Roger L. Simon

The Russkys Call Dad

It’s obviously not such a simple matter that US and UK teams have been invited by Russian officials to aid in the rescue of their trapped submarine. Oleg Schedrov writes for Reuters Canada:

The coastal waters off Russia’s far east have highly sensitive installations and there were suggestions the military was not keen to have foreign navies getting so close to its secrets.

“This area is stuffed with secrets,” Interfax news agency quoted retired Admiral Eduard Baltin, former Black Sea Fleet commander, as saying. “It is home for strategic nuclear submarines … and a route of secret communication table.”

“They could as well invited the whole of NATO,” he added.

And deputy chief naval staff Pepelyaev told RIA news agency that Russia could try to do without foreign help.

“There is no such need at the moment,” he said, referring to the prospect of sending down U.S. divers in special suits that allow them to go to great depths.

At home, the AS-28 incident has become a reminder of the Kursk disaster five years ago and which led to fierce criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

This is a reminder of what we have always known – Russia remains a pivot point between first and third world – in some ways fantastically advanced, in others terrifyingly primitive. Here they manifest shame at calling dad in an emergency. And yet they have done it. This is like the tsunami revisited. When disaster struck, who was there? The whole world knows and it makes them crazy. The good dad just smiles and moves on.