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Smolensk disaster case still unresolved four years on

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 10.04.2014 15:54
  • Smolensk case still unresolved after four years. John Beauchamp reports.
Four years after that fateful crash in 2010, investigations undertaken by both Poland and Russia have been inconclusive, and the real reason behind the tragedy still remains unanswered.

Poles remember the late presidential couple outside the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, 10.04.2014, the fourth anniversary of the Smolensk catastrophe in which President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others died. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

Four years ago, a Tupolev aircraft carrying President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 other high-ranking Polish officials, crashed on its descent to Smolensk Severny airport, John Beauchamp reports.

While reports have been published by both Poland and Russia, notably by MAK - the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee - prosecutors in both countries are still to finalise a verdict as to the reasons for the crash.

“Unfortunately we have witnessed a banal yet a deeply tragic catastophe. Four years have now passed, but prosecutors are still not able to come to any conclusions regarding where responsibility lies as to the cause of the crash,” said former PM Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

The lack of any concrete information has also led to a rise in the belief that foul play was responsible for the catastrophe, with as many as 23 percent of Poles stating that the crash was the result of an assassination on President Lech Kaczynski.

“One of the basic truths of social psychology is that the lack of complete information and complete truth encourages speculation,” says Grzegorz Lewicki, a sociologist and journalist at the Wprost weekly.

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