Russia Scales new heights on Failure Mountain
If there is a basic theme on this blog, it is surely this: No matter how wretched things might be in Russia today, when you wake up tomorrow you may well learn something that will make it impossible for you to recall why you thought yesterday was so bad.
Commenter “Barb” notified us that this past Saturday nearly two dozen Russian sailors were killed by the fire-fighting system on board their nuclear Akula-class attack submarine while on a testing mission at sea. For some reason, the system decided to go off at random while over 200 sailors were on board, and for some reason the system produced a toxic cloud that asphyxiated 10% of the crew.
If that isn’t Russia in a nutshell, we don’t know what is. Not only does the system that is supposed to save lives end up taking them en masse, but the event occurs right at the moment when Russia’s KGB overlords are strutting and preening, bristling with cold-war confrontation, threatening to put offensive Russian nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad — reminding the world of the infamous Kursk disaster at precisely the wrong moment. Russia was already being ridiculed by foreign policy experts as a “sulky teenager you don’t want to have to deal with” because of its childish tit-for-tat threats against NATO, and now it has shown itself once again to a be a paper tiger.
Indeed, in light of this story it seems that those who should most fear the installation of nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad are the people of that enclave themselves — and not because the result would obviously be having Kaliningrad targeted by NATO missiles but because the Russian missiles themselves may well spontaneously explode.
Hero journalist Grigori Pasko has more on the disaster over at Robert Amsterdam’s blog.