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'Homicidal Russian hand' behind Smolensk crash no longer implausible: opinion

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 16.05.2018 13:38
A "hidden, homicidal Russian hand" behind the 2010 Smolensk disaster no longer appears implausible, security expert John R. Schindler has said in an opinion piece for the Observer.com website.
The site of the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsThe site of the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In light of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, invasion of eastern Ukraine, and poisoning of one of its ex-spies in England, it is no longer fanciful to suggest that Russia was behind the deaths of the Polish president and 95 others on board the plane to Smolensk, Schindler said.

Schindler, a former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer, also said that American and German intelligence seem to have known that Russia was lying about the 2010 disaster.

A Russian report into the crash placed all the blame on the Poles.

An official report issued by the previous Polish government cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, as well as errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.

Schindler claimed that a Polish security official told him that Poland’s “previous government sought to keep peace with Putin by going along with the Russian version of the disaster.”

He cited the Polish security official as suggesting that NATO would not have gone to war with Russia for Poland over Smolensk.

On April 10, 2010, a Polish plane carrying then-President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 others, mainly political and military top brass, crashed while trying to land at the Smolensk air base in western Russia, killing all on board.

After coming to power in 2015 the conservative Law and Justice party, headed by the late president’s twin brother, challenged reports into the crash.

A new Polish 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.

Schindler said that “Poland deserves the truth about what really happened on April 10, 2010.”


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