The reason I was reading the above 2010 blog post was its reference to the then "recent ‘accident’ at Smolensk". I can't begin to tell you how fascinating the story of Smolensk is. And, it would appear, turns out to still be current.
So I put this picture up.
Firstly, I don't know much about other European countries' politics other than Greece, but I did hear, probably around 2015, about most of the Polish government previously dying as a result of an accident, and Donald Tusk inheriting the Polish Premiership on the back of it. Something like that from my recollection. After posting that picture it was brought to mind and I thought I'd actually look it up to see how true my understanding of the events were. It turns out, I was totally wrong, but the "truth" is actually 911 sized more fascinating, and having checked the old forum, I bet nobody here knows about it.
The barrier, of course, is language. I wouldn't know what I now know if it wasn't for Google Translate, but I have found an English language site after spending the first few days mostly reading the Polish reports. I'm not going to be able to do it justice, and like the Baha'i thread, I'm still in two minds what I believe, but I'm currently veering towards fake. But my sense is, the events in Smolensk are absolutely going to play into the future planned mayhem. So if you like disputed plane crashes, here's a bit of an introduction.
Smolensk air disaster
On 10 April 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft operating Polish Air Force Flight 101 crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk, killing all 96 people on board. Among the victims were the president of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, and his wife, Maria, the former president of Poland in exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish Government officials, 18 members of the Polish Parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. The group was arriving from Warsaw to attend an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the massacre, which took place not far from Smolensk.
The pilots were attempting to land at Smolensk North Airport — a former military airbase — in thick fog, with visibility reduced to about 500 metres (1,600 ft). The aircraft descended far below the normal approach path until it struck trees, rolled, inverted and crashed into the ground, coming to rest in a wooded area a short distance from the runway.
Both the Russian and Polish official investigations found no technical faults with the aircraft, and concluded that the crew failed to conduct the approach in a safe manner in the given weather conditions. The Polish authorities found serious deficiencies in the organization and training of the Air Force unit involved, which was subsequently disbanded. Several high-ranking members of the Polish military resigned following pressure from politicians and the media.
Various conspiracy theories have been circulated alleging that the plane had been deliberately brought down by the Russians in an act of political assassination, with these theories also typically alleging that the 2011 investigations constituted a cover-up and that the Polish government of the time — primarily controlled by the Civic Platform party as opposed to Lech Kaczyński's Law and Justice party — was complicit in or aware of the plot or at least aided in the efforts to cover it up. While neither of the 2011 investigations reported any evidence supporting these claims, with the Polish investigation also examining whether Russian air control failures were a contributory factor in the crash, the conspiracy theories are regularly promoted by the Law and Justice party and its supporters in general and by party leader Jarosław Kaczyński, twin brother of Lech Kaczyński, and deputy party leader Antoni Macierewicz in particular, and were given an official veneer following the 2022 conclusion of a further investigation by the Polish government, which by then was being led by the Law and Justice party. The new report did not produce any evidence that could conclusively challenge the 2011 reports, and was later indicated to have been the subject of tampered evidence.
A little background, though simplified. Poland's governing structure at the time of the Smolensk plane crash in 2010 had Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Lech Kaczyński. Both these positions are elected, Donald Tusk serving two terms as Prime Minister, from 2007–2014, his 'Civic Platform party' is considered to be Liberal, where upon he resigned in 2014 to take up the presidency of the European Council. Meanwhile Lech Kaczyński was leader of the 'Law and Justice party', roughly conservative, and he was President from 2005 until his death in 2010. He died in April and the elections were due to run in August, and (as a side) I read some talk he was expected to be defeated.
Lech Kaczyński's identical twin brother Jarosław Kaczyński became leader of the Law and Justice party on Lech's death, and is one of the main proponents to the theory that Putin and Tusk conspired to have his brother and the other 95 dignitaries assassinated.