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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Superpowers Should Not Get Offended

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It's been two weeks since a rocket was dropped in the Georgian village of Tsitelubani, and my amazement over this story grows with every day. Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov, head of the Russian Air Force Main Staff, announced that the bomb actually exploded in a different location, and that the fragments were taken from that site and buried in a hole near the village.

Meanwhile, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity has his own take on the incident: He is convinced that the plane in question was actually a Georgian aircraft sent by Tbilisi to bomb Ossetians in his pro-Russian, separatist region of Georgia.

But the most amazing statement yet has come from the commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces patrolling South Ossetia, General Marat Kulakhmetov, who said that "the airplane flew into the conflict zone from the east, took a turn to the southwest ... released a rocket during a turn to the northeast and returned to the mountainous region."

Why didn't the commander mention exactly what is located to the east of Georgia, and why doesn't he know exactly what was flying in from the east? Was it a stork? A robin? Or maybe a Russian Su-24 fighter jet? Let's leave it for the general to figure it all out.

In normal countries, these types of incidents are exploited for two reasons: either to demonstrate one's strength or to accuse a neighboring county of provocation as a pretext to attack it. But in this case, it would seem the bomb was dropped so that Lieutenant General Khvorov could claim that Russia was offended yet again.

A superpower is not a nation that everyone offends, but one that offends everyone else.

I have been told that the liberals do not love Russia, but the Kremlin masochists have shown that they are much better at not loving Russia.

As it turns out, the Georgians are not the only ones who offend Russia. For example, Russian businessmen also slighted their motherland when they managed to cut off the power in a central Moscow building in an apparent property dispute with one of the tenants. It just so happens that the city's air defense system, which was located in the basement of the building, was also shut down. According to General Yury Solovyov, this single act delivered a blow to Russia's defense capability.

This is strange. If Russia is truly a global superpower capable of facing up to the new "Third Reich" (read: the United States), how could a few businessmen shut down Moscow's entire air defense system with a simple flick of a switch?

I have another question for the leaders of this global superpower: Why does General Solovyov still have a job? Why hasn't he been stripped of his epaulets and given a gun loaded with a single cartridge as a parting gift?

We haven't heard anything like this since 2004, when Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov rebuked Vladimir Kasatonov, commander of the nuclear-powered flagship of the Northern Fleet, the Pyotr Veliky, saying that it wasn't fit for operation. Among the items in Kuroyedov's ship inspection report was a remark that in one cabin a "portrait hangs on the wall by a single nail, which could distort the artwork when the ship rocks."

I don't know why the authorities cultivate an inferiority complex among the people. Why do they constantly tell us that everyone -- Georgia, Estonia, Moldova and others -- is offending Russia? Why is it that one flip of a switch can knock out Moscow's entire anti-aircraft defense? And why do they give foreign experts reasons to laugh at us by publicly making ridiculous remarks like those connected with the Pyotr Veliky warship inspection?

I only know one thing -- no liberal could possibly be any match for our own leaders.

Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio.