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Putin takes charge of probe into Kaczynski crash

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Putin takes charge of probe into Kaczynski crash


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has visited the crash site where Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s plane plunged to the ground.

Putin was joined at the disaster zone near Smolensk in western Russia by his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk. Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw has also been at the scene.

Putin has promised to take personal responsibility for the investigation into the causes of the tragedy.

The black box flight recorder has already been recovered. A key question that needs answering is why the pilot attempted to land in thick fog in an aeroplane that was not equipped for such a manoeuvre.

Russian air traffic control has said the pilot ignored repeated instructions to divert to another airport. The plane is believed to have hit trees on the third attempt to land.

In similar poor weather conditions two years ago in Georgia, President Kaczynski himself instructed his pilot to land the plane, overruling danger warnings from Georgian air traffic control.

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