The King of Underground Punk vs. Europe’s Last Dictator

The lead singer of Mister X refuses to be quiet about the repressive Belarusian government.
Illustration by Arielle Duhaime-Ross

The government of Belarus shocked the world in May when it basically hijacked a Ryanair passenger flight traveling from Greece to Lithuania to arrest a 26-year-old opposition journalist and his girlfriend. It was the latest escalation in a crackdown led by strongman President Alexander Lukashenko, sparking massive criticism from the West and within his own country.

In this episode, we hear from Igor Bancer, the lead singer of the punk rock group Mister X, who despite imprisonment and an impending labor sentence, refuses to put down the mic and provides a window into life under “Europe’s last dictator.”



Western governments have reacted with fury after a Ryanair flight was forced to land in Minsk so Belarusian authorities could detain a 26-year-old journalist.

Russian passport-holders tracked a dissident blogger for days in Crete before he boarded a fateful flight home. 

“Nobody will escape” - Friends and colleagues of Roman Protasevich explain why they’re still in shock at how he was snatched from the skies by Belarus' strongman president.


This episode was reported by Steph Brown. Special thanks to VICE News consulting producer Maya Tepler. 

VICE News Reports is produced by Jesse Alejandro Cottrell, Sophie Kazis, Jen Kinney, Janice Llamoca, Julia Nutter, and Sayre Quevedo. Our senior producers are Ashley Cleek and Adizah Eghan. Our associate producers are Sam Egan, and Adreanna Rodriguez. Sound Design and music composition by Steve Bone, Pran Bandi and Kyle Murdock. 

Our executive producer and VP of Vice Audio is Kate Osborn. Janet Lee is Senior Production Manager for VICE Audio. 

Fact-checking by Nicole Pasulka. Our theme music is by Steve Bone.