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An American lawyer went on a lunch date in Moscow. Now he is languishing in a jail cell in Belarus

Ziankovich’s wife, Alena Dzenisavets, says that according to the manager of the Nordic Rooms hotel, the men — all in plain clothes — put a hood over his head and bundled him into a car outside the hotel in the Moscow suburb of Ostankino.

She told CNN that Youras was then spirited across the Russian border in a three-vehicle convoy and driven more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Dzenisavets says she pieced together what happened to her husband through his court-appointed lawyer in Belarus. She has not had any direct contact with Youras for nearly three months.

Ziankovich’s lunch companion, Alexander Feduta, was detained at the same time. He, too, was driven to Minsk. Feduta served as spokesman for Alexander Lukashenko, in 1994, before falling out with the Belarusian leader. He went on to join the country’s opposition.

A well-known writer in Belarus, he spent time in jail after taking part in a protest in 2010.

On arrival in Minsk, Ziankovich…

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