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Putin to Poland: Grow up and stop blaming us for air crash

Staff Writer |
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was tired of hearing allegations from Warsaw that a 2010 plane crash that killed then Polish President Lech Kaczynski was the result of a Russian conspiracy.

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Responding to a question from a Polish reporter at an annual news conference, Putin said it was time for Poland to move beyond the plane crash, turn a new page, and “grow up.”

A Polish Air Force Tu-154 plane crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk on April 10, 2010, killing all 96 people on board, including President Kaczynski, whose twin brother Jaroslaw is now the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, in power since 2015.

A previous Polish government concluded that pilot error was to blame for the crash, but Law and Justice ordered a new investigation which concluded this year that the plane was brought down by explosions on board.

The crash remains deeply divisive in Poland, where many politicians emerged from an anti-Communist tradition that long saw Moscow as an enemy. Poland’s defense minister denounced Putin’s comments.

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