Russian Senator&Pilot: “This Was Erdogan’s Revenge for Loss of ISIL Cash Cow”
Ordinary Russians feel outraged and betrayed, while Pro-Western liberals can’t hide their satisfaction.
Muscovites are outraged by the shooting down of Russian SU-24 on an anti-terrorist mission over Syria. People discuss it in homes, on public transport and in cafés.
Russians feel betrayed. They thought Turkey was a friend, one of the first countries to fly civilian planes to Crimea after it reunited with Russia, and a favorite Russian holiday destination.
“I’ll never go on vacation to Turkey again”, said a woman in her 50’s to a companion in the Moscow metro.
President Putin called it “a stab in the back by the terrorists' accomplices”, and Foreign Minister Lavrov cancelled his planned visit to Turkey.
Below are comments by politicians, pundits and experts on Radio KP owned by Russia’s largest circulation daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Igor Chernyshov, member of the Federation Council (Russian senate) and ex-military pilot:
“Turkey has given us clear proof that ISIL is their cash cow. They’ve been getting cheap oil from there, passing militants, and repatriating them for treatment. Clearly, we are in a zone of economic interest to Turkey, that profits from the terrorist activities of the so-called Islamic State”.
Alexei Mukhin, general director of the Center for Political Information, a think tank close to the Kremlin:
“By now, Turks probably are not too happy that they got involved in this incident. If the downed plane was flying over Syrian territory, that would be a reason for declaring war.
“Turkey is the major beneficiary and transit zone for the oil stolen by the so-called ‘Islamic State’, patronizing groups in Syria that are labelled as terrorists.
“Our critics will gloat, remembering the Pentagon’s warnings that Russia would face severe losses. On social networks, our so-called liberal wing can’t hide its satisfaction. Shame on them!.”
Valeriy Burkov, a military pilot awarded the highest medal, Hero of Russia:
“The details of what happened in the air are unimportant. Even if the Russian aircraft crossed the Turkish border for a minute and went in 1, 2 or 5 kilometers, that would have been a very short violation. A missile wouldn't even have time to reach it.
“It’s clear that this was a premeditated action, they were prepared and just waited for a Russian plane to show up. It wasn’t downed because of pilot error, or because he was trigger-happy or whatever. This is preplanned, premeditated action.”
“Turkey and its political leadership know who we are fighting in Syria. This action shows they oppose what we are doing in Syria, and that proves Turkey supports those we are fighting.”
At the time of writing, Muscovites began picketing the Turkish embassy in Moscow.
Comments translated from Russian by Svetlana Kryzhaly and Rhod Mackenzie, Andrey Medvedev and Sergei Malygin.