Nov 9, 2008

Wait, Russia Still Has Nuclear Submarines?

According to VoA: "Russian Navy officials say at least 20 shipbuilders and servicemen were killed Saturday when the fire-extinguishing system aboard the vessel was activated in error."

First our hearts go out to the sailors and family of the victims. But the political context, and response, will be telling.

Eight years ago, Putin badly botched the official reaction to the Kursk incident. While this recent event demonstrates that serious challenges lay ahead for Russia's nuclear submarine forces, the Kremlin has become much better at controlling the message since 2000.

If the Kremlin has learned anything, then look for Putin-Medvedev to pledge more money on the navy, and act as mourners in chief for the heroic mariners.

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