2013: Welcome to Stalingrad

So the Kozlenko story seems to hold out some hope. And there was some more good news for the company, when the readers of Skyscanner voted (German-language link) that Aeroflot’s flight attendants had the most stylish uniforms in the world. But if you look beneath the surface of the story, the Russian world seems as bleak as always, if not bleaker.

Upon getting the axe, here’s how Kozlenko responded:

I don't consider myself guilty! The photo was added to my page, I only tagged myself on it!!! The hand isn't mine, the plane is not my company's!!! I don't understand what they spoil my life for!!! I'm asking you for help and support!!

She’s a young person, but I for one fail to see any difference between her attitude and that of the hotel clerk in the Soviet joke. Does she really believe that it might somehow be proper for a flight attendant to publicize such a photo uncritically as long as the hand wasn’t hers?

And if you think Aeroflot has turned a corner, think again. Have a close look at the “stylish” uniform that Kozlenko is sporting in her photograph. See the gold emblem in the center of her cap? It’s the hammer and sickle, the symbol of Communist mass-murder and dictatorship, flanked by a pair of cute little wings. And red, of course.

Meanwhile, if all that happens to you when you board a Russian plane is that the flight attendant spits in your borscht, consider yourself fortunate. Russia operates the world’s most unfriendly skies, in the sense of actually killing passengers. Even state-sponsored propaganda outfit Russia Today has acknowledged that the country’s litany of air disasters has made it the most dangerous place in the world to fly. The planes are old, the pilots are drunk, and worst of all, the country simply doesn’t place the same value on individual human lives that other nations do.

And the West continues to look the other way. Would Skyscanner readers have chosen a German airline uniform most stylish if the young lady’s cap sported a tiny little winged swastika?

Such outrageous acts are deemed acceptable, even normal, from Russians. World leaders are turning a blind eye to Putin’s rehabilitation of Stalin -- particularly Barack Obama, whose “reset” policy smacks of Chamberlain appeasement.

Which is a big part of the reason why everything old is new again in Putin’s neo-Soviet state.