EDITORIAL: Say “No” to Sochi because of Russia’s Drunken Skies

EDITORIAL

Say “No” to Sochi because of Russia’s Drunken Skies

Last week, we reported on how the passengers of an Aeroflot airliner had been forced to take matters into their own hands in order to stop a drunken Russian pilot from taking off and killing them all.  In America, the pilot saves the passengers by skillfully and heroically landing a stricken airliner on a river in the middle of one of the world’s greatest cities. In Russia, it’s exactly the reverse.

Those passengers didn’t know how right they were to act. Just days later, Reuters reported:

The chief pilot of a Russian airliner which crashed last year killing 88 people had alcohol in his blood but the primary cause of the crash was poor training, investigators said on Tuesday. A Boeing 737-500 operated by Aeroflot subsidiary Aeroflot-Nord crashed as it tried to land in the Ural mountains city of Perm early in the morning, killing everyone on board in Russia’s worst air crash for two years. “A forensic study … detected the presence of ethyl alcohol in the crew commander’s body before his death,” Alexei Morozov, head of the investigating commission, told a news conference.

Reuters reminds readers of “March 1994 when 70 people were killed in a crash in Siberia. Investigators found that the pilot’s teenage son had been allowed to enter the flight cabin and had accidentally switched off the autopilot.”  Click the “air disasters” category in our sidebar to read about numerous other horrifying recent incidents that make Russia one of the world’s most dangerous places to board an airplane.

The reason such things can happen so routinely is simple:  In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, individual human life outside the Kremlin has no value.

This is the meat grinder into which the world has chosen to pour its best and brightest athletes for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.  Even without this appalling risk, Russia’s invasion of Georgia and the risk of terrorism from Chechnya and Ingushetia would be more than enough reason to disqualify Russia immediately from hosting the games.

But considering these nauseating developments, if the leaders of the free world do not divest Russia of the Sochi games, which it cannot even afford because of its catastrophic economic crisis, then they may well have blood on their hands.

We call for an international repudiation of the Sochi games before it is too late.

10 responses to “EDITORIAL: Say “No” to Sochi because of Russia’s Drunken Skies

  1. Oh, geez. The link you posted as “terrorism from Chechnya and Ingushetia” was actually about the insurgency in Kabardino-Balkaria!

    (From the article: “Two wars in nearby Chechnya since 1994 have impoverished and scarred the North Caucasus, and sporadic violence across the region happens almost daily, but attacks in Kabardino-Balkaria are less frequent than other provinces.”)

    Now, if you wanted something about (let’s say) Ingushetia, why not just for example is: http://en.rian.ru/russia/20090212/120111710.html (4 police and 1-3 rebel(s) killed in a Nazran fighting yesterday, according to the official RIAN version)

    Calling this “terrorism” is also too sensational, there is hardly any terrorism nowadays for years except the police terror. Practically all who were killed by insurgents in 2008 were policemen, soldiers or officials (plus few accidental victims of stray bullets).

    No attacks of foreigers neither. If a tourist won’t so something really stupid (like travelling in a police vehicle) he should be pretty safe.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Oh geez, you seem blissfully ignorant of the fact that foreigners are not allowed anywhere near Chechnya due to massive restrictions and censorship by the Kremlin, but will come in hoards if there is an Olympics games. If you are suggesting that the terrorists in the region have no interest in upsetting Russia’s games, you need to have your neo-Soviet head examined. You might also try to educate yourself a bit on terrorism in the region, which occurs on routine basis and is documented in the “Chechnya” category in our sidebar. If you think killing police doesn’t constitute terrorism and means ordinary people are safe, we’d love to have you move into the region and send us some reports. You wouldn’t last five minutes.

    Idiot.

  2. Chechnya is now a sort of huge Potemkin village. Foreign journalists are actually encouraged to land in the restored Severny airport and see how Grozny “rose from ashes”. They are no longer required to gain the official approval and then to only travel with the military convoys (or with the rebels, like Roddy Scott who was killed by the Russians when trying to surrender).

    “Killing police doesn’t constitute terrorism” indeed because the police (and especially the FSB )of Ingushetia is the terrorist organization (kidnapping, torturing, murdering suspects and various noncombatants, even completely innocent random people). All decent policemen already resigned and some were even murdered by their supposed comrades (for example one prosecutor who was “disappeared” himself when he tried to dig into the “disappearances”). A lot of the attacks on police are simply revenge attacks by family members of the police terror victims (even the clan of murdered opposition leader Yevlovyev officially declared a vendetta on Zyazikov).

    And of course no foreigners were ever targeted intentionally in the over 9 years of the current war (Kenneth Gluck was released voluntarily and apologized by Basayev – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chechnya-sl/message/31961, the foreign hostages in Moscow were due to be released when the OSNAZ attacked and killed them after obstructng the release, etc). It’s not Iraq nor Afghanistan/Pakistan, foreigners are not targets.

    And last and least, I don’t remember any inurgent attacks in KK at all. (Unlike in Stavropol Krai, or Moscow Oblast for that matter.)

    Oh, now I’m called “idiot”. OK, goodbye then.

  3. Ah, and I (Idiot) followed your advice “to educate myself a bit on terrorism in the region, which occurs on routine basis and is documented in the “Chechnya” category in our sidebar”.

    And what I see as the most recent one post on the subject?

    “A female suicide bomber blew herself up near a busy downtown market in North Ossetia’s capital, Vladikavkaz, on Thursday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 40 others, authorities said. The bombing is the first terrorist attack targeting civilians since Dmitry Medvedev assumed the presidency six months ago and the first to involve a female suicide bomber since the 2004 school attack in Beslan, which is also in North Ossetia.”

    Two things:

    1. “Authorities said”. The rebels said it wasn’t them.

    2. “The bombing is the first terrorist attack targeting civilians since Dmitry Medvedev assumed the presidency six months ago” – this is “regularly”? (Meantime, the government forces and officials in North Caucasus as targeted practically every day at least once, or hundreds of times “since Dmitry Medvedev assumed the presidency six months ago”.)

    Of course, here also the sensationalist and completele unsubstantiated post title “Chechen Terror Comes to Ossetia”, as the Rusian government is instantly believed – and morever, the Chechens are pointed out as the culprits without even allegation by Moscow regime.

    In the real world, there were many attacks against the government in NO since 2004 (and also bombings of empty civilian targets), and the rebels say it’s work of the local Ossetian group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kataib_al-Khoul) and not any “Chechen coming”.

    But I understand “the Chechen” serves only as a bogeyman even for “the Russophobes”. The Chechen is terrorizing left and right, he comes to North Ossetia, he “crawls along the riverbank, sharpening his long knife” (from the old Lermontov poem), he’s also going to kill YOU if you ever come to Sochi!

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    The terrorists also denied bombing apartment buildings in Moscow. That didn’t stop Putin from blaming them and invading their country, now did it? Are you admitting Putin was wrong to do so?

    In the real world, Russia hasn’t hosted the Olympics since the war in Chechnya began.

    In the real world, when the Chechens attack the Sochi games, what will you say to the families of murdered athletes? “Oops, sorry”?

    Bogeymen? While we condemn Chechen terrorism, we strongly support independence for Chechnya and our hero is Anna Politkovskaya, who fought for their rights and freedom.

    Please don’t drink so much vodka before “commenting” on our blog you blockhead, it only makes you (and us) look bad.

  4. What? The FSB was behind the bombings, it was a false flag provocation. (Litvinenko wrote about it and the other FSB terrorism and they made an example out of him.) And of course invading Chechnya “was wrong”, just as wrong as the mass murder that served as a pretext for this war of agression.

    Morever, of all people convicted by the Russians not even one was a Chechen! (They were members of various Muslim minorities, mostly Karachais and people form Dagestan – not a single Chechen among them. )

    The Chechens (read: Shamil Basayev and his interethnic network through the whole region) have taken responsibility for a series of terrorist bombings in 2002-2004 (from Moscow hostage crisis to Beslan hostage crisis – with a series of suicide bombings in Moscow and elsewhere in the meantime, including a double aircraft bombing). That’s all. Even Basayev stopped what he called “Operation Boomerang” (against Russian civilians, but he stated no foreigners are NOT his targets ) almost 2 years before he was killed (he was talked out of it by Sadullayev following the Beslan catastrophe).

    Now, please tell me about:

    1. Any attack on strictly civilian target involving Chechen insurgents (that supposedly are taking place “on routine basis”) since Sept 2004.

    2. ANY attack by any ANY North Caucasian rebels (heck, even by foreign fighters!) specifically and unapologetically targeting ANY foreigners for any ANY reason in the whole war since 1999.

    3. Any sizable attack/fighting in KK ever.

    A single one of each?

    Fighting the brutal regime is not terrorism in the commonly aproved sense. Terrorism is targeting civilians to inspire terror. Russian regime calls this “terrorism” (also “banditism”, and recently the isnurgents are called “criminal underground” and their leaders “crime lords” in newspeak, as the “counterterrorist operation” officially ended years ago).

    I don’t “drink vodka” at all. Maybe you should try something else, like accusing me of taking drugs.

  5. And one more thing regarding “the Ingush police” – the great most of it now is from outside of Ingushetia (reinforcements and replacements). As in – it’s mostly Russians. Vs the Ingush nation in the uprising.

    Russification of the Ingush Police Continues (2007)
    http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=4474

  6. And of course this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7743551.stm

    “Moscow’s response has been heavy-handed, with reports that an extra 2,500 troops from outside Ingushetia were deployed in the republic last year to help crush what Russia sees as a Muslim rebellion. But this has only added fuel to the fire which is driving ever more young Ingush men into the arms of the rebels.”

  7. “If you think killing police doesn’t constitute terrorism and means ordinary people are safe, we’d love to have you move into the region and send us some reports.”

    Kim, I’m also not so sure that there aren’t any terrorists in the region eager to target civilians, but independent observers (ONG, etc.) and also some I know living in Ingushetia confirm that there is no “police” in charge there to “serve and protect” in the sense we know it. It is merely a state terror organization which labels itself as “police”. I suggest you reconsider this aspect.

  8. According to the official statistics , the Ingush rebels during the first 4 months of 2008 killed 17 troops and 1 (one) civilian and wounded 60 troops and 3 (three) civilians.

    Regarding a murder of Russian family in 2007:
    http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2007/09/03/52723.shtml

    Мы не различаем людей по национальной принадлежности и, если люди живут себе спокойно, будь то русские, чеченцы, корейцы и представители любой другой национальности, при условии их неучастия в борьбе против Ислама и мусульман, то мы не имеем к ним никаких претензий.

    К этой расправе можно было бы относиться как к банальному криминалу, если бы не такая раскрутка данного события, с привлечением центральных кафирских телеканалов. Явно постановочный взрыв в самом центре операторской камеры, неизвестно откуда взявшаяся журналистка, первый и единственный раз показавшаяся на телеэкранах, свидетельствует о том, что данное событие было подготовлено и осуществлено русистскими чекистами, которые, как известно, часто используют подобные методы.

    Мы хотим еще раз обратить внимание самих же русских на то отношение к ним со стороны их же власти, которая посылает ваших, а не своих, сыновей на Кавказ умирать, защищая интересы не вашего народа, а интересы определенной группы людей, лишь выступающей от имени вашего народа, которая поработила различные народы и, в первую очередь, вас — русских. Для достижения своих корыстных целей чекисты взрывают вас в своих же домах, как было в Москве и Волгодонске. Когда они решат, то они принесут в жертву своим интересам гораздо большую цену.

  9. The above statistics was about the insurgent attacks (bombings, ambushes and such), not the forest clashes, shootouts at the checkpoints and the “special operations”.

    About “the police”:

    Russia: Stop ‘dirty war’ tactics in Ingushetia
    Source: Human Rights Watch (HRW)
    Date: 25 Jun 2008
    Killings, Torture, Disappearances in Chechnya-Style Counterinsurgency
    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/MUMA-7FVA2A?OpenDocument

    ‘The crimes in Ingushetia, although on a far smaller scale, evoke the thousands of enforced disappearances, killings, and torture cases that plagued Chechnya for more than a decade,’ said Tanya Lokshina, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch. ‘Russia’s brutal counterinsurgency policies are antagonizing local residents. Far from ending the insurgency, ‘dirty war’ tactics are likely to further destabilize the situation in Ingushetia and beyond in the North Caucasus.’

    In the last few years in Ingushetia, Russia has been fighting several militant groups with a loose agenda to unseat the Ingush government, evict federal security and military forces based in the region, and promote Islamic rule in the North Caucasus. Beginning in summer 2007, insurgent attacks on public officials, law enforcement and security personnel, and civilians rose sharply. Against this background of increasing insurgent activity, law enforcement and security forces are carrying out abduction-style detentions of those suspected of insurgency; those abducted are regularly tortured, and sometimes ‘disappear.’ Abduction-style detentions and killings in Ingushetia often happen during ‘special operations,’ which resemble the pattern of abusive sweep operations and targeted raids seen in earlier years in Chechnya. Groups of armed personnel arrive in a given area, often wearing masks. They do not provide the residents with any explanation for the operation, force entry into homes, beat some of the residents, and damage their property.

    Particularly disturbing are the frequent extrajudicial executions. The Human Rights Watch report documents eight such cases. The youngest victim, six-year-old Rakhim Amriev, was killed in a raid on his parents’ home, where security forces believed an alleged insurgent was hiding. An investigation into his death is ongoing. That investigation is exceptional, however, and can be explained only by Amriev’s young age, which precluded the authorities from alleging his involvement in insurgency. In the majority of extrajudicial executions, insurgency-related charges are filed against the victims posthumously, and their killings are never investigated. Security and police personnel responsible for human rights violations in Ingushetia are not held to account. Distressed by absolute impunity for the perpetrators, and the authorities’ repeated claims that the situation in the region is normal, local residents organized several protest rallies in 2007 and early 2008. The Ingush authorities, however, call those rallies ‘a provocation’ playing into the hand of the insurgents. They have done their utmost to prevent protests, including by banning and violently dispersing planned events and attempting to silence media coverage.

  10. Oh, and the Nazran incident week ago apparently resulted in the death of at least 15 MVD and FSB troops (officially still only 4) with many injured. Several APCs and trucks were also destroyed when the besieged house exploded during the assault (some other houses were also destroyed, but no civilians were killed!).

    Maybe write a real update on Ingushetia, the failed FSB dicatorship of General Zyazikov (reportedly attempted suicide some time after dissmissed), etc?

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