14:17 Oct. 28, 2016
Political observer Кseniia Novikova analyzed the media and social reaction on Russian aircraft carrier group Syrian voyage – specially for Ukraine Today
One does not simply laugh at naval fleet, so there must be a reason for it. And the reason is there - the Russians are so proud of their only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov that tried to hide it.
When a naval group of four Russian warships approached British shores, the popular news site Gazeta.ru boasted on its Twitter account ‘We've entered the English Channel'. And attached a pompous picture. It supposed to look proud or maybe even menacing. But it looked ridiculus. And this is the moment when the comedy started.
The reason was the photo. A picture not of the Russian carrier but of an American one.
‘Putin's regime is ashamed of it's only aircraft carrier,' a popular Russian blogger and opposition leader Alexey Navalny wrote. And showed a picture of the real Admiral Kuznetsov - a rusty ship covered in smoke.
‘The smoke could be a stratagem to cover the fact they're using oars,' joked another oppositioner, radio host Alexandr Nevzorov.
An avalanche of jokes and memes followed:
‘Are they having a Maidan protest there?'
‘It smokes like Eyjafjallajökull'
‘The smoke is black because they haven't chosen a new captain yet'
Уникальные кадры, снятые на авианосце "Адмирал Кузнецов" pic.twitter.com/i4a2osGz0m— Дядюшка Шу (@Shulz) October 22, 2016
‘Video of Admiral Kuznetsov crew'
And the mainstream Russian media? They've noticed these jokes and answered them.
‘There's nothing wrong with our ship, that's just the way she acts and looks,' Vzglyad newspaper wrote.
‘Yes, she's old, but she is fit,' Lenta.ru stated in the article titled 'Fire in the sky'.
‘The smoke could be made black only on purpose,' unidentified navies are quoted by the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.
‘That was the crew's prank. They just wanted to say Hello to the British and the French,' claims military analyst Vitaliy Litovkin who works for Russian state informational agency TASS.
The message of Russian media is clear: The West is afraid. And it should be.
‘Admiral Kuznetsov is a kind of people's diplomacy trick: Let them watch Russians near their own shores. Let them get used to the Russian flag anywhere in the world,' boasted TV host Andrey Dobrov in his weekly show.
And the notorious propagandist Dmitriy Kiselyov concluded: ‘That's a nervous giggle… We have a lot more ships to come'.
The Russian warships are there but they aren't welcomed. Having passed the English channel the naval group couldn't enter the Spanish port Ceuta. As a NATO member Spain didn't want to refuel warships heading to Syria. The carrier group continued on its way through the Mediterranean Sea. Then Malta said it won't refuel the flotilla. The Russian media answered: ‘We don't need their oil', ‘NATO is afraid of us'
According to Russian media the Alliance has a kind of paranoia. ‘Yes, our ships are formidable,' they say, ‘but they are not heading for Syria now, they're just sailing through the Mediterranean Sea as usual'.
As reported, the head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg announced earlier, that Russia may use Admiral Kuznetsov carrier group for more airstrikes against Aleppo. After that Malta and Spain refused to refuel Russia's "death fleet" heading to Syria. The sharp reaction of the Western media was provoked by the video of Russian carrier group in English Channel and ongoing data of Kremlin's war crimes in Aleppo.