Tragedy in Smolensk, not conspiracy

 

I woke up this morning, went to BBC, and saw this breaking news: Polish President dies in plane crash. Lech Kaczynski was on his way to Katyn to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre that was committed there by Soviet forces against the Polish inteligentsia, police and military. Speculations have already arised, with some people arguing that this crash is not an accident, and that the Russians did it on purpose because there was an 88-strong Polish delegation. This conspiracy theory came as a result of the strained relations between Poland and Russia which, according to observers, have been improving recently but, some say, Russia might have been behind the tragedy in order to liquidate a great deal of the Polish political elite and thus commence reestablishment of its sphere of influence in Poland.Their doubts are supplemented by the fact that the plane’s pilots were trying to land on the airport in Smolensk four times (!!!) but were denied their requests to do so due to inclement weather, and were advised to land in Minsk instead, the capital city of Belarus.  To them, it makes little sense to deny a landing four consecutive times without any conspiracy behind it.

What made the Polish pilots and/or the Polish delegation unwilling to land in Minsk? According to GlobeFeed.com, a website that calculates distances between cities (surprisingly the directions feature on Google Maps wasn’t of much help), the distance between Minsk and Smolensk is roughly 280 kilometers (174 miles) straight line or hypothetically speaking a little more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) by car or by bus. This is a huge distance, especially for such a big delegation, and pilots’ self-confidence might have played a role in their decision to try to land in Smolensk too. Given these circumstances, the Poles cannot be blamed for continuing to try to land on Smolensk-North Airport.

Neither are the Russians or the plane (ill-reputed Tupolev-154) likely to be blamed for anything. It is just the bad weather conditions that caused this tragedy. Yes, Lech Kaczynski and some ministers have generally spoken not in a way that is likable to Moscow on certain issues such as energy security, including their tasks to establish partnerships with Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic countries but these rhetorics and actions are not going to change after such a tragedy. And even if we assume for the sake of argument that Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev are the new Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, they are aware that the deaths are not going to change Poland’s political course because the people who will replace them are not likely to be more pro-Russian. On the contrary, Russian leaders are trying to improve their relations with the rest of the world, including Poland, as acknowledged by the media. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev even signed START-2, which will decrease their nuclear weapons arsenal, with U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Poles can be blamed for one thing – having their entire delegation in one plane. According to the business continuity planning practice, which is usually applied in politics too, the Poles, especially with such a big delegation, should have flown by at least two or three planes. By doing so, at least the other planes would have landed somewhere else (Minsk, for example) safe and sound. The expenses wouldn’t be substantial for a country’s budget, even during this economic and financial instability, not to mention that they would be a lot lower than what now the Polish state will have to pay for burying the victims, appointing new people at their positions, and calling for – and organizing – new Presidential elections. Hopefully, this serves as a lesson not only to the Poles, but also to the world.

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2 Comments

Filed under Politics

2 responses to “Tragedy in Smolensk, not conspiracy

  1. Grant

    No offense. Youre an american that doesnt understand the politics between the two countries on an internal and intimate level, also as most nations not just Americans, you do not understand the full capacity for murder, especially for political reason that the russian government has. Watch the video, slow mo, translated, and in high quality. fyi the russian that shot the video is now dead, stabbed/murdered with is lifesupport turned off “accidentally”. why the hell are there gunshots at an emergency plane crash sight of a plane carrying half of the high officials of a Polish Government administration that was unusually anti soviet and did not appease to Putin politically and most importantly economically. Current administration is the opposite. Insider info, 2 weeks before the polish president met with the presidents of Georgia and other neighboring countries to diver to very valuable oil pipeline “russias economic lifeline” from russia. Do full research and learn your history. They were headed to Katyn to commemorate where the russians executed 30 thousand of Polands top military officers. Which by the way the russians to this day still do not officially take responsibility for. and by the way I’m American as well

  2. The politics between the two countries is similar to the politics between Russia and every country that it neighbors with in Europe (especially Ukraine) plus each of the Soviet Union’s former satellites or former republics. In other words, these countries are trying to stay away from Russia, while Russia is trying to retain its sphere of influence there because they are the very few likely pro-Russian countries, so to speak.

    You bring interesting points but you also have to acknowledge the fact that I wrote this article before these events. And the Russian man’s life support system wasn’t turned off “accidentally” but was described by the Russian government as a “coincidence,” according to reports.

    I am not saying that your points don’t have merits. They definitely do. Especially the one about the murder. However, you should also take into consideration my points, namely that the Russian government is not very interested in further isolating itself by behaving like that. There are conspiracies and conspiracies. This is way off the borderline. What the Russian government was allegedly trying to attain with such a behavior is more attainable in the case of a Ukrainian delegation visiting Russia. Best case scenario is – the Russian government makes other countries reconsider their relationships with current and former Russian satellites for an unspecified period of time.

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