Final Word from Thursday, September 8, 2011

Czechs are mourning the loss of three of their star hockey players, after the crashyesterday of a Yak-Service airplane in Yaroslavl, Russia. According to Izvestia, theairline is owned 80% by Maksim Chukantsev, about whom so little is known thatwe couldn't find any reference to him in English (and only three in Czech). Onlyslightly more information is known about his airline, which has a notoriously badsafety record. However, a Russian-language search shows that Mr. Chukantsev isCEO of dozens of companies, which suggests that he is a front man for someone elseof greater significance - and who ultimately holds the responsibility. This crash is atragedy for Czech hockey, but it's also a vivid reminder of what anonymous ownership- and therefore anonymous accountability - can have in terms of real humancosts. If, God forbid, a Škoda tram or train crashed, whom would Czechs blame?

Glossary of difficult words

to mourn - to feel or show deep sorrow or regret for (someone or her or her death);

front man/frontman - a person who represents an illegal or disreputable organization to give it an air or legitimacy;

vivid - producing powerful feelings or strong, clear images in the mind;

accountability - responsibility, liability, answerability;

God forbid - used to express a fervent wish that something not happen.

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