Jaroslaw is just not letting it go.
“It” is the 2010 crash of a Polish Air Force plane near Smolensk, Russia, which killed Lech Kaczynski, the twin brother of Polish Law and Justice party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 18 members of the Polish parliament, the military commanders of the Polish armed forces, the Polish central bank chief and a former Polish president.
An investigation conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization concluded that pilot error, primitive Russian navigational equipment and poor visibility were the causes of the crash. But Mr. Kaczynski is having none of it. He’s blaming Russia.
The passengers on the flight were en route to ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre during World War II, when the Soviet Union, with the approval of Joseph Stalin, murdered over 22,000 Polish military officers, officials and intellectuals and buried them in mass graves near Smolensk. Obviously the flight was loaded with geopolitical baggage to begin with.
Mr. Kaczynski sees a Russian conspiracy to kill his brother.
Upon obtaining power in 2015, the conservative Law and Justice party has moved to roll back leftist influence in the halls of power in Warsaw. Liberal U.S. billionaire George Soros, a funder of globalist causes across the region, has become persona non grata. The EU push to destroy Western civilization from within by importing millions of migrants into Europe has been stymied by Poland. The Law and Justice party has moved to remove leftist judges and replace them with those appointed by the parliament. In short, the ruling party is making Poland great again.
That brings us to the plane crash.
Poland has historically been at odds with Russia. During imperial times, border lands went back and forth from Polish to Russian control. There is a long history of animosity and distrust between Moscow and Warsaw. Decades behind the Iron Curtain obviously did nothing to ease Polish fears.
After reviving the investigation into the crash after coming to power, Mr. Kaczynski has reinvigorated the “Russia did it” narrative. Recently, the Polish government hired the British Ministry of Defense Forensic Explosives Laboratory to conduct tests for explosives on the wreckage. Poland stunned the world by revealing this week, “Much damage to the left wing of the TU 154M plane carried traces of an explosion.” No further information was given on how this conclusion was reached.
Russia has consistently called these conspiracy theories nonsense. However, the fact remains Russia has refused to allow the wreckage to leave the country. Russia has also been accused of altering the tapes from the flight recorders.
The Kremlin says it is not legally bound to return the wreckage to Poland. Ordinary Russian citizens say they do not need to listen to a little dog barking at their heels.
But perhaps the most interesting thing to glean from this controversy is the fact that Poland is lashing out at its eastern neighbor while at the same time defying the European Union on the issues such as border controls, immigration and the rule of law. Poland’s best friend right now is the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary, which is also defying the globalist agenda of Mr. Soros, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU bureaucrats in Brussels. The Czech Republic also is siding with Poland, a brother-in-arms against EU tyranny.
Eastern Europe is rising. As imperial Russia once again throws her weight around in the region, old grudges and vendettas are coming to the fore. As Britain exits the EU, Poland is picking up financial jobs due its highly educated, relatively low-cost labor force. The Eastern European economies are booming.
The world will hear more from this region in the future.
• L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and Wall Street debt trader, and has contributed to Fox Business, The Moscow Times, National Review, the New York Post and many other publications. He can be reached through his website, LToddWood.com.