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Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

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  • Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

    MOSCOW – A plane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and dozens of the country’s top political and military leaders crashed in a heavy fog in western Russia on Saturday morning, killing everyone aboard.

    Television showed chunks of flaming fuselage scattered in a bare forest near Smolensk, where the president was arriving for a ceremony commemorating the murder of more than 20,000 Polish officers by the Red Army as it invaded Poland. New York Times
    This will certainly not help the relations between Poland and Russia, in fact the conspiracy theories will be plentiful.

    Now the Poles have another reason never to forget the Katyn massacre

    The timing of the plane crash that has killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his entourage could not come at a worse time for Russo-Polish relations. The president and his official party were on their way to attend a memorial service for the Katyn massacre when their plane crashed as it made its final approach to Smolensk airport.
    That's right, the Polish president was on his was to a memorial ceremony to commemorate the Katyn massacre. For those who don't know what that is here's some background.

    Russia and Poland to commemorate WWII Katyn massacre

    Thousands of Polish troops were massacred by occupying Soviet forces during World War Two in Katyn. This year, for the first time, Polish and Russian authorities will commemorate the victims together.

    Seventy years ago, an estimated 22,000 Polish soldiers were executed by the Soviet Union's secret police, the NKVD, in the Katyn forest in Russia.

    On April 7, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, will mark the Katyn massacre officially for the first time.

    Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski has described the meeting as "another step towards Polish-Russian reconciliation."

    For years, the Soviets blamed German Nazis for the killings, and it was only in 1990 that then-Kremlin leader Mikhail Gorbachev admitted his country's responsibility.
    This memorial was supposed to be seen as Russia and Poland healing their past but this plane crash and death of the Polish president might just revive old hatred and bitterness that still exists.

    Right after the crash Polish TV issued this article. I translated it with Google so it might appear a bit garbled.

    On site was a horrible silence

    There was a great fire. Immediately came a fire, but it went to them moderately. But even it was not clear that anyone was killed. So at first I thought it was empty plane. There was a terrible silence and after a disaster - he added. - But this was not such a view as to the ordinary case of air. I witnessed the events in Kabaty, it looked different. You could see bodies - said Wisniewski.

    Wisniewski, who was the first representative of the media took pictures only for a moment. Then he was led out by the emergency services. - Tried to flee from officers, but as I fell into the mud, then I could not. They caught me and told me to give the cassette - said Wisniewski.
    So, some Russian authorities took a video from a Polish reporter. Oh dear, I'm sure this will just add to Polish distrust of Russia.

    There has been a lot of stories circulating in the past few years about Russian natural gas and the stranglehold it has on Europe, especially some Eastern European countries.

    European gas supplies disrupted

    Russia and Ukraine Settle Natural Gas Dispute

    But, just recently Poland has discovered Shale gas reserves and given contracts to British and American companies to drill. This in effect would have Poland as energy independent and also would cost the Russian gas company giant Gazprom a good bit of revenue and the Russian government some leverage that it now enjoys over Poland.

    Dash for Poland’s gas could end Russian stranglehold

    American technology to produce shale gas is unleashing a scramble for drilling rights in Poland, where experts believe vast reserves of unconventional gas exist that could help to weaken Russia’s grip on Europe’s energy supplies.

    ConocoPhillips is poised to launch Poland’s first shale gas drilling programme next month near Gdansk on the Baltic coast.

    Two other American oil groups — Exxon-Mobil and Marathon — and Talisman Energy, of Canada, are set to follow.

    The technology has transformed America’s energy industry and driven gas prices to their lowest level in years.

    Wood Mackenzie, the oil and gas research group, estimates that there could be as much as 48 trillion cubic feet (1,36 trillion cubic metres) of unconventional gas stretching across northern and central Poland. The gas, which does not lie in conventional reservoirs but inside tight rock formations, has become accessible only recently through the use of new hydraulic fracturing technology developed in the United States.

    If confirmed, Wood Mackenzie’s estimate would boost the European Union’s proven reserves of natural gas, which stand at 101 trillion cubic feet, by 47 per cent and be enough to make Poland, which imports 72 per cent of its gas, self-sufficient for the foreseeable future.
    Should Gazprom fear shale gas revolution?

    European countries heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies are cheered by signs of a balance shift in the continent's energy market.

    Dozens of companies, including world majors, have begun exploring or even drilling in search of shale gas, amid talk of huge reserves in the US, Poland and many other countries.

    Russian gas giant Gazprom's deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev has reacted by branding shale gas projects as "dangerous", provoking suspicions that Russia could be unnerved by the latest developments in the world gas market.

    In 2009, Russia was beaten by the US to the title of the world's leader in gas production, but it still satisfies more than a quarter of Europe's gas needs.

    For his part, the head of Russia's union of oil and gas producers, Gennady Shmal, has told journalists: "Statements that there will be a revolution in the gas industry and that the United States and Europe will manage without our gas are a propagandistic stunt."

    He added, however, that "it is necessary to monitor the situation in this sector", according to Itar-Tass news agency.
    All this just adds to the mystery and conspiracy theories, as this article points out.

    Polish president killed in plane crash: the conspiracy theorists will go crazy

    I'm not sure why I know all this, maybe I'm reading just a bit too much news everyday.

    Hopefully the Polish people can move on from this terrible tragedy, I'm sure there are a lot of people grieving in that part of the world today.
    Last edited by mp40x; 04-10-2010, 10:23 AM.
    |TG-X| mp40x

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  • #2
    Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

    This is beyond horrible for Poland. They literally lost most of their top heads of state, military and political. And considering I am 1/8 Polish through my father's side, my prayers are for the families of the victims.


    • #3
      Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

      Poland has been through worse. This is horrible, but they'll pull through this too...
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      • #4
        Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

        Wow. This is crazy news! Yes, Poland's been through worse, but this is still quite tragic. Could you imagine if the same happened to our Pres? Not only would conspiracy theories be all over the place, but the country would definitely be upside down for a while. Really really sad.
        "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire


        • #5
          Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

          Originally posted by FL1Pmode View Post
          This is beyond horrible for Poland. They literally lost most of their top heads of state, military and political. And considering I am 1/8 Polish through my father's side, my prayers are for the families of the victims.
          Man, no kidding. I was just reading this.

          For Poland, plane crash in Russia rips open old wounds

          The toll cut a swath through Poland's elite. The 97 dead also included the army chief of staff, the head of the National Security Office, the national bank president, the deputy foreign minister, the deputy parliament speaker, the civil rights commissioner and other members of parliament.

          But also aboard the plane were war veterans and surviving family members of Poles killed by the Soviets. There was 90-year-old Ryszard Kaczorowski, Poland's last "president-in-exile" during the Soviet years. And Anna Walentynowicz, the shipyard worker whose dismissal in 1980 sparked the Solidarity union protests that eventually led to the collapse of Polish communism.
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          • #6
            Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

            This is very sad, and at the same time strange. I really wonder why they were not cleared to land? My heart goes out to the people of Poland.
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            • #7
              Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

              I'm not into conspiracy theories, but there's some wierd #$%@ going on with this incident.
              I didn't like the fact russia so immediatly took over the crash site investigation when i first heard it.
              Then word that the pilots spoke fluent russian, and were familiar with the airport.

              Now a couple vids leak and it just doesn't feel or sound right (I know, unscientific and unsubstantiated)
              I hope in the end, the truth is found.






              • #8
                Re: Polish President Dies in Plane Crash

                The video is disturbing and the fact that the man was stabbed THREE times, in the hospital, is very odd.
                But if it was a conspiracy then the heavy fog was just a lucky break ?
                I'm a child of the Cold War so I instinctively distrust Russians but I don't see how they could have know the airfield would be fogged in.
                This part seems like total Tom Clancy fantasy to me.
                The absence of body parts strongly suggests that the high level military and civilian officials were executed elsewhere, and that the plane crash was staged in Russia to explain their disappearance and to restrict an investigation.
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