Construction site at scene of Polish presidential plane crash: report
PR dla Zagranicy
A construction site has sprung up at the scene of the fatal 2010 crash of the Polish presidential plane in western Russia, private broadcaster Polsat has reported.
Photo: The crashed Polish presidential plane near Smolensk, western Russia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Bartosz Staszewski, PRS Team.net. (CC BY-SA 2.5)
But a Polsat reporter said that no construction was underway at the site in Smolensk, adding that apparent work to build a gas pipeline there was a response to the removal of Soviet monuments in Poland.
“At the site of the Smolensk catastrophe, they’re ‘building’ a gas pipeline. A response to the removal of Soviet monuments,” Tomasz Kułakowski, a correspondent for Polsat News in Russia who was at the scene, wrote on Twitter.
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Monday that the disaster site was “a tragic symbol” for Poles.
Waszczykowski added he hoped that "these works are being carried out with the knowledge and consent of our prosecutors, who are still carrying out an investigation into the causes of the disaster."
He said: "If these works radically interfered with the site of the disaster, that could contribute to the investigation continuing to be impeded.”
On April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential plane crashed at a military airport in Smolensk, killing all 96 on board, including then-President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and scores of top officials.
A new commission to reinvestigate the crash in April said that the plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they neared the runway.
The new commission was set up by Poland’s conservative governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in 2015.
The party is headed by Jarosław Kaczyński, twin brother of Poland’s late President Lech Kaczyński.
PiS has long challenged an official report into the crash issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.
A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.
Recent Polish "de-communisation" regulations that banned monuments glorifying totalitarian regimes sparked criticism in Russia.