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The Disaster of the Russian Military Tu-154
A few short first thoughts
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It is too early to conclude what happened with this aircraft, but since I have been asked about this by email, here are my own, personal and provisional, thoughts:

  1. Mechanical failure: unlikely. The Tu-154 is a three engine aircraft and an extremely strong beast. It’s safety record is comparable to most aircraft of its time, even though it was often used in extreme conditions other aircraft types did not have to operate in. The Tu-154 had already taken enough altitude to attempt a return to base or even a water landing. The weather that day was good. Besides, the crew did not communicate any problem. Thus the disaster had to be instantaneous.
  2. Fuel problem: unlikely. Fuel problems are always a prime suspect when a crash occurs, but even if the engines had suddenly experienced problems or even a full shutdown, the pilots would have had the time to report this. Also, like any other aircraft, the Tu-154 can glide and maneuver without power.
  3. Bird strike: unlikely. I am not even sure that there have ever been a triple engine failure due to a bird strike but even if there has been, they crew could have reported it which it did not. And, again, the case of US Airways flight 1549 has shown that even a catastrophic birdstrike does not prevent a fully loaded airliner from attempting to land.
  4. Pilot error: highly unlikely. The guys flying this aircraft where extremely experienced and while human error is always possible, it mostly results in situation were it can be reported. The Tu-154 was a very complex aircraft to operate and it had its weaknesses – but these were all very well known to the Russian crews and this crew was a very experienced one.
  5. Missile: unlikely. The Tu-154 has three engines including one mounted over the top of the rear of the fuselage and a MANPAD type missile warhead does not have the kind of blast radius capable of taking out all three of them. As for bigger missiles, the Black Sea coasts of Russia is very tightly controlled by the Russian military and security services (as is the entire Black Sea) and to get that close to the city of Sochi would be risky and difficult.
  6. Sabotage/bomb: most likely simply because all other causes are even less likely. True, this was a military aircraft with, supposedly, good security. Alas, I can confirm from personal experience that if you look Russian and speak Russian like a native and if you act the right way, military security in Russia is nowhere near as good as it should be. However, if you speak with an accent or look foreign, and that includes speaking with a Caucasian accent or looking like somebody from the Caucasus, you would have a much harder time beating the controls.

For all these reasons and even though it is way too early to speculate, my of preferred hypothesis is that it was a terrorist act executed by Ukrainian operatives. I hope that I am wrong and that I will be proven wrong in the next 24 hours but at this point in time, this appears to me as the most likely scenario.

One more thing: this tragedy really breaks my heart. Not only did the entire Alexandrov Ensemble perish, but two amazing personalities were on board: Valerii Khalikolv and “Dr Liza“. There are no words to express the loss which the death of all these people represents for Russia. This is why I hope and pray that in spite of why first reaction outlined above, this is not a Ukrainian terrorist attack because if it is, the consequences will be very severe. We should know more very soon.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, terroris 
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  1. I agree with the bomb hypothesis. The aircraft fell in fragments so mostly likely (5)-(6) are the only real options, but (5) has to be excluded for other reasons mentioned in The Saker’s article.

    An Islamist is still far likelier than a svidomy – the former have far more balls for this sort of thing, while the latter are only any good at gloating.

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  2. It was at least 30 years ago, around the time of glasnost while the Cold War was still on, that I heard a recording of the Soviet Army choir singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. I have to admit that it brought tears to my eyes. Magnificent to hear men’s voices singing in unison. Something in me turned in that moment and I knew that a culture that could produce such beauty could not be evil and that somehow things would ultimately turn out well between our nations. This is a terrible loss.

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  3. The “(Old video) – Gloria Aleluia (The Red Army Choir)” on You Tube is the version from that time. My computer won’t let me link to it.

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  4. I’m watching Russian TV right now and it’s saying that technical failure or pilot error are likely to be the reason for the crash. Well, maybe, but I tend to agree with the Saker that a terrorist bomb is more likely–usually when a bomb downs a plane the evidence of an onboard explosion is unmistakeable.

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  5. 5371 says:

    I fervently hope that there is no attempt to hide the truth about this event because its implications are uncomfortable.
    Very radiant and good people have left the earth. Now one must become an animal.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    Russian gov will be very tempted to hide the truth, unfortunately.
    And the easiest way to hide the truth is to arrange to not find the black boxes from the crashed jet.

    As Saker surmised, the most likely cause is a bomb: for any other cause crew would have had time to communicate and indicate trouble.

    If it was a bomb, it will be hugely embarrassing for Moscow, since the airplane was fully under control of Russia, unlike the EgyptAir crash. Plus, a military passenger airplane - an obvious target for many enemies of Russia.
  6. Avery says:
    @5371
    I fervently hope that there is no attempt to hide the truth about this event because its implications are uncomfortable.
    Very radiant and good people have left the earth. Now one must become an animal.

    Russian gov will be very tempted to hide the truth, unfortunately.
    And the easiest way to hide the truth is to arrange to not find the black boxes from the crashed jet.

    As Saker surmised, the most likely cause is a bomb: for any other cause crew would have had time to communicate and indicate trouble.

    If it was a bomb, it will be hugely embarrassing for Moscow, since the airplane was fully under control of Russia, unlike the EgyptAir crash. Plus, a military passenger airplane – an obvious target for many enemies of Russia.

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  7. Sasha3we1 says:

    It was not terrorist as security tight, but air to air possible, USAF has F22 stationed in romania, they have enough range and with air refuel in bcal sea with turk based refuelers this is more likely scenario

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    • Replies: @5371
    Don't tell me you really believe those "stealth" fairytales.
    , @MarkinLA
    I'll bite. What does the US gain by bringing down a Russian passenger jet full of singers?
  8. 5371 says:
    @Sasha3we1
    It was not terrorist as security tight, but air to air possible, USAF has F22 stationed in romania, they have enough range and with air refuel in bcal sea with turk based refuelers this is more likely scenario

    Don’t tell me you really believe those “stealth” fairytales.

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  9. Yes, Muslims lead my list also, especially after the recent assassinations. But what are the odds that Bad Vlad is behind it? His history does not suggest he should be entirely out of the running. Also not in the final cut of this list is crew murder-suicide. It only takes one, and it definitely would not be the first.

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  10. Phil Ven says:

    @james wilson
    Bad Vlad??? Qui Bono? I don’t know why you’re so venomous against Vladimir Putin. He has nothing to gain from this catastrophe. But I can think of at least two probable villains with a grudge. It was either ordered by Madam Killary, with CIA planning and execution via Ukraine. Or the orders came from Tel Aviv and planned and executed by the very capable Mossad. Think UNSC resolution!

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  11. Sean says:

    Pilot error: highly unlikely. The guys flying this aircraft where extremely experienced and while human error is always possible, it mostly results in situation were it can be reported. The Tu-154 was a very complex aircraft to operate and it had its weaknesses – but these were all very well known to the Russian crews and this crew was a very experienced one.

    Remember who was on board: big name Russians. The pilots were a stoked , a little “high” from having celebs on board, maybe some drink was taken but I’m certain they did something against training, maybe to show off. It was pilot error, not because Russian pilots aye one eyed vodka swilling types, but because these kind of things happen to VIPs all over the world; glamour is a double edged sword.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Exactly how do you "show off" to the passengers of a transport at night over water? Any kind of aerobatics usually just leads to airsickness. Drunk might be more likely but the plane started from Moscow and Sochi was just a refueling stop.
  12. Phil Ven says:

    Both Ukraine and Israel can provide a native russian speaking person who would successfully pass a cursory security check at the airport at 5am on a Sunday morning.

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  13. Svigor says:

    Probably a false flag attack. Putin probably had the jet blown up, to shore up support for his regime, and its foreign adventurism.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Russian troll?
    , @MarkinLA
    Where is Jonathan Revusky when you need him?
  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Svigor
    Probably a false flag attack. Putin probably had the jet blown up, to shore up support for his regime, and its foreign adventurism.

    Russian troll?

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  15. KenH says:

    The real question is that if the cause was number 6 if the U.S. was involved in some way or had knowledge of the attack. A fair question given the level of antagonism the current ruling junta and the domestic Israel lobby has exhibited toward’s Putin’s Russia.

    Since this tragedy comes on the heels of the Russian ambassador’s assassination in Turkey it’s easy to assume the worst.

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  16. Svigor says:

    Anon, don’t be silly. It was Putin’s plane, he controlled its security, and its destruction serves his interests. So he should be the prime suspect.

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  17. Svigor says:

    Since this tragedy comes on the heels of the Russian ambassador’s assassination in Turkey it’s easy to assume the worst.

    Good point. That assassination was obviously faked (just look at the images), and the Russians are the prime suspect there, too (they pulled his security detail, left him alone with their patsy assassin, etc.). Looks like we’re seeing a Russian false flag campaign, designed to shore up domestic support for their War on Terror.

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  18. Svigor says:

    Alas, I can confirm from personal experience that if you look Russian and speak Russian like a native and if you act the right way, military security in Russia is nowhere near as good as it should be. However, if you speak with an accent or look foreign, and that includes speaking with a Caucasian accent or looking like somebody from the Caucasus, you would have a much harder time beating the controls.

    See? Definitely an inside job.

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  19. Apparently the body of the pilot has been recovered with 70 “fragments” of other bodies:

    http://tass.com/world/922592

    Another story says that the pieces of the aircraft covered about 500 square meters.

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  20. utu says:

    Why in coverage of the crash both Daily Mail and Russia Today spliced in the footage of Polish Tu-154 (PL 101) that crashed in Smolensk on April 10, 2010.

    Many in Poland do not believe the official version that it was an accident. Russia till now keeps refusing the return of the wreck of Tu-154 back to Poland.

    Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1381443.html

    Russia Today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_zRn8l_NtQ

    What is a connection between Smolensk 2010 and Sochi 2016? Who is trying to make this connection and to what purpose?

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  21. MarkinLA says:
    @Sasha3we1
    It was not terrorist as security tight, but air to air possible, USAF has F22 stationed in romania, they have enough range and with air refuel in bcal sea with turk based refuelers this is more likely scenario

    I’ll bite. What does the US gain by bringing down a Russian passenger jet full of singers?

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    • Replies: @utu
    "What does the US gain..."

    "you do not stand up at Pentagon and say we did this but you make sure they know in Moscow..."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ivt2NmbyGg
  22. MarkinLA says:
    @Svigor
    Probably a false flag attack. Putin probably had the jet blown up, to shore up support for his regime, and its foreign adventurism.

    Where is Jonathan Revusky when you need him?

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  23. utu says:
    @MarkinLA
    I'll bite. What does the US gain by bringing down a Russian passenger jet full of singers?

    “What does the US gain…”

    “you do not stand up at Pentagon and say we did this but you make sure they know in Moscow…”

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Straight up OG thugg talk - in glasses and a tie:
    https://youtu.be/cOnQZ8BEmB4?t=15s

    Peace.

    , @MarkinLA
    Yeah, we need to follow the advice of this deranged psychotic.
  24. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Well, one thing is to speak pure Russian and look Slavic and get through regular airport security, but another is to bring in an explosive.

    This is very tricky and I wouldn’t rely on the Russian government to reveal all of the details. However, some details are already out there. About five years back there was another terrible crash – the Lokomotiv of Yaroslavl (RIP). At that time, the plane fell from a lower distance, but it burned. However, there was a survivor. There were also charred, but intact bodies. In this case, it seems there are a lot of fragments. Maybe the engine blew?

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  25. Svigor says:

    Where is Jonathan Revusky when you need him?

    *Doffs cap*

    Taught me everything I know.

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  26. utu says:

    There was army general on board:

    “The defence ministry said a widely revered Russian charity doctor was also on board the plane, in addition to nine journalists, a Russian army general and five colonels.”

    How important was this general?

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  27. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    And, most importantly, if this really was a terror act, then it must be concluded that Russia is not ready to play a bigger role in the world, the way it has tried to do (and has done) since 2014. It seems that only two countries that are heavily involved in the world – US and Israel – are able to protect their assets (and are doing so with great expenses in terms of money and manpower). The Russians are doing a good job averting terror acts on their soil, but Russian assets can be found in many parts of the world.

    Plus, the info war goes both ways – from and to/against Russia.

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    • Replies: @Begemot
    How successful was the US government in protecting its "assets" on 9-11? If protecting its "assets" is a criteria for playing a larger role in the world the US government should be confined to its own territory for the sterling job it did that day.
  28. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    And, to be honest, it might be that it is impossible to avert terrorism a 100% and it will always happen as long as one has enemies.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Especially true if your enemies just happen to be the main sponsors of terrorism.
  29. @Sean

    Pilot error: highly unlikely. The guys flying this aircraft where extremely experienced and while human error is always possible, it mostly results in situation were it can be reported. The Tu-154 was a very complex aircraft to operate and it had its weaknesses – but these were all very well known to the Russian crews and this crew was a very experienced one.
     
    Remember who was on board: big name Russians. The pilots were a stoked , a little "high" from having celebs on board, maybe some drink was taken but I'm certain they did something against training, maybe to show off. It was pilot error, not because Russian pilots aye one eyed vodka swilling types, but because these kind of things happen to VIPs all over the world; glamour is a double edged sword.

    Exactly how do you “show off” to the passengers of a transport at night over water? Any kind of aerobatics usually just leads to airsickness. Drunk might be more likely but the plane started from Moscow and Sochi was just a refueling stop.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Animal pronk to show off. Men pull away from traffic lights sharply. The pilots did the aeronautical equivalent

    The plane had taken off at a normal speed of 345 km/h (214 mph), said the FSB specialists. However, instead of gaining altitude, the aircraft began losing speed and descending.

    Experts from Russia’s law enforcement agencies believe that this occurred because the pilots tried to lift the aircraft up sharply and thus exceeded the correct elevation angles.http://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/12/27/sochi-plane-crash-tu-154-descended-immediately-after-take-off-witness_669756
     

  30. @Anonymous
    And, to be honest, it might be that it is impossible to avert terrorism a 100% and it will always happen as long as one has enemies.

    Especially true if your enemies just happen to be the main sponsors of terrorism.

    Read More
  31. Svigor says:

    Yeah, the fact that the passengers were celebrities of no strategic importance is further proof that this was an inside job by Putin. Very convenient target selection, designed to elicit rage in the Russian populace, but do no strategic damage.

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  32. Svigor says:

    Putin has a long history of this stuff, going back at least as far as the false-flag bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow by Chechen terrorists Russian security services to gin up popular support for the second campaign against Chechnia.

    And the Russians in general have been the masters of dastardly calculations like this since forever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Russian secret agants leave a trail like an elephant in six feet of snow (eg the hilariously inept London Polonium poisoning)
  33. Begemot says:
    @Anonymous
    And, most importantly, if this really was a terror act, then it must be concluded that Russia is not ready to play a bigger role in the world, the way it has tried to do (and has done) since 2014. It seems that only two countries that are heavily involved in the world - US and Israel - are able to protect their assets (and are doing so with great expenses in terms of money and manpower). The Russians are doing a good job averting terror acts on their soil, but Russian assets can be found in many parts of the world.

    Plus, the info war goes both ways - from and to/against Russia.

    How successful was the US government in protecting its “assets” on 9-11? If protecting its “assets” is a criteria for playing a larger role in the world the US government should be confined to its own territory for the sterling job it did that day.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    How successful was the US government in PROTECTING its “assets” on 9-11? If protecting its “assets” is a criteria for playing a larger role in the world the US government should be confined to its own territory for the sterling job it did that day.
     
    Yes, that' s exactly the point - post 9/11. The amounts of (mostly borrowed?) cash the US has invested in its security, including abroad and building gigantic pentagon type embassies around the world. Does Russia have that sort of money and manpower? If you start a war against 1.5 billion Sunnis, maybe you should? Or at least have allies that will contribute their manpower?
  34. Talha says:
    @utu
    "What does the US gain..."

    "you do not stand up at Pentagon and say we did this but you make sure they know in Moscow..."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ivt2NmbyGg

    Straight up OG thugg talk – in glasses and a tie:

    Peace.

    Read More
  35. unit472 says:

    I don’t know how the Russian Army choir travels but I would not think its itinerary is a ‘military secret’. Even if they were going to Syria to perform. Military bands and such are more about public relations than actual military forces so jihadists could have known when the choir would be traveling. We know they are capable of putting bombs on board civilian airliners as happened over Sinai and, apparently, to an Egyptian airliner over the Mediterranean and, because the passengers were members of the Army choir, how carefully would their luggage have been inspected?

    That said this was a 33 year old aircraft and parts can fail catastrophically.

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  36. Sean says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    Exactly how do you "show off" to the passengers of a transport at night over water? Any kind of aerobatics usually just leads to airsickness. Drunk might be more likely but the plane started from Moscow and Sochi was just a refueling stop.

    Animal pronk to show off. Men pull away from traffic lights sharply. The pilots did the aeronautical equivalent

    The plane had taken off at a normal speed of 345 km/h (214 mph), said the FSB specialists. However, instead of gaining altitude, the aircraft began losing speed and descending.

    Experts from Russia’s law enforcement agencies believe that this occurred because the pilots tried to lift the aircraft up sharply and thus exceeded the correct elevation angles.http://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/12/27/sochi-plane-crash-tu-154-descended-immediately-after-take-off-witness_669756

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    • Replies: @5371
    You can't even report a simple account correctly, you cretinous fuck. Supposedly the ailerons malfunctioned, that's why the plane started descending. Now this could be a cover story, of course, but either way you are one of the stupidest of God's creatures.
  37. Sean says:
    @Svigor
    Putin has a long history of this stuff, going back at least as far as the false-flag bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow by Chechen terrorists Russian security services to gin up popular support for the second campaign against Chechnia.

    And the Russians in general have been the masters of dastardly calculations like this since forever.

    Russian secret agants leave a trail like an elephant in six feet of snow (eg the hilariously inept London Polonium poisoning)

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    What was hilariously inept was the tale the British told, nitwit. Litvinenko sits through a meeting in which the supposed murderers do nothing for an hour but urge him to take a drink of tea they poured. He doesn't do so but, nothing loth, immediately arranges a second meeting at which they do the same thing, and he, a man who worked for the FSB once, goes ahead and drinks it!
    , @utu
    "like an elephant in six feet of snow " - This very reason makes me doubt MI-5 story that it was Russia's FSB. Rather somebody was framing Russia. Friends of Berezovsky always were on the list of suspects. This idea became even more plausible with allegations that Arafat also was poisoned by Polonium.
  38. 5371 says:
    @Sean
    Russian secret agants leave a trail like an elephant in six feet of snow (eg the hilariously inept London Polonium poisoning)

    What was hilariously inept was the tale the British told, nitwit. Litvinenko sits through a meeting in which the supposed murderers do nothing for an hour but urge him to take a drink of tea they poured. He doesn’t do so but, nothing loth, immediately arranges a second meeting at which they do the same thing, and he, a man who worked for the FSB once, goes ahead and drinks it!

    Read More
  39. 5371 says:
    @Sean
    Animal pronk to show off. Men pull away from traffic lights sharply. The pilots did the aeronautical equivalent

    The plane had taken off at a normal speed of 345 km/h (214 mph), said the FSB specialists. However, instead of gaining altitude, the aircraft began losing speed and descending.

    Experts from Russia’s law enforcement agencies believe that this occurred because the pilots tried to lift the aircraft up sharply and thus exceeded the correct elevation angles.http://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/12/27/sochi-plane-crash-tu-154-descended-immediately-after-take-off-witness_669756
     

    You can’t even report a simple account correctly, you cretinous fuck. Supposedly the ailerons malfunctioned, that’s why the plane started descending. Now this could be a cover story, of course, but either way you are one of the stupidest of God’s creatures.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    One more time: Experts from Russia’s law enforcement agencies believe that this occurred because the pilots tried to lift the aircraft up sharply and thus exceeded the correct elevation angles.http://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/12/27/sochi-plane-crash-tu-154-descended-immediately-after-take-off-witness_669756
    , @MarkinLA
    Do you remember that Alaska Airlines flight that went down because of a failed component in the horizontal stabilizer? If could be something similar. When that story was reported I remember thinking how crude that system was for something so expensive and holding back so much force.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines_Flight_261
  40. utu says:
    @Sean
    Russian secret agants leave a trail like an elephant in six feet of snow (eg the hilariously inept London Polonium poisoning)

    “like an elephant in six feet of snow ” – This very reason makes me doubt MI-5 story that it was Russia’s FSB. Rather somebody was framing Russia. Friends of Berezovsky always were on the list of suspects. This idea became even more plausible with allegations that Arafat also was poisoned by Polonium.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Who? Maybe it was the French secret service displaying all the clandestine skills they showed in the Rainbow Warrior debacle. Indeed, France has been able to fight off strong competition from Russia for the title of world's joke county.
  41. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Begemot
    How successful was the US government in protecting its "assets" on 9-11? If protecting its "assets" is a criteria for playing a larger role in the world the US government should be confined to its own territory for the sterling job it did that day.

    How successful was the US government in PROTECTING its “assets” on 9-11? If protecting its “assets” is a criteria for playing a larger role in the world the US government should be confined to its own territory for the sterling job it did that day.

    Yes, that’ s exactly the point – post 9/11. The amounts of (mostly borrowed?) cash the US has invested in its security, including abroad and building gigantic pentagon type embassies around the world. Does Russia have that sort of money and manpower? If you start a war against 1.5 billion Sunnis, maybe you should? Or at least have allies that will contribute their manpower?

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    If you honestly think that the vast amounts of money borrowed by the US Gov't since 9/11 has been actually "invested" in security it would help to explain why you comment here as Anonymous.
  42. Sean says:
    @5371
    You can't even report a simple account correctly, you cretinous fuck. Supposedly the ailerons malfunctioned, that's why the plane started descending. Now this could be a cover story, of course, but either way you are one of the stupidest of God's creatures.

    One more time: Experts from Russia’s law enforcement agencies believe that this occurred because the pilots tried to lift the aircraft up sharply and thus exceeded the correct elevation angles.http://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/12/27/sochi-plane-crash-tu-154-descended-immediately-after-take-off-witness_669756

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    "The flaps, damn it!"

    https://www.rt.com/news/371973-last-words-black-box/

  43. Sean says:
    @utu
    "like an elephant in six feet of snow " - This very reason makes me doubt MI-5 story that it was Russia's FSB. Rather somebody was framing Russia. Friends of Berezovsky always were on the list of suspects. This idea became even more plausible with allegations that Arafat also was poisoned by Polonium.

    Who? Maybe it was the French secret service displaying all the clandestine skills they showed in the Rainbow Warrior debacle. Indeed, France has been able to fight off strong competition from Russia for the title of world’s joke county.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    The clandestine skills of Mossad:

    Operation Susannah (Lavon Affair)
    Joanathan Pollard

    2004 Israel–New Zealand passport scandal
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Israel%E2%80%93New_Zealand_passport_scandal
    Mossad spy ring 'unearthed because of Christchurch earthquake'

    and in 2011
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/8649223/Mossad-spy-ring-unearthed-because-of-Christchurch-earthquake.html

    Looks like NZ has good counter intelligence and its political class has still a spine even though after the 2004 passport affair the plane of prime minister Clark was sabotaged:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10120387
    , @utu
    Another Mossad's fuck up: the attempt to assassinate Meshaal in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

    "Five agents of the Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency, were duly sent to Amman, posing as Canadian tourists. They ambushed Mr Meshaal on a street corner and sprayed poison into his left ear, inflicting instant paralysis and, so they hoped, death within 48 hours.
    Then everything went wrong. The Jordanian security forces responded to this brazen daylight attack, arresting two of the Israeli agents and forcing three to hide in their country's embassy, which was promptly surrounded by troops.
    Instead of escaping over the border, the Mossad team found itself trapped in Amman. Mr Netanyahu was forced to send emissaries to King Hussein of Jordan to plead for their release. The king, who was dying of cancer, drove a hard bargain. First, Israel had to supply an antidote to the poison that was killing Mr Meshaal. Jordanian doctors duly used this to save his life."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/9730669/Khaled-Meshaal-How-Mossad-bid-to-assassinate-Hamas-leader-ended-in-fiasco.html
  44. utu says:
    @Sean
    Who? Maybe it was the French secret service displaying all the clandestine skills they showed in the Rainbow Warrior debacle. Indeed, France has been able to fight off strong competition from Russia for the title of world's joke county.

    The clandestine skills of Mossad:

    Operation Susannah (Lavon Affair)
    Joanathan Pollard

    2004 Israel–New Zealand passport scandal

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Israel%E2%80%93New_Zealand_passport_scandal

    Mossad spy ring ‘unearthed because of Christchurch earthquake’

    and in 2011

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/8649223/Mossad-spy-ring-unearthed-because-of-Christchurch-earthquake.html

    Looks like NZ has good counter intelligence and its political class has still a spine even though after the 2004 passport affair the plane of prime minister Clark was sabotaged:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10120387

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  45. @Sean
    One more time: Experts from Russia’s law enforcement agencies believe that this occurred because the pilots tried to lift the aircraft up sharply and thus exceeded the correct elevation angles.http://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/12/27/sochi-plane-crash-tu-154-descended-immediately-after-take-off-witness_669756
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  46. utu says:
    @Sean
    Who? Maybe it was the French secret service displaying all the clandestine skills they showed in the Rainbow Warrior debacle. Indeed, France has been able to fight off strong competition from Russia for the title of world's joke county.

    Another Mossad’s fuck up: the attempt to assassinate Meshaal in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

    “Five agents of the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency, were duly sent to Amman, posing as Canadian tourists. They ambushed Mr Meshaal on a street corner and sprayed poison into his left ear, inflicting instant paralysis and, so they hoped, death within 48 hours.
    Then everything went wrong. The Jordanian security forces responded to this brazen daylight attack, arresting two of the Israeli agents and forcing three to hide in their country’s embassy, which was promptly surrounded by troops.
    Instead of escaping over the border, the Mossad team found itself trapped in Amman. Mr Netanyahu was forced to send emissaries to King Hussein of Jordan to plead for their release. The king, who was dying of cancer, drove a hard bargain. First, Israel had to supply an antidote to the poison that was killing Mr Meshaal. Jordanian doctors duly used this to save his life.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/9730669/Khaled-Meshaal-How-Mossad-bid-to-assassinate-Hamas-leader-ended-in-fiasco.html

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  47. @Anonymous

    How successful was the US government in PROTECTING its “assets” on 9-11? If protecting its “assets” is a criteria for playing a larger role in the world the US government should be confined to its own territory for the sterling job it did that day.
     
    Yes, that' s exactly the point - post 9/11. The amounts of (mostly borrowed?) cash the US has invested in its security, including abroad and building gigantic pentagon type embassies around the world. Does Russia have that sort of money and manpower? If you start a war against 1.5 billion Sunnis, maybe you should? Or at least have allies that will contribute their manpower?

    If you honestly think that the vast amounts of money borrowed by the US Gov’t since 9/11 has been actually “invested” in security it would help to explain why you comment here as Anonymous.

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  48. Matra says:

    I’m surprised The Faker hasn’t shown up with his good friend Carlos, the mysterious non-English-speaking Spanish air traffic controller (lol) so beloved of so many Unz commenters.

    Remember him? According to white-hating Eurasianist Russia Firsters like the Faker “Carlos” somehow proved that the February 2014 Kiev massacre was really carried out by a Maidan/CIA/CNN/BBC conspiracy. He then was cruelly deported in April 2014 by the “Jew-hating” Nazi regime in Kiev only to very magically (and without any explanation) show up in July 2014 in a Kiev air traffic control tower to prove that Ukraine tried to shoot down Putin’s plane (which, rather inconveniently for The Faker was over Warsaw, not eastern Ukraine) only to accidentally kill several hundred Dutch people on MH17. Anyway, approximately 36 ridiculous theories since then Russians have concluded they were 100% innocent and the West (always “Anglo-Zionists”, never “Zionists”, or just ‘Jews”) were guilty and, as always, white Westerners were guilty.

    Obviously, Russians are again victims of “Anglo-Zionists”. Until The Faker shows up from his anti-”Anglo-Zionist” homeland (usually known as Florida) with another great theory I don’t think we can draw any conclusions about the latest Russian plane tragedy but no doubt we white Westerners are somehow to blame.

    But since Russians like The Faker and his fanbase here love the idea that every thing on earth is a conspiracy theory I don’t think they can complain about Svigor’s tongue-in-cheek theories about this being a Russian false flag operation. After all, if we Western Anglo-Zionists are capable of such conspiracies it would obviously be Russophobic to believe Russians aren’t capable of similar operations.

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  49. MarkinLA says:
    @utu
    "What does the US gain..."

    "you do not stand up at Pentagon and say we did this but you make sure they know in Moscow..."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ivt2NmbyGg

    Yeah, we need to follow the advice of this deranged psychotic.

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  50. MarkinLA says:
    @5371
    You can't even report a simple account correctly, you cretinous fuck. Supposedly the ailerons malfunctioned, that's why the plane started descending. Now this could be a cover story, of course, but either way you are one of the stupidest of God's creatures.

    Do you remember that Alaska Airlines flight that went down because of a failed component in the horizontal stabilizer? If could be something similar. When that story was reported I remember thinking how crude that system was for something so expensive and holding back so much force.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines_Flight_261

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  51. Sean says:

    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/tu-154-inquiry-obtains-video-evidence-of-accident-432775/

    As well as experienced observers’ impressions, they have film of the plane landing and then taking off and crashing so they know flaps were working ok as long as the pilot was not making unusual demands on the plane, and whether there was s a textbook steady climb or a abbreviated take off that tried to gain hieght too quickly and sharply . The pilot knew the plane was heavily loaded but he decided to “go on a jolly” as they say in the RAF. Happens all the time and is especially common when military celebrities are on board. The list is a very long one.

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  52. Svigor says:

    Svigor’s tongue-in-cheek theories

    Why, whatever do you mean? Heaven forfend.

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  53. PiMike says:

    How is this for a theory as to why the Tu-154 plane crashed near Sochi?
    Any aircraft in flight needs to keep its Centre- of-Mass fairly close to its Centre-of-Lift (the wings).
    What if, shortly after take-off, there was an extremely large and fast migration of passengers to the rear of the aircraft? The aircraft would go into a stall condition, and the elevators would be unable to correct it.
    Reasons for such unusual behavior of passengers might be :-
    1. Free vodka in tankards offered at the rear.
    2. A riot at the rear of the aircraft provoked by some very offensive behavior there.
    3. Illness caused by food offered to passengers in Sochi during plane refueling.
    4. Several other reasons I can think of.
    Evidence is supplied by Sean in comment 37 with his URL link.
    A witness in a boat “compared the landing aircraft to a motorcycle speeding on its back wheel alone”, so the plane was in a stall condition.
    Since the plane was overloaded, probably the average weight of moving passengers was high.
    Absence of radio call could be explained by all available crew trying to correct passenger distribution, and by pilot needing both hands to try and correct the plane’s attitude.

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