Putin's Aviation Nightmare
Vladimir Putin must hate aviation. The tragic crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt last weekend, with mounting evidence of a terrorist attack by ISIL, is but the latest in a series of air disasters challenging the Kremlin over the last year. All of these have directly resulted from Moscow’s ever more aggressive foreign policy — inUkraine, at NATO borders, and over Syria.
Each of them profoundly impacts, and indeed reduces, the policy options available to the Russian leadership. And none of them, unfortunately, has so far been able to convince Putin that only a radical departure from his prevailing course will improve his outlook, and that of the world around him.
Three years ago, Putin stunned the world by flying a hang glider to guide Siberian cranes toward their wintering grounds further south. Since this eccentric episode, however, Putin’s navigation has gone into free fall.