How Putin and Donald Tusk covered up what caused the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010.
On April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential plane which carried the Polish president, his wife and 94 other key figures in the Polish government and army crashed in Smolensk, Russia, killing everyone onboard. It's important to note that two years before the crash in 2008, Putin threatened to blow out of the skies the Polish president and his plane because he flew to Tbilisi to show solidarity with Georgia while it was being invaded by the Russian army.
To this day the most important original evidence pertaining to the 2010 Smolensk crash, including the plane main wreckage and the black box, are still in the hands of the Russian authorities, who refuse to return them to Poland.
On the day of the crash, the Polish government decided to leave the investigation solely in Russian hands, without securing the rights to appeal to international organizations, aviation organizations, and relinquishing the right of an inspection, or any efficient supervision over examination procedures.
The investigation to the crash was carried out by mainly by Russian investigators, while the Polish investigators who compiled the official report about the crash were supervised by Russian FSB agents while they were in Russia. The official report concluded that what caused the plane crash was a Pilot error who flew too low and hit a birch tree, searing the wing off. The official report was essentially compiled by the FSB (Russia's modern day equivalent of the KGB) approved by Vladimir Putin, and rubber stamped by the then Polish prime minister, and former president of the EU, Donald Tusk.
The 96 victims of the plane crash with the Polish president and his wife in the center.
A separate independent investigation which was carried out by a Polish Parliamentary Commission relying on world renowned international aviation experts and professors of physics, astronautics and engineering from the USA, Poland, Russia and other countries. The independent committee pointed out many inconsistencies, mistakes and outright lies that the official report contained. It concluded that the official report finding were deeply flawed and its conclusion was an unsubstantiated nonsense. The independent investigation suggested that the plane crashed not because of a pilot error, but because it exploded while still in the air, but without examing the actual wreckage of the plane and the back box, which remain in Russia, it was impossible to really know what happened. The then Polish government, headed by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, later issued an official rebuke to the independent committee conclusions, stating that no explosives were found on the plane.
The plane wreckage which is kept in Russia. Many prominent people in Poland who criticised the official report and accused openly the Polish premier, Donald Tusk, of high treason, the most prominent being Brigadier General Sławomir Petelicki (the former head of the Polish special forces) were found dead either in "mysterious circumstances" or after having "commited suicide" despite being in perfect physical and mental health. In Poland independent journalists were fired from their jobs when they challenged the official report about the Smolensk crash, and wrote it was due to an explosion and not a pilot error. Tomasz Sakiewicz and Anita Gargas, among others, lost their jobs in the public media. Cezary Gmyz was dismissed from the editorial staff of "Rzeczpospolita" all because they protested the official Report that was compiled by Putin and the FSB and rubber stamped by Tusk and his government.
Tusk greets Putin shortly after the crash. A new commission investigating the crash was set up after the Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power in late 2015. The new commission reopened the official investigation into the cause of the 2010 air crash in Smolensk, in a final attempt to once and for all determine what was the true cause for the 2010 Smolensk plane crash. Their findings point out that the cause for the crash resulted in a explosion that happened onboard the plane while it was traveling over Russia, and that the Russian flight controlers gave wrong landing instructions to the Polish plane, which was landing in heavy fog, and caused it to crash into the runway. In 2019 British specialists from the UK Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL) found traces of TNT and other explosive materials on samples from the crash site of the Polish presidential plane in Smoleńsk, western Russia. The specialists from the laboratory examined more than 200 samples from the crash site, handed over by Polish prosecutors in 2017 and traces of explosives “including TNT” were found “on the majority” of the samples.
Russia and Putin have repeatedly denied any accusations from Poland that they had anything to do with the 2010 Polish plane crash, but this is not the first time that Russia denied having anything to do with a plane crash. In 2016 a Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consists of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine concluded that Russian backed Ukrainian rebels operating from Russian controlled territory in Eastern Ukraine, were responsible for the 2014 plane crash of Flight MH17 which killed 298 people. Russia has of course denied that it had anything to do with the MH17 crash, and blames Ukraine for purposely shooting down the plane in order to make Russia look bad. On March 15, 2022, Dmitry Rogozin, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and one of the closest people to Putin, tweeted in Polish to Jaroslaw Kaczynski (Poland's deputy PM and the brother of Lech Kaczynski) “Come to Smolensk, we'll talk.” This came in response to Jaroslaw Kaczynski's trip to besieged Kyiv, which was all but surrounded by the Russian army at the time, to meet with Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky. This tweet has since been deleted, but this can be viewed as a specific death threat, alluding to the Smolensk plane crash, and is viewed by many people in Poland as an admission of guilt of Russian involvement in the 2010 Smolensk crash.
Whatever was the real cause of the Polish 2010 plane crash, one thing is undeniable, that the basic simple fact that Putin and Russia refuse to return the plane wreckage and the black box to Poland, to be examined indepently by Polish and international experts, points to "foul play" if not worse. The real question is what are Putin and Russia hiding by refusing to hand back the plane wreckage and black box and why did then Polish PM and today's EU president Donald Tusk colluded with Putin and helped him cover up what really caused the plane crash? (The article was updated on April 10 2022.)