Re: "The incessant vilification of Russia and Putin", Letters, August 6.
Mysteriously named correspondent HHB cites two incidents: a Libyan passenger plane shot down by the Israelis and an Iranian plane downed by the Americans.
But he conveniently misses out the infamous incident in 1983 when Korean Air Flight 007 was shot down by Soviet fighters as it made its way from New York to Seoul with 239 people on board. Google searches reveal two more passenger planes (Transair Georgia) were shot down in 1993 by Abkhazian rebels in the former Soviet Union’s Georgia, while Siberian Airline Flight 1812 was downed in 2001 by the Soviet Ukrainian military.
Comrade, with Google, one cannot distort facts by cherry-picking information. Russia or the Soviets have been involved in three of five shoot-downs of passenger planes since 1973. Meanwhile, the United States downed an Iranian passenger plane but admitted to mistaking it for a fighter jet amid the heat of battle with the Iranians in the Persian Gulf in 1988. The Americans were immediately humble and regretful, rather than going on the defensive. They are not in the habit of first trying to convince a person and then, when they fail, instead trying to confuse him!