Muammar al-]Qaddafi; in other words, he has no limits. He is a killer, he is a dictator, there are no off-ramps for him, he has burned all of his bridges, he is not in control of himself. And I have this feeling that [in Belarus], a velvet revolution is impossible.

In 2021, Nemtsov’s words ring all the more true, after months of brutal crackdown in Belarus. And with a brazen act of state terrorism to snatch dissident blogger Roman Protasevich out of the sky — imperilling a passenger plane traveling from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, in the process — Lukashenko’s bloodthirsty behaviour has gone international.