I really like the fact that spies are neither amazingly competent in foreseeing what's going to happen (like James Bond) nor utterly ruthless in their devotion to the cause (like Jack Bauer) but are still portrayed as dedicated what they believe in. It was interesting to see how the Soviets might have viewed the attempted assassination of Reagan (I remember it happening - I was 9/10 at the time - although not as significant an occurrence in my lifetime as the Brighton bomb (1986, I think) that came close to killing the UK Cabinet). It seems odd (to me) that the USSR would be more worried about Reagan being shot than Nixon being deposed (in 2 years the USA had lost its President and Vice President) which would probably look a lot more like a coup to them.
I think the idea behind Operation Christopher was to decapitate the US Leadership in the event of a coup leading to war. Also, given that the survival rate of assassins is pretty poor, it shows how they are prepared not just to kill but also to die for the cause.
I guess Elizabeth & Philip's children have the same grasp of geography as their contemporary classmates, given they think Poland is in Russia (I presume Elizabeth could have corrected him and I was wondering why she didn't) - had he said Kiev was in Russia (it's in Ukraine, but would be part of the Soviet Union at the time) it might have been a more understandable mistake.
To use another British reference, it reminded me of the news in the UK recently that caused me to comment "In other news, Margaret Thatcher is still dead."
I thought it was pretty reasonable - even if it wasn't true, all he was really saying was "Don't panic, the President is doing fine, the attacker was a lone nut". He didn't reveal that they were looking into any KGB connections that Hinkley might have had.
Responding to the bolded point (bolded because it's harder to edit quotes to isolate specific comments, between using the Mobile version--less chance of malware contamination with its setup--& the changes in the new forum, in general).
Anyway... With all due respect to your point, I respectfully disagree.
I disagree for these reasons, most/all of which I think are somewhere upthread, in a comment I posted after the US airing of the ep:
1. Most people, especially in the US media/the White House Press Corps, continued to refer to then Secretary of State Alexander Haig as "General Haig", using his Army/military rank, rather than as "Secretary Haig"/"Mr. (or "Madam", for females) Secretary", the correct forms of address for someone with US Cabinet Secretary status as he had at that time. (To be fair, I'm pretty sure this also happened when General Colin Powell, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as Secretary of State during the 1st term of current US President Barack Obama... But it never became an issue as there were no assassination attempts against President Obama during that period, Communism no longer rules in Russia &, it could at least be argued, Colin Powell is more calm & sensible in a crisis than the late Alexander Haig was & the same misunderstandings involving Haig likely would not have occurred with Colin Powell if there had been an assassination attempt on President Obama when he was Secretary of State)
2. Also there was the whole "I am in control" declaration, in conjunction with Secretary Haig's bungling of the US Presidential Line of Succession in the same set of remarks, made from--of all places--the White House (seen as the US Government's "seat of power" by many outside the US). He was only "in control" because then Vice President Bush was in Air Force Two, returning to Washington from a trip of some sort at the time, & he was the highest-ranking Cabinet member/government official around at the time of the incident.
3. The majority of governmental coups involving changes in power, historically involve(d) high-level officers in that country's military, usually (you guessed it) Generals. I think this includes in Mother Russia herself (or at some point her rulers were referred to as--or at least had the military title of--General). Plus a number of coups, if not many/all, have resulted in bloodshed. President Reagan was shot, as were others including his then Press Secretary, James Brady, & members of the Secret Service & others in law enforcement.
If you put those 3 things together, considering the Soviet government mindset at the time, I could completely see where our anti-heroes would extrapolate that there could be a coup in the US government following the Reagan shooting as opposed to after the resignations, in turn, of Vice-President Agnew & President Nixon.
Edited by BW Manilowe, Jun 23, 2013 @ 2:47 PM.