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Russian pilot killed over Syria wearing a scapular December 2, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Holy suffering, persecution, Society, Tradition.

I haven’t posted much on the deliberate provocation by Turkey in shooting down a Russian Su-24M ground attack plane (very similar in most respects to the American F-111, though much less sophisticated and shorter-ranged) last month.  This act – which almost certainly occurred over Syrian airspace after the jet had briefly transited a small extension of Turkey – was the culmination of a series of provocations on both sides of the conflict.  Russian and Syrian jets have been locking their fire control radars onto Turkish fighter jets. The Turks for their part have been very aggressive in their air defense patrols and seemed to be spoiling for a fight.  They have also violated Syrian airspace on a number of occasions, which resulted in the shoot down of a Phantom in 2012.

More broadly speaking, Turkey has been deeply involved in the Syrian revolt/civil war from its inception.  They continue to arm and aid various guerrilla factions, the “secular” insurgency has always had a strong base in the north which receives Turkish supplies, and it has been revealed that Turkey is heavily involved in –  and greatly profiting from – the illicit sale of ISIS oil extracted from Iraqi and Syrian wells.  They have all but declared themselves active combatants.  It will be interesting – and possibly quite alarming – to see how this tete a tete develops.

There’s been a lot of coverage regarding this downing, in which at least one pilot was killed while parachuting to the ground, or shortly thereafter.  I found this post by Pertinacious Papist interesting, showing some of the effects collected from one of the dead Russians (others died in a combat search and rescue attempt):


I know that even today, in spite of increasing bias and even outright persecution of their beliefs (and concomitant indoctrination in all manner of progressive shibboleths), there remains a large number of solid Christian souls in the military.  But I also know it has been specific DoD policy at times, especially among aircrew, to keep personal identifying characteristics to an absolute minimum on combat missions. For instance, name tags, national insignia and unit patches are not worn by combat crews on many missions – you can find numerous pics to attest to this fact. The policy is not universal, you can find pics of those in Afghanistan specifically that do wear patches and name badges.

I wonder whether this prohibition applies to religious items, as well, like wearing a crucifix or scapular when flying missions in the Mideast?   USAF in particular has been hyper-anal about not “giving offense” to muslim host countries by banning numerous things permitted in the US – for one thing, alcohol on base, outward display of non-muslim religious symbols, etc.  Women are expected to wear the hijab when off base in many countries.

All this causes me to tentatively conclude that it is more probable in this age that a Russian fighter pilot would be wearing a scapular over Syria or the Mideast than an American one.  Sheesh.

At some point, the West is going to figure out they’re involved in a religious war.  The only question is whether we figure that out before it’s too late.



1. camper - December 3, 2015

My sympathies here are with Turkey, a NATO member. Yes, Turkey has some bad tendencies, but give me a break; the enemy in question here is Russia, a classic Eurasian bully. Besides, reports are widespread that Russia has been violating Turkish airspace. It’s exactly the kind of thing Russia would do. Turkey is the little guy here.

Observer - December 3, 2015

Turkey pretends to be a ‘secular state’, but a leopard cannot change its spots! Its geopolitical aims have not changed in centuries. Even European governments are reluctantly admitting that their ‘ally’ is indeed providing training and logistical support for ISIS.

2. Brian E. Breslin - December 3, 2015

Tantum, my brown scapular is so old and tied together now with shoelaces, but still serves me well, all the way from my long ago Navy days. And by the way, I never once ever received any grief from anybody in the Canoe Club for wearing it, especially when it was more evident in PT and sporting events. I always felt comfortable as a practicing Catholic in the Navy.

3. schmenz - December 3, 2015


All I would say in reply to you comment is, the internet is your friend.

To rely solely on the 24/7 non-stop anti-Russian propaganda being put out by the world’s mainstream media (which, fyi, is owned in its entirety by essentially six people) is never going to help anyone find out what is really going on there. I strongly recommend you visit reputable non-corporate controlled alternate sites to get a better idea of these events. I would begin with The Unz Review, Lew Rockwell, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, antiwar.com to name but a few.

This situation is very serious. And although Russia is slowly healing from a near-century under an anti-Christian despotism it still has a ways to go to be completely healed. But in this current situation, whether Syria or Ukraine, the villain of the piece is not Russia.

4. MFG - December 3, 2015

Camper, the Cold War ended and now the roles are becoming reversed. The west is promoting socialism and communism while Russia appears (a very loose term) trying to find its Christian roots. While Putin is secular and is using the Syria Iraq conflict for utilitarian means; his actions may be the early stages of Russia’s conversion to Catholicism as Our Lady of Fatima promised. Actions both inside Russia (banning soddomite propaganda, discouraging abortion) and outside (claiming to defend Christians, having Orthodox Church declare a crusade in Syria) are much better than what the west is trying. Granted it could be a false alarm or take decades to occur. But if it does happen it will unfold in the everyday course of history and these are the precursors—just like we have opposite precursors that things are getting worse in our country.

Sadly our government is no longer the good guy in geopolitical affairs. It takes some getting used to -less than 30 years after Reagan left office.

Maybe my ideas are wacky but we sure live in changing times.

5. Elizabeth - December 3, 2015

It pleases me to know that one of the pilots that was killed was wearing a scapular and carrying his crucifix. May he RIP.

6. stephen ryan - December 4, 2015

Interesting article .. Russia’s rise in faith is real “Look to Catholic prophecy to understand our world in crisis”

7. emmayche - December 5, 2015

As an Eastern Catholic myself, it seems to me to be highly unlikely that a Russian Orthodox Christian would be carrying a crucifix designed to the Roman model, or wearing a scapular (which is a particularly Roman practice), both of which would be frowned upon by the Russian Orthodox Church. But given that the Russian Orthodox Church is almost literally in bed with the Russian government (which has been its practice for centuries, no matter the government), it would not be surprising to see that this was simply planted “evidence” to gain sympathy in the mostly-Roman-influenced West.

8. Michaela - December 5, 2015

Begging your pardon, but as he was most likely Russian Orthodox, he was wearing a cross and a mini Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. God bless you!

Tantumblogo - December 7, 2015

Thanks for the insight. A bit of cultural appropriation on my part.

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