Putin blamed for double explosion plane crash that killed Polish president

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has thrown the spotlight on Vladimir Putin’s long track record of brutal attacks against his opponents.

One incident that many people believe was based on orders from Mad Vlad was an air crash in 2010 that saw the Polish president and 95 other people killed.

Lech Kaczynski and everyone else on board were killed instantly when the plane came down near the Russian city of Smolensk on April 10.

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Many in Poland have long accused the dictator – who was prime minister at the time – of being responsible for the crash, and they claim it was brought down by two explosions.

And in 2017 – long before last year’s attack on Ukraine – Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz told the European Parliament in a speech with chilling foresight: “Putin is fully responsible for this tragedy. It was the first salvo in a war which today is going on in the east of Europe, and which is ever more dramatically nearing the EU and Nato borders.”

Russian and then Polish investigators originally found that the crash was due to pilot error as the plane tried to land in thick fog.

But since then, a number of experts have cast doubt on that version of events, including a British investigator who spoke exclusively to the Daily Star.

The Polish delegation was heading to a ceremony to mark the death of 22,000 officers and intellectuals killed by Soviet secret police in 1940 when the tragedy happened.

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Afterwards, Russia refused to return any wreckage or the full flight data recordings to Poland, and it later emerged that half of the 24 coffins sent back to Poland contained other people’s body parts.

Frank Taylor was part of a team of independent experts who worked with Poland’s governing party in the years after the crash, studying thousands of high-res pictures of the wreckage and using them to reconstruct the Soviet-made TU-154.

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The left-side cabin door was found “deeply embedded” in the ground with no surrounding structure such as the frame or fuselage, indicating it was blown out before the “aircraft as a whole hit the ground”, Frank told the Star.

The investigators were also certain a second explosion in the left wing caused the tip to detach and it was not caused by a collision with a birch tree, as had been suggested in the Polish-Russian report.

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It’s thought the left-wing explosion happened five or six seconds before the one which propelled the cabin door.

“The photographs I’ve seen of the pieces of wing and the slants, they are just not consistent in any way with that wing hitting a tree, which was the claim by the Russians and the Polish report that followed it,” said Frank.

“Those two reports did not offer any evidence to support their claim that the wing hit the tree.”

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He added: “As an engineer, as an experienced investigator, I only want to find the truth.

“We are totally independent of all this political trash and we just want to go through and find the truth.

“Certain things are pretty well established already … that it wasn’t quite as the Russian report said.

“I cannot explain the destruction of the wing and the way that the door was fired into the ground. I cannot explain those in any other way and I’d be very surprised if anybody else can come up with other solutions.

“At the moment, I’m convinced that there were at least those two explosions.”


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