Investigation of Smolensk crash: Will Russia's "version of truth" win?

Bohddan Yaremenko
21:45, 12 April 2019
World
1140 1
Opinion

The findings of the UK Forensic Explosives Laboratory confirmed those of the Polish Sub-Commission on the Investigation of the Smolensk  Plane Crash, where on April 10, 2010, President of Poland Lech Kaczynski and about a hundred high-ranking Polish officials died. Head of the Sub-Commission, Antoni Macierewicz, citing the study's findings, says the cause of the crash was a series of explosions as traces of TNT were discovered.

After the new circumstances of the Smolensk plane crash were studied, certain consequences could be expected, first of all, in the political sphere

After the new circumstances of the Smolensk plane crash were studied, certain consequences could be expected, first of all, in the political sphere. Polish authorities today have rather tense relations with the Russian Federation anyway- there is no mutual understanding between the parties. And now, most likely, these relations will become even more acute and worsen further.

For Ukraine, this is probably not a bad thing. Because such circumstances give more grounds (among the already existing ones) for more mutual understanding, cooperation, and mutual assistance in Ukrainian-Polish relations.

Much will depend on Poland, precisely, whether Warsaw seeks to punish the perpetrators, in particular, if it is proved, to bring Russia to justice. That's because Polish foreign policy is quite pragmatic. Poles are able to assess things clearly. But how much will Poland really need this? Will they be able to achieve anything in litigation against Russia? And if they do achieve something, can this ever be realized? For now, these are all questions with no answers.

We can only observe the further developments and decisions of the Poles. Because now it is still not clear whether the Poles want to go to courts. After all, the conclusions of laboratories in such a case are not enough. More information is needed about the cause of those explosions, the explosives, and how they got there in the first place...

Russia keeps rejecting the version of the blasts and insists that the crash was a result of the crew's error

Of course, it is suspicious that the Russians failed to notice all these facts and circumstances during their own investigation. But, given that this plane was flying from Warsaw, much more information, evidence and facts are needed to put the blame on Russia.

Russia keeps rejecting the version of the blasts and insists that the crash was a result of the crew's error as the pilots moved on with approaching the landing site despite low visibility conditions and failed to react to the early warning system. In particular, following the statement by Macierewicz, official representative of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Svetlana Petrenko, called it "a poor attempt to question the obvious."

If Russia is really responsible for these explosions, it's clear that Moscow will be lying. If not, they will still be lying because, for some reason, they failed to notice the traces of explosions during their investigation or did not want to talk about them earlier.

So now Russia has found itself in the already traditional situation: they lose either way, whatever they say. Therefore, Russians, as a rule, go for the most primitive and easiest option - to deny and reject everything, realizing that no one can put pressure on them.

Such behavior is quite expected from Russia. This is a traditional style on the part of Moscow to reject anything that does not suit the Russian version of truth.

In any case, it is too early to say that Russia is responsible for something in this case. It's just that questions are mounting, and it's Russia which is to be asked.

But if we talk about the theoretical scheme of bringing Russia to responsibility for its actions, Ukraine already knows that this is very hypothetical...

Bohdan Yaremenko is a Ukrainian diplomat, head of the "Maidan of Foreign Affairs" Foundation

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