Inside Nexta: The journalists taking on Belarus’ regime

The BBC visits the colleagues of Roman Protasevich, the journalist arrested off the diverted Ryan Air flight.

Video Transcript

ROMAN PROTASEVICH: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

ANASTASIA: Yes, I'm afraid, but it's my call of duty, so--

JEAN MACKENZIE: From this tiny office, Roman Protasevich helped build a massive revolution.

As the editor of an online news service run from outside Belarus, the young exiles work under police protection. We're invited in.

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

JEAN MACKENZIE: This video of Roman was filmed outside the office last year. He's excited, hopeful their work will bring down the government in Belarus.

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

JEAN MACKENZIE: Stepan founded Nexta as a way to get information to people in Belarus. Using the messaging app Telegram, he attracted an enormous following. Soon, his channel became the most effective way to organize protests in Belarus.

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

JEAN MACKENZIE: But you founded Nexta. Does that not make you enemy number one?

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

JEAN MACKENZIE: Why is the government so afraid of you?

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

OK, let's go to our Telegram room.

ANASTASIA: I write for three, three of our channels.

JEAN MACKENZIE: Are you afraid working here?

ANASTASIA: Yes, I'm afraid, but it's my call of duty, so I think it's my choice, and my part to help our people to live in a democratic country.

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

JEAN MACKENZIE: Roman's capture has shaken this small team. They now fear for their own lives, and for their families back home.

Do you worry they might kill you?

STEPAN PUTILO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]