April 12, 2010 — Contents

MONDAY APRIL 12 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Obamination in Kyrgyzstan

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Chechnya II, the Wrath of Maskhadov

(3)  Chechens must be Free!

(4)  The Moscow Bombings:  Prelude to Georgian Invasion?

(5)  CARTOON:  Medvedev and his Little Friend

77 responses to “April 12, 2010 — Contents

  1. President of Poland and a lot of other Polish officials just died in a Tupolev catastrophe in Russia.

    They flew there for Katyn Massacre anniversary.

    • The Russians apparently directed them to a too small military airfield near Smolensk with a lot of fog.

      OMON cordoned-off the whole are is not letting any journalists to come nearby.

      • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/10/poland-president-lech-kaczynski-killed

        The pilot was told Smolensk airport was closed because of thick fog, according to the news agency Interfax. He was offered a choice of landing instead in either Moscow or Minsk, the capital of Belarus. But he decided to continue with the original flight plan and land at Smolensk.

        The pilot made three unsuccessful attempts to land before the crash. On the fourth try and plane fell apart, Interfax said, citing officials at Smolensk’s interior ministry.

      • The Russians apparently directed them to land either in Minsk or Moscow instead. The pilots, however, decided to land in Smolensk and made 3 or 4 attempts — due to lack of time and Kaczynski’s well-known attitude towards landings in undesignated places (the pilots who landed his plane in Azerbaijan instead of Georgia were subsequently fired).

      • The Russians apparently directed them to a too small military airfield near Smolensk with a lot of fog.

        OMON cordoned-off the whole are is not letting any journalists to come nearby.

        Love it. keep them coming.

        @the russians directed them to a small military airfield.

        The Russians warned the pilot that visibility in Smolensk was next to nothing and recomended that he re-rout to Minsk or Moscow, but the warning went unheeded, for whatever reason.

        @OMON cordoned-off the whole are is not letting any journalists to come nearby.

        There is no OMON anywher in the vicinity. The emergency situations, rather than the MVD, is in charge of the area, where a special press center has been set up. It’s estimated that some 150 journalists have converged on the site.

        So….Nice try, but no cigar.

        • Yes, this blog has its own Dr. Goebbels.

          • “Dr. Goebbels” sez:

            Nikita, why did you lie “There is no OMON anywher[e] in the vicinity.”?

            It was such an asbolutely senseless lie, and at once so easy to disprove, I just can’t understand why you did it. But you know, I want to understand.

            Is this because you are simply lying all the time? Or some other reason, excuse, or an explaination?

            Btw lies:

            The Russian air controller claimed he had problems to communicate with the airplane because the Polish captain spoke poor Russian (while the controller, who had been tasked with receiving such an important international flight, did not speak English).

            There’s a little, tiny problem with his story.

            The Polish captain spoke fluent Russian.

        • @There is no OMON anywher in the vicinity.

          I don’t understand at all. Why are you lying now? Even Russia Today showed them. So why the denial?

          http://www.agency.tvn.pl/en/photo/omon-officer,9720,3687

          Polish journalists said the OMON initially behaved very rough and even brutally towards them. One of them (Slawomir Wisniewski from the TVP public television, who has actually witnessed the crash) was even detained after a literal chase and his camera confiscated at gunpoint, he was however released soon after an intervention by the Polish authorities.

          • Oh…..Robert can now speak with the dead and acertain their Russian speaking abilities. How reasurring. A pity there aren’t more necro-translation jobs avaliable. It’s so pathetic that once his original attempt at constucting a convincing conspiracy theory failed, he had to turn to wild stipulation to keep himself afloat. You have no idea as to the pilots russian, so why bother ? Were you one of his closeset personal friends ? So why bother ?

            And why the story about Wisniewski’s wild run from the authorities ? Several Polish papers on thie websites mention that Wisnievski was able to witness and film the crash and its immediate aftermath from his hotel room, for goodness sakes. To add some pizzaz to the story ? Sorry to dissapoint you, but it was Robbie, and not Wisnievski, who said that the OMON behaved “roughly” and “brutally” toward them. This is precisely why your babblings about the OMON are to be disregarded. Next time you make up a heart-racing story about a journalist’s escape from “evil” governement agents, at least make sure that said journalist corroborates your fib.

            • Hello again, “Dr Goebbels”.

              @Oh…..Robert can now speak with the dead and acertain their Russian speaking abilities. How reasurring. A pity there aren’t more necro-translation jobs avaliable. It’s so pathetic that once his original attempt at constucting a convincing conspiracy theory failed, he had to turn to wild stipulation to keep himself afloat. You have no idea as to the pilots russian, so why bother ? Were you one of his closeset personal friends ? So why bother ?

              No, I just [cue dramatic music] can read. (And hear, because I learnt about while listening to the radio.)

              http://www.mn.ru/news/20100412/55430456.html

              Gazeta Wyborcza, the second-largest daily and one of the most influential newspapers in the country, wrote about the circumstances of the crash. They talk to staff at the Severny Airport in Smolensk, including former pilot Alexei Korochnin, who says that the pilot of the plane made the decision to land himself, because no matter who is on board, the pilot is in charge.

              The article also countered claims that the pilots made a mistake because they were talking to air traffic control in Russian, but did not know it well enough. The article said that there was nothing untoward, as the experienced pilots spoke both English and Russian very well.

              “the Russians are lying to us”

              A conservative newspaper Nasz Dziennik ran an interview with Artur Górski, a member of Law and Justice, the party founded by the Kaczynski brothers. Mr Górski blamed Russia for the crash and that he is “almost sure that the Russians are lying to us.” He thought that Russia had already found the guilty party – the pilots. “I am afraid we may never learn the truth,” he says.

              @And why the story about Wisniewski’s wild run from the authorities ? Several Polish papers on thie websites mention that Wisnievski was able to witness and film the crash and its immediate aftermath from his hotel room, for goodness sakes. To add some pizzaz to the story ?

              Not really, my dear Dr Goebbels. Wisniewski arrived at the crash scene, has been chased, almost escaped but fell in mud and this is when they caught him. I actually listened to him talking about this live on TV this Saturday morning, but here’s his story as he has told later for Rzeczpospolita:

              http://www.rp.pl/artykul/2,460798.html

              Oh, and he managed to save the recording “from the hotel” (from the crash site) because the FSB thugs were too stupid to take the tape from his camera and he gave them the blank ones.

              Google computer translation (with a few corrections):

              -As long as they were [only] firefighters, everything was OK. They asked who I was, when I said that television did not do any trouble. But then [people] appeared [from] the Federal Security Service. In the film, you can hear [them] screaming, “Federal Security Service. Give [us] the camera. ” [Pushing and shoving] occurred. Two bull[ie]s took me under the armpits. In the meantime, I saw that [from] the forest from the airport came running some of our diplomats in suits.

              -What has happened in the meantime with you?

              -The Russians pulled me. I fell in the mud. They asked who I was.

              -How did you save the record?

              -[They] requested a tape and I gave them without any resistance [the] cassette[s], which had in the bag. One was recorded and a few [were] clean. But I gave all but one – the key [one] that is left of the camera.

              -Why the Russians wanted to take the tape?

              -How should I know? At first there was a great panic and terror. They were totally bewildered. They wanted to remove all people from the crash site. I would not search any subtext here. Although at the beginning it was very unpleasant. They said: “[You won’t come home soon]”. I was very scared that I will be in trouble, that I found myself in the wrong place. With these services, there are no jokes, I feared the consequences.

              @Sorry to dissapoint you, but it was Robbie, and not Wisnievski, who said that the OMON behaved “roughly” and “brutally” toward them. This is precisely why your babblings about the OMON are to be disregarded. Next time you make up a heart-racing story about a journalist’s escape from “evil” governement agents, at least make sure that said journalist corroborates your fib.

              You know what, Nikita/Dr Goebbels? If I were you I’d simply just shut up already.

      • Robert wrote: “The Russians apparently directed them to a too small military airfield near Smolensk with a lot of fog.

        Oh those evil Russians! They found an airfield with fog and suddenly directed the President’s plane to land there instead of somewhere else, in order to kill him.

        Then how do you explain this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Polish_Air_Force_Tu-154_crash
        About an hour before the crash, a Yak-40 jet also belonging to the Polish government [16] carrying Polish journalists from the president’s pool landed at the airbase without incident,[17] but when the presidential plane arrived the base was enveloped in thick fog, and ground control suggested to the crew that a landing at another airfield would be prudent. The pilot was advised by flight control to land in Moscow or Minsk
        ……………………

        You are an evil little man, Robert, who thrives on human tragedy.
        Did the “evil Russians” also divert the Polish journalists’ plane in order to kill them?

        • A salient point, which I don’t see any of the pathalogical, habitual Russia bashers challenging, and one that pretty much deconstructs their pathetic little attempts at blaming Russia for this one. Ah…the sweet taste of victory. :)

  2. BREAKING!

    Polish president plane crashed in Smolensk! All passengers on board are reported to be dead, including President Kaczhynski, Chief Staff of Polish Armed Forces and Polands National Bank governor!!! OMFG!

    • The Polish government’s old Tupolev had been just recently “modernized” in Russia.

      It’s the 70th anniversary of the Chekist massacre of the thousands of Polish prisoners of war (military officers and policemen) in 1940.

  3. Why would they put top of Polish political and defense elite in old model Russian plane in first place????

    Big EU and NATO country, one of few economies not in recession, couldnt they afford normal EU or US production plane?

    Seriously, WTF?

    • Frugality. Poland is a very frugal country.

    • In any case, the problem seems to have been the thick fog, not the equipment failure.

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      Wonder what you’d say if a plane built by Americans and full of top Russian leaders crashed in America. Wonder what you’d say then.

      • Wonder what you’d say if a plane built by Americans and full of top Russian leaders crashed in America.

        In heavy fog or in clear weather?

        • In a plane that dropped out of the sky and killed hundreds on a regular basis, regardless of the weather.

          http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5juNiXbAJhkwq8Y0TNCTzhSEal-aAD9F04MF00

          Maybe you’d say: Those idiotic Russians, what made them think of stepping on a plane manufactured by incompetent, corrupt fools that was sure to kill them? The entire world should stop flying on that country’s planes? Is that what you woudl say?

          • I would say that if the Russian government forced its President to use a 20-year-old unsafe airplane, it is negligent. If it turns out that the cause of the crash was not the fog but the plane, then they are criminally negligent.

            If Aeroflot has stopped to use these TU planes built back in the Soviet-era (!) because of safety problems, then the Polish President deserved at least as much from his own government. Criminal cheapness. Using old decrepit planes. Maybe instead of missile defenses, the US should have given Poland a brand new Boeing plane, if the Poles are too cheap to buy one with their own money.

            • RTR lies as usual

              “14 January 2010, Aeroflot retired the last Tupolev 154 after 40 years. The last flight was Yekaterinburg-Moscow, taking place on 31 December 2009.”

              Gee, I didn’t realise the USSR lasted until January of this year…..

              http://www.answers.com/topic/aeroflot#Retired

              • What do you mean, idiot? What did I lie about? Kaczhynski’s plane was built more than 20 years ago in the Soviet Union:

                http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/6952784.html

                The presidential Tu-154 was at least 20 years old. Polish officials have long discussed replacing the planes that carry the country’s leaders but said they lacked the funds.
                …………………………..

                You are a certifiable retard, Andrew.

                • Sorry, I could not understand your poor English, it looked like your were saying Aeroflot had “stopped to use these TU planes” in the soviet era.

                  It would help if you could write English properly…..

                  If you had written “Aeroflot recently stopped using these Soviet era airliners” or something similar and intelligible….

                  • The problem is not my poor English writing skills but your poor English skills: you just didn’t understand the meaning of the phrase “built back in the Soviet-era”.

                    You remind me of LR who used to complain that Svanidze and other Russian journalists are too stupid. Why? Because she doesn’t understand their articles:

                    https://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2007/02/12/svanidze-speaks-another-original-lr-translation/
                    LR: It’s not at all uncommon to encounter purely incomprehensible gibberish in the Russian press, even from a high-ranking figure like Svanidze.
                    ……………………..

                    If your reading comprehension is non-existent – blame the writers.

                  • http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=115093

                    Sixth Airplane Accident Proves Fatal for Lech Kaczynski

                    World | April 10, 2010, Saturday

                    Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski had five airplane accidents before Saturday’s plane crash near Smolensk in which he and many senior Polish officials perished.

                    The Russian agency RIA Novosti recounts about Kaczynski’s airplane misfortunes in the last couple of years.

                    It emphasizes the incident on December 2, 2008, when Kaczynski’s plane Tu-154 broke in Mongolia, and he had to fly to Tokyo, Japan, with a charter flight.

                    On December 3, 2008, the Polish cabinet decided to purchase new government plane but PM Tusk remarked that he would not pay for a luxury aircraft for Kaczynski but for a safe one.

                    On December 5, 2008, the plane in which Kaczynski was flying over South Korea encountered powerful turbulence. It is after this accident that Kaczynski remarked, „Every airplane flight is connected with a certain risk but the duties of the President are connected with a very serious risk in general and this is why the President has to travel all the time.”

                    On January 14, 2009, because of a thick ice cover, Kaczynski’s plane left late for his meeting with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

                    In September 2009, both Polish government planes were out of order, so President Kaczynski had to travel to New York City with a commercial flight.

                  • If you don’t understand English, wrtite in georgian, dolgonosik.

          • The entire world should stop flying on that country’s planes? Is that what you woudl say?

            Yes, I would indeed advise against buying airplanes built in the Soviet Union (or anywhere else) more than 20 years ago.

            • Actually, many airliners in the world today are more than 20 years old.

              However we are usually talking about Boeing and Airbus designs, which have a good safety record, unlike any form of transportation designed and built in Russia.

  4. I flew Tu-154 once on Aeroflot back in 1995, and even then I was not thrilled with the way it behaved. It shook too much. I never flew it again. What cheap bastard would still use it in 2010?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-154

    The Tupolev Tu-154 is a Soviet medium-range trijet airliner designed in the mid 1960s.

    In January 2010, Russian national carrier Aeroflot announced the retirement of its Tu-154 fleet after almost 40 years of service (pre-production deliveries began in 1970), with the last flight operated by Aeroflot Flight 736 from Ekaterinburg to Moscow on 31 December 2009.

  5. http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=115086

    The most likely causes for the Tupolev 154 plane crash, reportedly, killing Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski, are bad weather and crew mistake.

    The information was reported Saturday by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR.

    • You are apparently unaware that Russia has one of the worst airline safety records of ANY nation in the world for ALL planes in service. Your attempt to suggest that only one old model of Russian aircraft is dangerous is, quite literally, dangerously insane.

      • Listen RTR! why don’t you for one moment write the truth, instead of your twisted glorified propaganda of anything that is Soviet ruSSian .

        Tupalev HAS ALWAYS had a bad name/reputation for flying accidents. In the west, the russian airline “Aero flot” – a major user of Tupalev planes – was in the past referred to as ‘AeroFLOP’ on account of the number of fatal accidents their Tupalev aircraft were involved in.

        Furthermore, during my first visit to Ukraine, just after the break up of your ‘glorious’ USSR, I was advised by a relative who had previously served in their military air force “not to fly anywhere IF the airplane WAS a TUPALEV, as they had an extremely bad name/reputation for safety on account of the number of fatal accidents that they were involved in”.

        Finally your quote that “Yes, I would indeed advise against buying airplanes built in the Soviet Union (or anywhere else) more than 20 years ago.” Well what do you say about the American B-52, which was first flown on 15 April 1952, and flown operationally in active service since 1955, and is still in operation currently. A flight career of approximately 55 years.

        • Bohdan,

          I don’t have time for idiots like yourself.

          1. There is no such thing spelled as “TUPALEV”.

          2. B-52 is not a commercial jet. It happens to be a bomber:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-52_Stratofortress

          The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1955.

          Moreover, the problem was the weather not the airplane.

          • Not necessarily, the air traffic controllers have now said they were getting no response from the crew when they informed them they were descending too fast.

            Could be that they were unable to respond by that stage.

      • Thank you for that LR, you have saved me the time and energy in replying on Russia’s woeful safety record to that piece of wasted space, calling itself RTR!

  6. http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=115086

    BNR further informs the crew made 4 attempts to land in heavy fog and is most likely to blame for the tragedy.

    The dispatch at the Smolensk airport had recommended to the pilot of the Presidential aircraft to not land, the Polish “newspaper “Gazetta Wyborcza” writes, citing high-ranking Polish military.

    15 minutes earlier, the control tower banned a Russian IL-76 military plane from landing and redirected it to another airport. The Polish pilot, however, had failed to follow the advice and made the decision to land.

  7. Putin was President Kaczhynsk ideological enemy. This tragic event happening on the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre and in the same place, this is politically explosive for Russia and especially Putin.

    They should call in a trusted third party to oversee this investigation maybe from the EU. To put Putin in charge a man who loathed the late president is appalling at best it’s very insensitive at worst highly suspicious .

    Russia’s elite must understand there can be no room for doubt over the investigation of this tragedy.

    • Yes, I also thought of this. It’s like asking a fox to investigate disappearance of some chicken from the hen house.

      And of course we know that Russians under Stalin did “investigate” the Katyn massacre, and, surprisingly, it turned out it was all Germany’s fault…

      • Look guys, nobody have even invited Kaczhynsky to Russia this time, he went on his own risk and to a private event. I’d use more modern airplane than 20-years-old Tupolev. No money for the president? All money spent for Russian gas? Too bad for Poland…

        • I doubt a president of any country can visit any other country as a private traveler. He must have been invited; not to say that this necessarily is connected to the accident

    • Maybe, if R John had bothered to inquire as to the current situation on the ground, he would know that Polish premier Tusk is heading up the investigation jointly with Putin. That, of course, is no concern of Johnnie’s, since he’s in the business of superficial political statements that have no bearing on reality.

      • Evidence please.

        All reports are that the investigation is being headed by Putin, and is a Russia only affair.

  8. In the face of such tragedies it’s always the heartless russophile bastards who come out first with utterly shameful statements.

    Check the comments sections of KyivPost, Russia Today and other regional publications to see what I mean.

    • What you should do, Wal, is check this blog’s official posting policy of banning provocateurs like yourself, who make accusations without providing any details or quotes.

      • Actually they should have banned you for that a long time ago, not to mention your selective editing…

        • Talking about banning, to whoever might handle this:

          Could you simply go forward and ban RTR, sascha (aka “Kadyrov fan”, “Dagestani mujahid”, etc.), Nikita (aka “this blog’s own Dr. Goebbels”), dima, and so on (a whole collection of idiots and trolls)?

          I know I would, and I have a reason to believe this little feature would a big step to really improve this blog of yours.

  9. It is very interesting, and quite perplexing at the same time, that we do not see or hear the Japanese demanding an apology from the US for their 200,000 dead in the atomic bombings, all civilians of course, and we certainly don’t hear any Vietnamese, Laotians, or Cambodians demanding an apology from the US for their 3-4 million dead during the years 1962-1975.

    We don’t hear the Panamanians demanding an apology for their 3,000 dead during Bush Sr.’s invasion of their country in 1989.

    We don’t see any US president laying wreaths or paying homage to the Museum of American War crimes in Ho Chi Minh city, and we certainly don’t hear any US politician acknowledging any of the above listed crimes.

    But a since apology is (of course, rightfully) demanded for 20,000 executed prisoners during a time in European history when both sides, Nazi and Soviet, committed atrocities, with the former on a much higher level of guilt in terms of human deaths and terror.

    • Correction to the fourth paragraph; should read:

      — But a sincere apology

    • Actually Dima, the Russians killed far more people than the Germans, but both nations were (and in the case of Russia are) monsters.

      • How can you in all honesty try to spin this in your favor? You’ve got to know that no matter how you try, the facts will still remain that 21,300,000 Soviets dies as opposed to 7,060,000 Germans. How thick is your skull that simple empirical evidence has no impact on it ?

        • Sorry Nikita, I am talking about deaths caused by political repression.

          The Nazi’s killed around 20,000,000 during their reign, while the Russian communists killed around 61,000,000 (mid range most probable total)

          “LETHAL POLITICS

          Chapter 1

          61,911,000 Victims:
          Utopianism Empowered*

          By R.J. Rummel

          …when we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism.
          —- Lenin
          “How long will you keep killing people?” asked Lady Astor of Stalin in 1931.
          Replied Stalin, “the process would continue as long as was necessary” to establish a communist society.

          Probably 61,911,000 people, 54,769,000 of them citizens, have been murdered by the Communist Party–the government–of the Soviet Union. This is about 178 people for each letter, comma, period, digit, and other characters in this book.
          Old and young, healthy and sick, men and women, and even infants and infirm, were killed in cold-blood. They were not combatants in civil war or rebellions, they were not criminals. Indeed, nearly all were guilty of … nothing.

          Some were from the wrong class–bourgeoisie, land owners, aristocrats, kulaks. Some were from the wrong nation or race– Ukrainians, Black Sea Greeks, Kalmyks, Volga Germans. Some were from the wrong political faction–Trotskyites, Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries. Or some were just their sons and daughters, wives and husbands, or mothers and fathers. And some were those occupied by the Red Army–Balts, Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Rumanians. Then some were simply in the way of social progress, like the mass of peasants or religious believers. Or some were eliminated because of their potential opposition, such as writers, teachers, churchmen; or the military high command; or even high and low Communist Party members themselves.

          In fact, we have witnessed in the Soviet Union a true egalitarian social cleansing and flushing: no group or class escaped, for everyone and anyone could have had counter-revolutionary ancestors, class lineage, counter-revolutionary ideas or thought, or be susceptible to them. And thus, almost anyone was arrested, interrogated, tortured, and after a forced confession of a plot to blow up the Kremlin, or some such, shot or sentenced to the dry guillotine–slow death by exposure, malnutrition, and overwork in a forced labor camp.

          Part of this mass killing was genocide, as in the wholesale murder of hundreds of thousands of Don Cossacks in 1919,1 the intentional starving of about 5,000,000 Ukrainian peasants to death in 1932-33,2 or the deportation to mass death of 50,000 to 60,000 Estonians in 1949.3 Part was mass murder, as of the wholesale extermination of perhaps 6,500,000 “kulaks” (in effect, the better off peasants and those resisting collectivization) from 1930 to 1937,4 the execution of perhaps a million Party members in the Great Terror of 1937-38,5 and the massacre of all Trotskyites in the forced labor camps.6

          And part of the killing was so random and idiosyncratic that journalists and social scientists have no concept for it, as in hundreds of thousands of people being executed according to preset, government, quotas. Says Vladimir Petrov (who in 1954 defected while a spy-chief in Australia and whose credibility and subsequent revelations were verified by a Royal–Australian– Commission on Espionage7) about his work during the years 1936 to 1938:

          I handled hundreds of signals to all parts of the Soviet Union which were couched in the following form:
          “To N.K.V.D., Frunze. You are charged with the task of exterminating 10,000 enemies of the people. Report results by signal.–Yezhov.”
          And in due course the reply would come back:
          “In reply to yours of such-and-such date, the following enemies of the Soviet people have been shot.”8

          From time to time, in one period or another, quotas also were generally assigned for the numbers to be arrested throughout the length and breadth of Soviet territory. For example, Solzhenitsyn makes these quotas basic to the Great Terror of 1936 to 1938:

          The real law underlying the arrests of those years was the assignment of quotas, the norms set, the planned allocations. Every city, every district, every military unit was assigned a specific quota of arrests to be carried out by a stipulated time. From then on everything else depended on the ingenuity of the Security operations personnel.9

          But murder and arrest quotas did not work well.10 Where to find the “enemies of the people” to shoot was a particularly acute problem for these local NKVD who had been diligent in uncovering “plots”. They had to resort to shooting those arrested for the most minor civil crimes, those previously arrested and released, and even mothers and wives who appeared at NKVD headquarters for information about their arrested loved ones.

          We lack a concept for murder by quotas because we, not the journalist, historian, nor political scientist, have ever before confronted the fact that a government can and has done this kind of thing. For the same reason, neither do we have a concept for the execution of starving peasants who fished in a stream without Party permission (trying to steal state property), nor pinning a ten-year sentence on the first one to stop clapping after Stalin’s name was mentioned at a public meeting.11 Nor for executing a fourteen-year-old because his father was purged; nor for the Red Army’s not only permitting but encouraging mass rape and murder of civilians in virtually every country it newly occupied during World War II.”

          http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/USSR.CHAP.1.HTM

          • Andrew,

            First of all, let me remind you that the vast majority of Russians and other Soviets, killed by Stalin, are victims of a Georgian, not a Russian. Yes, believe it or not, Stalin and his right-hand henchman Beria were both Georgians.

            Second, do you believe every lie that you read? Where did R.J. Rummel get the precise number – 61,911,000 Victims, if even the number of victims of the Holodomor is not known to the nearest million?

            Is R.J. Rummel an expert on the Eastern European or Soviet history? No. R.J. Rummel is a fascist kook who hates the freedom of speech and incites violence against journalists:

            http://web.archive.org/web/20070608215540/http://freedomspeace.blogspot.com/2005/02/censor-media.html

            About Me
            Name: R.J. Rummel

            Censor the Media

            One has to be pretty far on the left not to see the media as biased against freeing Iraqi from tyranny. But, what to do? We cannot afford to have the media freely providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

            If the media continues its refusal to support the war, or censor itself (oops, correction, it does censor itself against good news), and no government censorship is applied, then I will predict this. If any American cities are destroyed by nuclear weapons, or there is a terrorist created plague of some deadly disease killing millions of Americans, the possibility of which is one of the reasons we are at war, the media will not only be censored forthwith, but survivors will violently attack reporters, commentators, and the offices of the media they believe to be partly responsible.
            …………………….

            Tell me, what do experts say? Even the biggest anti-Soviet expert historian – Conquest – estimated the total number of victims of Stalinism to be less than 15 million.

            Why do you insist on using Rummel?

            • Now RTR, Stalin was also half Ossetian remember.

              In addition he is still worshiped in Russia as one of the greatest Russians in history.

              See all the new tributes to his “glory” in Moscow, Volgograd, North and South Ossetia etc.

              In addition, Rummel also documents pre and post Stalinist crimes, which were carried out by “great Russian” leaders such as Lenin.

              If you bother to read his research you will maybe learn something, he documents his work, unlike the Russian imperialist historians you are more used too.

              By the way, Robert Conquest puts the number of deaths caused by the Russian government at 20,000,000 for the great purges of 1938-1940 alone.

              This view is supported by historians such as Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore, former Politburo member Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev and the director of Yale’s “Annals of Communism” series Jonathan Brent, do not agree that the overall estimate should be lowered, and put the death toll at about 20 million. Russian historian Dmitri Volkogonov is also broadly in agreement with Conquest.

              The numbers are also broadly supported by Memorial (which the Russian government recently attacked and stole decades of research into the crimes of the state)

              Once again, these numbers are only for the great terror, and so not include the revolution, Lenins “Red Terror”, Russian civil war or mass repressions up to the late 1930’s when the great terror began.

              By the way, Rummel is not threatening the media or inciting violence against them, he is just stating what he thinks would happen if left wing freaks such as yourself allowed a major WMD attack to occur on a US city through your appeasement policies towards fascist states such as Russia and Iran, or by sucking up to terrorists.

            • @First of all, let me remind you that the vast majority of Russians and other Soviets, killed by Stalin, are victims of a Georgian, not a Russian. Yes, believe it or not, Stalin and his right-hand henchman Beria were both Georgians.

              Cool. Are the other Georgian Ossetians are also “Georgians, not a Russians”? And why is Russia saying Stalin was a (“great”) Russian national leader, while the Georgian Ossetians are officially considered “Russian citiziens”?

              Btw, just recently from Russia Today:

              Stalin will return to Moscow streets on Victory Day
              http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-03-05/stalin-history-legacy-ww2.html

              This evil “Georgian”? Really?

              @R.J. Rummel is a fascist kook who hates the freedom of speech and incites violence

              Oh dear.

              An example Rummel’s antidemocratic propaganda endorsing fascism and inciting violence:

              Rudolph Rummel Talks About the Miracle of Liberty and Peace

              http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/FREEMAN.INTERVIEW.HTM

              Democracies have given up their colonies with less violence than authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. Recall how the British gave independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The most tragic fighting was between local rivals such as Moslems and Hindus. Hawaii, which the United States acquired by force, voted overwhelmingly to become a state, and Puerto Rico voted to remain a U.S. territory.

              It’s true some democracies did worse. France waged long wars in Indochina and Algeria. But the exceptional situation for democracies is the norm for authoritarian and totalitarian regimes like militarist Japan, fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, and Communist China.

        • @the facts will still remain that 21,300,000 Soviets dies as opposed to 7,060,000 Germans.

          Really? And not, say, 21,200,000 Soviets and 7,070,000 Germans? How did you count them for such “facts” that “will remain”, in the war where nobody knows how many people died, anywhere between 50 million and 80 million or so, and nobody really knows even how many millions of Jews died in the Holocaust (there are just various estimates)?

          Did you count, for example, the some 1/3 of all Vainakhs in Checheno-Ingushetia who were burnt alive, drowned and frozen to death during the Soviet genocide of 1944 in your “fact” figure of “21,300,000 Soviets” or not?

          Continuing with WWII, why did you call me “Dr. Goebbels” only because of your own pal’s stupid lie (the lie which you either didn’t check first, or knew it was a lie yet proceeded with this anyway), and an “evil little man” after responding with “:-)” to the information everyone abroad the plane which just had crashed near Smolensk were dead? Is this because you are simply such an idiot, or maybe is this rather because you’re just more of an asshole?

          Then there’s also a question I have now to myself, why am I even wasting my time with you.

      • Andrew,

        Re-read my post.

        Then try to respond to each of the paragraphs.

  10. After the US shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988, killing 290 civilians, Bush I famously stated:

    “”I’ll never apologize for the United States. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

    His successors have been 100% consistent.

  11. Guys guys, it was an incident!

    Just like apartment bombings in 1999 which lead to war in Chechnia and Putin to power. It was an incident! Just like firing to school in Beslan from tank instead of negotiating. It was an incident no doubt. Just like dying of hostages in theatre in Moscow. It the same kind of incidence when ALL “terrorists” in Russia are killed instead of bringing at least someone to justice. It is mysterious incidence just like denying any foreign help when Kursk submarine sunk and every member of its crew died there but not instantly, no, but slowly, leaving messages to their relatives, waiting for help.

    Incident like killing of Politkovskaya on Putin’s birthday. Incident like poisoning of Litvinenko in London. This is “isolated incident” like Yukos “case”. 56 man and women from Yukos are part of organised group according to honest russian court.

    This is an incident like death of Chichvarkinn mother one year after he went into exile. This is an incident like death of Gutseriev son several days before he went into hiding in London.

    This is simply a tragic incident like Aleksanian, best foreign Harvard student (voted in Harvard) of law getting AIDS in prison after “medical examination of blood samples” in Moscow “prison” (GULAG).

    Incidents happen everywhere. Only in Russia they happen 10 times more often. And usually it involves something which can be put in a wrap and written on it “Present to Vladimir Putin from KGB comrades.”

  12. The controllers first instinct would be to release information favoring themselves.

    I am a pilot and I doubt that any airline pilot would proceed straight on to a fogged in airport unless he had large reserves of fuel.

    There is no obvious evidence of foul play by the Russians, but the circumstances are odd.

  13. If I understand correctly the Polish president fired his pilots for landing in Azerbaijan instead of Georgia once. Also the Russians apparently did at the very least indicate to the crew that it was not recommended to land in Smolensk and they were directed to Moscow or Minsk. The Russians can hardly be held responsible for someone using a poor quality, out- of- date airplane and insisting on landing it in heavy fog even if it was one of their own. Four attempts to land a plane says something. The Poles knew that when they bought it and used it and insisted on landing it as they did.Russia’s well known poor reputation for shoddy standards in air safety matters moves the morally responsible center of gravity that much closer to Warsaw than Moscow. No promotion of Russian avionics for sure but hardly a half decent case for murder could be made out of this, if even that. When suspicion and censoriousness reach ridiculous levels it threatens the credibilty and believability of this blog and every one of its members! That is a truly great loss maybe even greater than this air tragedy.

    • Corey,

      Let me get it straight. You have finally realized something obvious: that the owner of this blog and her fans are ridiculous and unbelievable.

      But you say that your loss of faith in these clowns is a greater loss than the tragic death of 120 people?! That’s bizarre.

      • LOL! I did say “maybe”! I do think this blog, which is the world’s biggest Russia blog, is important. What goes on here matters greatly at least potentially. For example if Novaya Gazeta were shut down that would be tragic! If that potential credibility and believability is hijacked by hypercritical commenters who beat up verbally anyone who doesn’t ALWAYS verbally beat up Russia, and cannot bring themselves to say ONE SINGLE good thing about Russia, then that is certainly some kind of serious tragedy, if not as great as the crash in Smolensk. Certainly it demonstrates that some of these people deserve what LR has said before, namely ” Dude, your head needs work.”

        • the world’s biggest Russia blog

          What gave you this idea? How do you define “Russia blog”? Surely, there must be thousands of “Russia blogs” in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus etc that are much bigger.

          And how do you define “biggest”? Are you sure that this is even the biggest “Russia blog” in English? Where did you get the rankings? From the self-promotion claims? LOL. Go to, say, websiteoutlook.com:

          http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.larussophobe.wordpress.com
          Title La Russophobe
          Daily Pageview 1162
          Traffic Rank 945,900th

          Look up, say, Siberian Light:

          http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.siberianlight.net
          Title: Siberian Light: The Russia Blog
          Daily Pageview 1854
          Traffic Rank 593,246th

          http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.englishrussia.com
          Title English Russia
          Daily Pageview 223,078
          Traffic Rank 4,931

          That’s 4,931th in the World for “English Russia”, and 945,900th for “La Russophobe”.

          For example if Novaya Gazeta were shut down that would be tragic!

          Yes, but comparing Novaya Gazeta with LR is like comparing an elephant with a swine flue virus.

          http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.novayagazeta.ru
          novayagazeta.ru
          Daily Pageview 49,897
          Traffic Rank 22,045

          If that potential credibility and believability is hijacked by hypercritical commenters

          There is a good old Russian saying “The quality of the parish is determined by the quality of its priest”. Most commenters here are actually less bigoted and narrow-minded than the blog owner. Have you ever seen her say anything good about Russians or Russia?

          Just look at this very page. Who is it that tried to use the air crash tragedy for her dirty political aims? The owner. It is she who tried to blame everything on the sales of modern Russian airplanes. In fact whom, if not her, did you mean when you wrote: “When suspicion and censoriousness reach ridiculous levels it threatens the credibililty and believability of this blog

          • As far as I know this is the world’s biggest serious international Russia blog. The two others you cited don’t seem to apply to me. English Russia is about pictures and Siberian Light is very light especially with regard to commentary. This is a very real blog. I must admit that LR is very sparse in her praise of Russians. While she does lionize some and acknowledges that some are good ,perhaps even many, it must be admitted that she doesn’t seem to praise Russia qua Russia at all. This leads me to suspect she is bitter about something which may explain why some of the op eds are over the top in part. However her site is useful and challenging. Remember Russia is a very divisive and emotional subject for many so to some extent this must be expected. At least it’s entertaining. LOL! I generally meant some of the more severe commenters who are known to all. I must admit LR has gone over the top on this thread but please remember some Russophiles do so too. While her comments can seem harsh she is the moderator and does seek to stimulate critical thinking in the thread which she DOES do.

    • No, not a murder plot, even Putin is not crazy enough to risk the start of WWIII.

      But it’s quite telling how after I have simply posted info about the fact of how OMON quickly cordoned-off the crash site and barred the Polish journalists from entry (and yet the Russian TV crews were let in, and they made and broadcast all the first footage), even before the Polish journalists told how they have been very insensitively “and even brutally” handled by them and even one having been literally chased by some to have a gun pointed to his head, only to be told straight-in-my face “There is no OMON anywher in the vicinity” by one idiot (an idiotic senseless denial, I don’t even know why, maybe because they always lie weven when don’t have to), some total gibbersih from another, and then to be called “Dr Goebbels” for this by the third one (the sam eone who had first reacted here with “:-)” to the first news of the crash, when I wrote that nobody survived).

      Btw, just about week ago the Russian officials defending the Russian state in the ECHR Katyn denial of justice case actually said there’s no proof the victims have been really executed. (With such absurd approach no wonder they have lost practically every North Caucacus case decided so far.)

      • That’s not what I asked you about. Why do you always avoid giving answers and try to change the subject?

        • “You asked”? I wasn’t even talking to you.

          Now, why did you call me “Dr. Goebbels” only because of a stupid lie by Nikita?

          Is Nikita “Dr. Goebbels” now?

  14. Airplanes last forever if properly maintained. Also it is easy and cheap to install modern navigation equipment. I own inexpensive gps systems that will locate you anywhere on earth with 30 foot accuracy.

    However, landing in fog is very difficult under any circumstances.

  15. Putin apologist Nikita wrote; maybe, if R John had bothered to inquire as to the current situation on the ground, he would know that Polish premier Tusk is heading up the investigation jointly with Putin.

    Andrew asked for evidence

    Nikitas response … silence. I have searched the internet and can find no evidence that Tusk is involved in the investigation, he arrived with the late president’s brother to honour the dead by laying a wreath at the site of the accident.. That’s it!

    This seems to be a blatant case of deliberate mis-information.Readers beware the person that posted those comments should have his words taken with a large pinch of salt, if he is prepared to tell such a whopping lie over such a well documented event then what else is he prepared to say to promote his twisted ideology?.

  16. I think an apology from RTR and all the other russophile scum who blamed the Polish president for pressuring the pilots into landing seems to be in order:

    A black box voice recording from the Polish jet which crashed in Russia shows the pilots knew they were about to crash, Polish officials say.

    Polish chief prosecutor Andrzej Seremet said it was clear the crew knew disaster was “inevitable” after the plane hit tree-tops.

    A Russian source said the tape showed the pilots had not been pushed by their VIP passengers into taking risks.

    Poland’s president and numerous other top figures died in Saturday’s crash.
    ……
    An unnamed source close to the investigation in Moscow told Russia’s Interfax news agency on Thursday that no evidence had been found in the flight recorders that “any of the high-ranking passengers forced the pilots to land near Smolensk”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8624067.stm

  17. I agree Andrew blatant lies should not be tolerated.

    I believe a full independent inquire is needed to get to the bottom of this tragic event, after all a head of state has died. I know the plane in question, apart from being a gas guzzler, it has a satisfactory safety record, the plane did have a triple back up on all its key safety features, so although technical problems can not be ruled out, I have my doubts that this was the course. I know this plane was 20 years old, but a well serviced plane can fly safely for many more years, And I think the polish authorities would make sure that a plane used by their head of state was well maintained.

    No my real concern is what was happening on the ground at this military base in Smolensk.

    There are questions that need to be answered for example the recognised international language used throughout aviation is English the pilot spoke excellent English but very patchy Russian, why was the controller on the ground not fluent in English or failing that polish. This destination was pre- arranged as either the first or secondary landing site (all heads of states have a secondary landing site).Why was the international language norm not followed?

    Another concern; Foggy conditions may have been a problem 40 years ago, but all modern airports including military are equipped with laser guided systems, the controller on the ground should have no problem bring in a pilot no matter what the atmospheric conditions, they; through technology can advise the pilot on speed height elevation, If fog was still a problem in the 21st century we would witness an upsurge in crashes every winter but we don’t.

    I want to know what equipment this military base was provided with was it up to international standards and if not why was a head of state put at risk. Poland is a major EU nation the head of state was arriving in a G8 country this tragedy should never have happened, As Andrew pointed out the pilot was not pressurised by any of the passengers to land at this base ,also the pilot shed excess fuel before landing which is normal and indicates approval from the ground had been given.

    There are serious questions still to answer.

    • @the pilot spoke excellent English but very patchy Russian

      Actually it was just a Russian lie:

      In the Komsomolskaya Pravda interview, retired Russian Col. Anatoly Muravyov said he was part of the air-traffic control crew at the Smolensk air strip last Saturday.

      (…)

      Asked if that might be due to the language barrier, Mr. Muravyov said: “I don’t exclude that was one of the reasons. The chief controller even said, ‘our level of understanding with the crew is fifty-fifty.’ The controller spoke to the crew in Russian, the rest (of the controllers) helped by suggesting English words.”

      Colleagues of the Polish pilot Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk, interviewed in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, said he spoke fluent Russian and was familiar with Smolensk airport.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303828304575179541464058282.html

      @why was the controller on the ground not fluent in English

      Because it’s Russia:

      Polish pilots are generally fluent in English. An air traffic controller from Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin airport who preferred to remain anonymous told WBJ.pl that the English language skills of their Russian counterparts is “notoriously bad.”

      http://www.wbj.pl/article-49244-air-traffic-controllers-bad-english-may-have-caused-tragedy-in-smolensk.html

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