It Sank...

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

I wanted to write about it, and then I thought that nobody cares about Russia anymore and I kept hesitating…

No matter how many years I have lived in the United States, I had never really cut the umbilical chord with the people and the country where I lived for 40 years.

Strangely, even events that happened after Boeing 747 with me and my family had landed in JFK in July of 1991, still resonate with me as if I never left Russia…

I am old enough to see how the world is intertwined, and how a political hiccup in one obscure country reverberates through the world, and yes, I see the connection of what happens in Russia to our lives here in the US.

But it is not the reason I write about it. I would, probably, write even if there were no connection, no resonance… I know that thousands may say there is no connection to the world and we are US, and the world is whatever it is, and as long as we do not interfere in the affairs of others, nobody would do us any harm.

This popular or, better say, populist view did not die even on September 11. People are not looking at facts to form the opinion, but rather look for facts to support the opinion they have. Hence, what’s the problem not noticing September 11 if it does not fit a convenient idea of the nice world singing in unity “I love you… You love me… We are happy family…”

August 12, 2000 Kursk exploded and sunk. All 118 men perished. Watch this answer that Putin gave to Larry King:

“It sank”… Look at his smile. He holds the pause with a smile…

“K-141 Kursk was an Oscar-II class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine of the Russian Navy, lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on 12 August 2000.” (SeeWikipedia article)

Things happen. Ships and submarines may sink, we know it. This is not what is important here. What important is how we react, what is done to save, to help… What important is finding out what and why had happened...

They were left to die with no help. There was a familiar chain of unbelievable incompetence of the higher brass, engineers, workers, everyone involved. And it was an act of unbelievable political incompetence by Vladimir Putin who cared about his image more than about any of the dead men…

23 sailors in the surviving section of the boat were knocking on the metal for 8 long days, but the superiors did not even acknowledge that there was a problem for 12 hours and proved to be incompetent and unable to save the survivors. And did not allow British and Norwegians to save them.

What important is that the investigation was riddled with lies and intimidation. It was the first major disaster for Vladimir Putin, and he showed no sympathy for anyone, and made a political decision not to persecute anyone. And this is what started the era of lies and intimidation.

But it was still far from the glorious “back to the USSR” of today, and people still were saying things including those offending Puttin, and he felt very uncomfortable, and later made sure that nobody would be able to put him on the spot.

I only recently read about one episode, which stunned me. Widows of submariners were very critical of the government, of their doing little too late… for their refusal to allow British and Norwegians to help those dying.. Critical of Putin.

At one point Putin saw them on TV, so he called the journalist Sergey Dorenko and said that TV Channel One hired whores so that they discredit Putin. Dorenko responded that they were not whores, that they were widows of the submariners, but Putin immediately called Dorenko back and said “You hire these whores on purpose. You gave them $10 to discredit me” (See the article, butit is in Russian)

Putin, of course, knew who they were, but the only thing that was bothering him was that they dared to criticize him.

He worked hard and now few criticize him. His approval rating is 87%. Interestingly, 87% of Russians begged the government not to destroy the “sanctioned food”, but the very same people believe that he is doing a great job.

As for something like Kursk today would be impossible. Not because military are better organized, or the submarines are built any better, but because recently they enacted the law declaring that releasing information about military losses at times of peace is high treason. So now, if a boat sinks, nobody would not even know that anyone died.

As, according to Russian authorities, nobody dies in the Eastern Ukraine.

Comments (14)

Kim Johnson
Signature Realty Inc. - Coral Springs, FL
Selling South Florida

Good evening Jon, I remember when this happened and I'm still saddened by this tragedy. At the time my husband had recently retired from the Air Force and I remember thinking how I would have felt if that had happened to us. My heart went out to those families and still does today.

Aug 15, 2015 08:44 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Kim Johnson - My heart goes to them, too. Unfortunately Putin showd very little heart. And even less desire to save 23 sailors waiting for someone to come and get them. British offered to save them, but Putin is a proud man. Norwegians offered to save them, but Putin is a proud man.

They left letters before they died. You can't read them without tears. There is so much love in them...

There is no love in Putin's answer. It did not simply sink. It had very little chance not to sink. So many time they survive by the skin of their teeth...

There was no miracle this time.

Aug 15, 2015 10:05 AM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL 

I remember this it was so sad. How can a person dissconect in such a way from loss of life. I see that same response in president Obama and Hillary Clinton at the loss at Bengazi. 

Aug 15, 2015 01:13 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Alan Kirkpatrick - I am asking myself the same question. And about Bengazi, too

Aug 15, 2015 01:21 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Jon. I honor you, for bring up this topic. It is hard for me to believe that Putin as an 87% approval rating, that seems insane to me.

We have plenty of examples of this kind of thing in the US as well, as you well know.

Aug 15, 2015 09:31 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Joe Petrowsky - I am sure Stalin had a much higher approval rating. Actually it was 100% including even those, who were persecuted by him. My mom was crying when Stalin died, and at that moment we were waiting for the order to board the train and go into exile, and only 20% were expected to make it there... and yet she cried.

This is common for dictatorships. The 140-million country is rendered to one man. There is no choice. Putin is seen as the savior of the country from us, the aggressors. People sincerely believe that US is only looking for a pretext to attack, so Russians are ready to give up freedom, give up rights, give up decent life, everything in order for Russia to stay. those 87% believe that it would be worse if not for Putin, so they clinge to him, and the worse it gets, the more they clinge.

We always had enemies, and were always told that we are poor because of these enemies. Russia is in this vicious cycle again. And, so that you understand the difference, as we do not have anything even close to that contrary to your belief, many Russians believe that the only way to get rid of the threat is for Russia to push this red button and rage the nuclear war on the West and USA and die, but kill as many as they could. Do you hear calls for a nuclear war by US? Do you know that the higher hierarchy was discussing the morality of the preventive nuclear war, and were doing it quite recently? Finally, they did not invlude it in the concept of the country military, but it is a matter of time. Once this is even discussed, it is a reality for many.

Aug 15, 2015 11:58 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Putin is the devil incarnate, no two ways about it, Jon. He radiates evil.

Aug 16, 2015 02:49 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents - I have to agree... and it is a sad news to 140 million people, 87% or whom are for him...

That's how dictatorships work.

Aug 16, 2015 03:09 AM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Jon, I would love to hear what Putin says and thinks about our president and our country. It was predicted long ago that America would be destroyed not from outsiders but from within.

The cold war ended with a strong American president named Ronald Reagan but now it appears to start back up with a weak American president. If we don't elect a strong leader we will see a USSR once again.

Aug 22, 2015 03:00 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Mike Frazier in the world the poser and projection of power is very common with the exception of US and Western countries. Whenever we approach someone as equal, it is a projection of weakness.

So many leaders around the world ran into a trouble with it. Like Saddam. All signs from US, all attempt to talk to him were interpreted as a sign of weakness. Powerful countries do not ask, and do not beg... And then US comes with fierce force, not expected by Iraqis.

Same happened with Russia. Weak president, mumbling when others would show teeth, and Putin grabs the Crimea. And then can't believe that he can't stop that vicious cycle of sanctions, and can't believe the unity of European countries.

If he only knew what would follow, he wouldn't touch the Crimea with a ten-foot pole, but Obama failed even to warn Putin adequately.

America is an elephant behaving like a poodle. But when it talks like a poodle, the world reacts to a poodle, and then they fight like an elephant, and the countries do not understand how a country this weak is fighting so strong.

It is not on purpose, but rather from being cluesless in how the real world is. Where for serious enemies even sitting with a US president is a sign of weakness.

Aug 23, 2015 07:01 AM
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Mike Frazier: The dissolution of the Soviet Union happened in December of 1991, a full two years into George H. W. Bush's administration. Such is the illusion of Ronald Reagan's presidency....

And again, more calls of hegemony and least you're consistent. 

Oh and I find it a little weird that right-wingers denounce Putin in the strongest of terms yet want a more Putin-like figure in the White House. Baffling, but not surprising.

Aug 24, 2015 06:59 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Karl Hess - You are right about the date, but it is Reagan's name, which is associated with the end of the Cold War. It was Reagan saying "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" (from memory, so it might be a little off)

Aug 24, 2015 01:53 PM
Tchaka Owen
Galleria International Realty - Hollywood, FL

Jon, I'm patiently waiting to see how low oil prices will affect Putin's leadership. Less money to fund/ the state income goes below expenditures, things could get interesting.

Feb 10, 2016 09:23 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Tchaka Owen - gosh, I haven't seen you on AR for such a long time...

I am not that optimistic. Look at North Korea. They are in this situation and what? And Russia is not Korea. Way more power... Our President would kneel...

Feb 10, 2016 10:57 PM