News readers could be forgiven for laboring mightily to understand a recent story about the hijacking of a Ukrainian arms shipment (33 Soviet-era battle tanks) bound for Africa. The pirates were holding 20 Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldovan crew members on board. Upon being seized the ship’s Russian captain Vladimir Kolobkov apparently had a heart attack on the spot and dropped dead.
The ship was taken on Thursday September 25th and the next day there were reports that the Russian navy was charging to the rescue. The next thing you knew, the pirates were demanding $20 million in ransom, and it was already Monday. Now, the United States was taking the lead, surrounding the pirated ship from all sides. The Russian navy was nowhere to be seen, and the Americans were preventing the ship from offloading any cargo, which might then fall into the hands of crazed Somali rebels.
Very impressive technology the Russians seem to have, some sort of advanced cloaking device that makes their ships disappear entirely whenever they might actually have to fight. Same thing appears to have happened in the Black Sea when the U.S. navy made an appearance after Russia’s assault on Georgia began.
One gets the impression that the Russians are hiding behind the American skirts, just in case the pirates might actually start shooting or something.