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OSINT: Track the Crisis in Belarus with Ryanair Flight with RadarBox

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Welcome back, my aspiring OSINT Investigators!

Open Source Intelligence or OSINT offers some of the best ways to track real-time crises around the world.

Last night (May 23, 2021), Belarus forced a Ryanair flight headed to Vilnius, Lithuania to land in Minsk, so they could arrest the dissident journalist, Roman Protasevich.

Many have called this state-sponsored aircraft piracy and the EU has strongly condemned this action by the Belarus dictator, Alexander Lukashenko. All EU-based flight are now being diverted around Belarus.

We can track exactly what happened and what is happening on that flight with open source flight tracking site,

Step #1: Open RadarBox

The first step is to open the opensource flight tracking application in your browser.

Step #2: Search Flight 4978

Now with RadarBox open, we can search for the flight from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania with the dissident journalist aboard, namely flight FR4978. Click on the HISTORY tab at the top-center and a pull-down menu appears. Click on FLIGHTS.

Now, enter the RyanAir flight number, FR4978.

Step #3: Track the Flight

When you click on the flight, it opens a page displaying all the key information about this flight including it route path.

We can zoom in and view the exact path of the flight as it was diverted to Minsk by agents of the Belarus dictator.

We can even play back the flight by clicking in the PLAY button near the bottom left.


The crisis playing out between the EU and Belarus is one more example of how OSINT techniques can provide the real-time information, if investigators know where and how to look. In addition, you can intercept pilot-to-tower communication using SDR shown here.

For more on real-time OSINT tracking techniques, see our post on the Suez Canal crisis here. For more on OSINT techniques, see our OSINT training page here.

You can purchase OSINT training videos here.

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