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Russian official calls Polish minister’s statement on Kaczynski’s plane crash inadequate

March 14, 12:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Irina Yarovaya referred to the words of Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz as "psychological terrorism"
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Irina Yarovaya

Irina Yarovaya

© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Head of the Security and Anti-Corruption Committee at the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament Irina Yarovaya has said the words of Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, who said that the 2010 crash of Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s plane over Smolensk was a terror act are inadequate.

"Such irresponsible delusional statements are psychological terrorism," Yarovaya was quoted by her press office on Monday.

On Sunday, Macierewicz said that "after [the plane crash near] Smolensk, we can say that we were ... the first great victim of terrorism in the modern conflict, that's playing out right before our eyes."

"Whom does the Polish defense minister call terrorists - the pilots or the president of Poland that were making their decisions independently and acted tragically erroneously? However, one should be completely inadequate to assess this as terrorism," the Russian lawmaker said.

"I wonder how the defense minister can ensure safety of his citizens if he himself makes false statements, assuming the right to unleash an information war that destroys the foundations of trust and security", said the head of the Duma committee. "Hopefully, the Polish people can distinguish absurdity and will take Antoni Macierewicz’s statements as an unfortunate misunderstanding," she said.

The Polish presidential plane Tu-154 crashed near Smolensk, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow, on April 10, 2010. The plane crash killed all 96 people on board, including the president, his wife, the central bank chief and top military brass. Both the Polish Prosecutor's Office and the Russian side continue the investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy.

Previously, the Polish government commission on investigating air accidents that had worked under the supervision of Jerzy Miller, found that the accident was caused by the plane’s descending below the minimum altitude at an excessive speed in the weather conditions that allowed no visual contact with the ground, as well as the crew’s failure to timely execute a go-around maneuver.

The crew did not react to clear warnings from plane’s automatic alerts that landing in the present conditions was dangerous, the report says. It does acknowledge that the training of the pilots of the presidential air wing was poorly conducted and did not meet requirements. Moreover, the report goes on, the pilots performing flight to Smolensk were not fluent in Russian and therefore were not getting the sense of commands from ground control in full, says the commission's report, submitted 15 months after the tragedy. It also says that the pilot had ignored signals of the TAWS terrain awareness and warning system.

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