Recall from a few days ago the thrilling story of Alexander Akopov, citizen of the Ukraine. Captain Akopov blindly landed a plane, fully loaded with around 128 passengers and crew, at Istanbul Airport in the middle of a hailstorm that had knocked out all his front windshield, and all the electrical and guidance systems! Akopov’s expertise on the icy runway won the day and saved the lives of all. The entire airport broke out into applause, and Akopov instantly became an international celebrity.
Akopov was rightfully hailed as a hero, although some nitpickers feel that this term is used too widely, and they are probably right. For example, a football player who scores a goal is technically not a hero. Technically, a hero is somebody who knowingly gave or at least risked his own life in order to save or help others. By that token, Akopov is not exactly a hero, I would call him more, like, a virtuoso, since the giving of his own life on this occasion would not have furthered the cause of the others on board. Quite the contrary!
Be that as it may, Akopov definitely deserved the medal that Ukrainian faux-President Poroshenko slapped onto the pilot within hours, possibly minutes of the event. See, Ukrainian Nationalists, after pissing away a third of their territory, ruining the lives of the remainder, and losing every battle on the battlefield, are so desperate for heroes that they desperately needed Akopov. See, within the subclass of Aviation Heroes, just like America has Captain Sully, so Ukraine should have Captain Akopov.
Russian Media Is More Fair and Balanced And Less Propagandistic Than Westie Media
Along with the Ukrainian blogospere, the international (Westie) media also exploded with compliments directed at Akopov. Just google it and you’ll see. It was like Westies were just bursting with pride over the exploit of a favorite child. With the words “Ukrainian pilot” repeated over and over.
The Russian media also reported on the event when it happened, in stories focusing on the hail storm and the feat of the pilot. And without any kind of propaganda overlay or tendentiousness. (And this was before the Russian media learned that Akopov is pro-Russian!) I can prove what I just wrote. Here is a piece from July 28, fresh off the front page, and including a Vesti News vid. The headline reads: “Ukrainian Pilot Landed His Plane, Damaged By Hail, in Istanbul.” The piece reports on the basic facts known, with a focus on the hail, described to be “the size of eggs”. There is no snarkiness or ideological overlay. No cheering or sneering at the fact that the pilot is Ukrainian. And this is typical of much Russian media, by the way. Which tends to be more factual, less ideological and less biased than most Westie media. Westies always try to glean the geo-political angle to every story, and never miss an opportunity to bash Russia.
Then, like every good reality show, this one had a major twist right in the middle. Ukrainian Nationalists learned that Akopov is not one of them, after all. He is a Ukrainian citizen, but politically he’s more like, er.. pro-Russian. Having the wrong politics (not to mention, the wrong ethnicity) instantly disqualified him from hero-hood, in their eyes, and not just on technical grounds. Ukrainian Nationalists discovered that Akopov’s Facebook avatar is a photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom the Ukrainian Nationalists consider to be the handmaiden of the Devil himself. Nationalists called for President Porko to revoke Akopov’s hero-medal. They fussed on Twitter: “People should spend a little time researching a person’s political views, before they start awarding medals.” The Ukrainian Nationalist blogosphere is actually even more furious with Poroshenko than they are with Akopov — but that’s nothig new, either.
Akopov’s Side Of The Story
In today’s installment of this reality show, Akopov gets to tell his side of the story. Here is the piece from VZGLIAD, well, it’s actually from 2 days ago, Monday, but I only saw it today. This piece in turn cites material from a Kiev portal called “Strana”.
Akopov commenting on the blogosphere attacks against him: “It is unpleasant, naturally. But this is how I see it: на каждый роток не наденешь платок [Russian rhyming proverb that translates, roughly, as: You can’t put a napkin over every mouth.] In the times that we live in, this is a normal occurrence. Once they dub a man as a hero, then they have to criticize him.” Akopov went on to explain why he refused to cave in to pressure to delete his Lavrov avatar: “I look a lot like Lavrov. We have the same facial structure, similar features. I put up that avatar a long time ago, long before the war in Donetsk.” Grilled by the highly ideological Ukrainian reporters, the pilot added that he is not connected in any way with politics and is not a Separatist.
[to be continued]