Investigation into Lech Kaczynski's death bogged down in politics

Investigation into Lech Kaczynski's death bogged down in politics

Six and a half years ago, as a result of an incident with the Polish Tu-154 presidential plane near Smolensk, 96 passengers and crew members died, including President Lech Kaczynski himself. The causes of the tragedy are still being investigated by both Warsaw and Moscow. Poland's political elite often accuses Russia. In particular, we are talking about Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, who recently made a series of Russophobic statements, saying that the Russian side is allegedly involved in the organization of this incident.

"We can only conclude that such irresponsible and provocative remarks, on the one hand, reflect the political situation and complex reality in Poland and, on the other hand, lead to the further erosion of relations between our countries. Notably, the other day, Vaclav Berchinsky, head of the Sejm Subcommittee for Re-Investigating the Crash of Poland’s Air Force One outside Smolensk – which was created for unknown reasons – told the media that there was new evidence related to the crash, referring to a previously unknown recording of an exchange between the air traffic controllers at the Smolensk-Severny airfield," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Antoni Macierewicz

According to her, all the records of the exchanges between the air traffic controllers at the control centre, as well as their exchanges with the pilots, were published back in January 2011, and an official video reconstruction of the crash, which included recordings of these exchanges, was posted online. 

"All these recordings were thoroughly studied by an international commission, which was comprised mostly of Poles. The recordings were deciphered and studied jointly. Furthermore, all these materials were then officially handed over to Poland, which published them. If Poland claims that it now has some additional materials on this crash, we urge it to immediately present them to the international community and, of course, to us, in order to avoid speculation and further misunderstanding. This is important," Zakharova noted.

Witold Waszczykowski

"As we have repeatedly stated, the causes of the crash outside Smolensk have been identified a long time ago. The Polish experts took part in all the investigations conducted by the IAC technical commission. Poland received all the necessary materials in accordance with Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of December 7, 1944. It is regrettable and perplexing that the resumed investigation involves inserting into the public space the thesis that the work that was already done by experts from Russia and Poland had allegedly facilitated the concealment of evidence and important information," she stressed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the masterminds behind this political, informational, and anti-Russian campaign are beyond the law and human morality.

Recently, the new Polish commission investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident near Smolensk, presented the first results of its work, saying that the plane began to fall in the air 900 meters from the crash site, and that the last seconds of the recordings disappeared from the registrar – in other words, the plane's generator, engine and height sensors were damaged. Now Poland plans to create an aerodynamic model of Kaczynski's plane in order to find out what really happened during the last phase of the flight.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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