Violation by the Russian Federation of Rules and Procedures of the Chicago Convention, its Annexes and ICAO Regulations
The information eventually reached the unit, but according to witness testimony, the unit initially headed in the opposite direction and had to do a U-turn, and they arrived at the scene 14 minutes after the accident took place. The CATC also called units stationed further away in the town.
They arrived at the scene 44 minutes later. The Russians have not supplied any details of the rescue and medical operations or actions taken to extinguish fires at the accident scene.
In the IAC Final Report there is no information about the Medical Rescue Team present on the runway. It appears there was no such team at all. The Polish side points out that the first medical rescue unit arrived at the scene at 6.58 UTC, that is 17 minutes after the crash. Additional seven medical units appeared 46/43 minutes after the crash, despite the fact that the airport is situated within the city boundaries.18
In the opinion of the Polish side, search and rescue operations were grossly deficient. Victims were not provided with first aid on a timely basis. Initial reports from the crash scene indicated that 6 people on the crash scene showed signs of life. However no first aid was forthcoming in the first hour after the crash. As a result, no one survived the crash. 19 Bodies were not handled with dignity either at the crash scene or subsequently during the medical examination in Moscow. The bodies arrived in Poland for burial in locked coffins and the families were denied the right to open the coffins before the funerals. They were denied the right to perform their own autopsies. Permission was given to one family to exhume the body of a victim over one year after the crash; the autopsy performed on the exhumed body confirmed the Russian autopsy report only in 10 percent.20
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views the SmolenskCrashNews.com. All information is provided on an as-is basis, and all data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Smolensk Crash News DOT COM makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.