The Russian government says that the investigation into the
accident last April which killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski,
his wife, and 94 others is complete. They lay the blame for the
accident on the pilot, who did not divert to an airport with better
The Voice of Russia reports that the state MAK commission
inquiry is completed, and that the the cause of the accident was
the decision on the part of the flight crew to attempt a landing at
Smolensk despite warnings from air traffic controllers about poor
visibility. They also cite the presence in the cockpit of Polish
Air Force Commander-in-Chief Andrzej Blasik, who was among those
fatally injured in the accident. The Russian investigators found
alcohol in his blood considered to be just above the limits for
drinking and driving in Europe, and said his presence on the flight
deck pressured the pilots to attempt the landing.
The Polish government has rejected the findings of the Russians.
The BBC reported recently that the Polish government holds that, if
the weather was that bad, the Russian air traffic controllers
should have closed the airport, which would have forced a diversion
to the alternate. Polish authorities have said that the Russian
report is "unacceptable." A former Polish prime minister said that
the Russians placed all the blame on the Polish crew "without any
proof," and another member of the Polish Parliament said that the
Russian air traffic controllers acted "unprofessionally."