Poland MP Blames Russia for Smolensk Aircrash, President's Death
Poland's Member of the Parliament, Artur Gorski, is blaming the Russians for the tragic plane crash that killed President, Lech Kaczynski, the UK Independent and Daily Telegraph write.
Gorski, an MP from Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party, says the Russians did not want the plane to land because they didn’t want the President to attend the ceremony of the World War II memorial over Moscow's decades of lies about Katyn.
Gorski is, however, only blaming Russia for “indirectly” causing the crash – ie, attempting to force the Poles to miss the ceremony because of bad weather over feares the Saturday event would overshadow the one on April 7, attended by the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
The Polish MP further says that the Kremlin was uneasy that Kaczynski, known as a strong critic of Russia, would use the occasion to once again attack Moscow for not offering an official excuse for the Katyn massacre, but the plan, inadvertently, ended in tragedy.
The Russian investigators say the crash was caused by a mistake of the crew, which disregarded warnings of bad weather, including a dense fog, and attempts of the dispatch tower to divert the plane to another airport.
Black box recordings confirmed that Arkadiusz Protasiuk, an experienced air force pilot, ignored the warnings.
Meanwhile, there have been reports the deceased Polish President had the habit of putting pressure on the pilot to land despite weather warnings and that Saturday he might have urged the crew to continue trying to land the plane at Smolensk because he did not want to miss the ceremony in Katyn.
In August 2008, Kaczynski "shouted furiously" at a pilot who disobeyed his order to land his plane in war-torn Georgia for safety reasons. He later tried to have Captain Grzegorz Pietuczak removed from his post for insubordination, but PM Tusk intervened. Capt Pietuczak was later awarded the Air Force silver medal for carrying out his duties conscientiously after refusing to land.
Kaczynski, his wife Maria and 94 others, including many top defense officials and public figures, died Saturday when their TU-154 government aircraft crashed en route to a war memorial service in Russia to commemorate the Polish victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre.
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