Artykuły o Smoleńsku w języku angielskim.

Tego czego ogromnie brakowało w naszych działaniach dotyczących katastrofy polskiego Tu-154m w Smoleńsku to brak dokumentów i informacji w innych językach. Przeciętny czytelnik na zachodzie skazany był na informacje pochodzące z telewizji Russia Today oraz z prasy, które często jest w rękach rosyjskich. Nie raz miałem okazję oglądać Russia Today i stopień dezinformacji i zatajania prawdy o katastrofie w Smoleńsku jest ogromny. Na szczęście pojawiają się działania, które mają na celu przekazania opinii światowej faktów, których nie znajdą w prokremlowskich mediach.
Poniżej przedstawiam dwa artykuły opublikowane w londyńskim „Nowym Czasie”. Na stronie internetowej gazety można przeczytać również wersję w języku polskim. Wersje angielskie prezentuje poniżej.

Pressure Evaporates along with the Smolensk Mist

The latest analysis by Polish specialists on the Jerzy Miller committee revealed that the transcripts from May and June 2010 included by the Russians in their official report differ significantly from those deciphered by Polish investigators from the transcripts of the conversations in the cockpit of Tu-154M.

The words, introduced by the Russians into the report in May 2010 and which were reported in the media for nine months, had the aim of suggesting pressure being applied by the passengers of the plane. However, the Polish analysis of the transcripts of the MARS-BM CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) showed conclusively that no evidence exists that pressure was brought to bear on the crew by any member of the passengers of Tu-154M. This was mentioned in the Polish comments to the MAK (Interstate Aviation Committee) report, yet these points were ignored and the final report contains unconfirmed theories about passenger pressure. This is now admitted by Major Michal Fiszer who previously supported the Russian version.

“The Navigator of the Polish Tupolev was not concerned during the flight to Smolensk whether President Lech Kaczynski will ‘get mad’, and the Captain never asked the Minister Mariusz Kazana to ‘ask the boss what [he] should do”. Contrary to the Russian report, these exchanges are absent from the recordings presented on Tuesday by the Polish Committee. In the segments of the transcripts which to the Russians constituted proof of passenger pressure, our specialists heard different exchanges to the MAK report. Their analysis undermines the Russian theory of pressure exacted by passengers” – Major Michal Fiszer told TVN24 in January 2011.

In the Russian report, disseminated so widely by the media, the following sentence was included in the transcript:

08:38:00,4 – 08:38:02,2 Anonymous: “He’ll get mad, if (undeciphered).”

This phrase was used in the Russian final report, translated into English as “he’ll go crazy”. No such phrase exists in the transcripts! The actual Navigator’s sentence is:

08:38:00,4 – 08:38:02,2: “Confirm that we’re a mile away.”

A similar discrepancy occurs at the time 08:30:54 and the Captain’s question: “And what’ll be of us, Basiu?”. Together with other non-existent excerpts from the transcript, this served the purpose of suggesting to observers of the official MAK report that the crew was afraid of their main passenger. “And what’ll be of us, Basiu” also does not exist in the transcripts!

The Russians’ final report not only used non-existent sentences and phrases, it also manipulated the formations of sentences and individual words to imply acquiescence on the part of the Captain. In truth, the picture of the Captain and his crew that emerges from the real words is significantly different to the one presented by the Russians. The Polish comments on the Russian report clearly state that the psychological pseudo-analysis of the Tu-154M crew is not based on any kind of evidence and has no basis in reality.

After the presentation of the Jerzy Miller Committee findings, during which the Polish specialists’ deciphering of the CVR transcript and Polish comments on Russia’s handling of the disaster were revealed, the situation became absurd. Sections of the Polish media which had supported the Russian findings for nine months alleging passenger pressure on the crew now claimed that the pressure was... a lack of pressure to land...

Yet the same media forgot or chose to forget two facts:

- secondary airports had not been ratified by the Poles (the job of ministers Bogdan Klich, Jerzy Miller and Marian Janicki);

- from the presentation of Minister Jerzy Miller and the corresponding audio transcripts from the air traffic control tower in Smolensk airport it is clear that the Russians were in no way prepared to direct flight Tu-154M to a secondary landing location - one of the reasons for long and inconclusive communications between Smolensk air traffic control and their superiors in Moscow, during which the tower in Smolensk was given a clear order to bring the plane in on their runway. The flight controller in Smolensk at no point received confirmation of any other airports to which he could direct flight Tu-154M.

The presentation of the Polish analysis of the CVR transcript recorder also draws attention to the absence of the only issue relating to the Commander of the Polish Air Force General Andrzej Blasik, which is missing from the Russian version of the transcript at time 08:39:07:

08:39:02,2 – 08:39:08; Navigator: Cockpit. Front landing gear steering activated. Wings set.

08:39:07,5 – 08:39:10,7; Anonym: Wing control passed on to [undeciphered] [voice in the background– Gen. Blasik].

According to the Russians this confirms the presence of Gen. Blasik in the cockpit. At this point in the presentation of the MAK report the Russians cut it short and maintain the version of events which place the General in the cockpit, despite not having provided any evidence. The MAK report differs, again significantly, from the analysis provided by the Jerzy Miller Committee. The section concerning the wings, which according to the Russians was voiced by General Blasik, in the Polish analysis is shorter, and instead voiced by the navigator and the co-pilot.
(NB: all the times in the Jerzy Miller transcript are reduced by five seconds)

08:37:57,4 – 08:38:00,2: Navigator: Tell me there’s a mile left.

Here all the pressure evaporates... Nobody is getting mad! Further, the navigator’s clear readings of the distance from the runway are excluded by the Russians, and a phrase is changed, which in reality reads:

08:38:15,0 – 08:38:17,1: Navigator: Half a mile left.

This last communication regarding a distance of half a mile was made by the navigator fifty seconds before the air traffic controller’s communication of “10km, on course and flight path”, which signals that the plane is aligned to land. Presented in the analysis of Jerzy Miller and his committee, the navigator’s clear countdown of the distance completely exposes the lie presented in Moscow by MAK, which stated that the plane entered the landing path too late.
The Russians also excluded this excerpt:

08:38:56 – 08:38:58 Mjr. Protasiuk: Procedures please.
08:38:59 – 08:39:00 Mjr. Protasiuk: Read.

The navigator’s statement in the Russian version beginning with the word “Cockpit” from the very beginning indicated an exchange over the intercom or a manipulation of the transcript. However the aforementioned sentences from the June transcripts along with General Blasik’s words do not exist. The real exchange is as follows:

08:39:02 – 08:39:03 Navigator: Wings set.
08:39:03 – 08:39:04 Co-pilot: Wings set. 08:39:04 – 08:39:06 ATC – Smolensk: [Flight]101, distance 10, enter flight path.

The presence of Gen. Blasik in the cockpit and overall pressure on the flight crew existed only in the Russian version of the transcript. In the course of proceedings, the only Pole accredited to the MAK investigation to hear the original CVR recordings of the black boxes of flight Tu-154M, Edmund Klich, as late as May 2010 reported that he did not hear a single voice on the recording that was not one of the crew. He only changed his mind when he received a piece of paper from the MAK Committee in May 2010 claiming that the voices were there.

And so evaporate the pressures of a piece of paper and the presence of General Blasik as quickly as the Smolensk fog descends.


Theories claiming passenger pressure on the crew are false; the Russians inserted into the official MAK report statements which don’t exist in the audio recording or were manipulated, in order to justify the pressure theory. The Polish corrections to the final report stated clearly that there is no evidence that any passenger brought pressure to bear on the crew of flight Tu-154M. The Russians justified their conclusions with non-existent or manipulated dialogue from the CVR. They falsified the Captain’s words to support the theory of his alleged acquiescence; the audio recording proves that he was not under the thumb of his passengers. Polish analysis of the findings also contradicts Russian claims of acquiescence on the part of the crew while also rejecting the Russians’ psychological pseudo-analysis of the crew, which was not conferred on with the Polish investigators.

Also worth adding is that General Blasik’s body was found over 24 hours after the crash. Russian claims that Gen. Blasik’s sobriety can be questioned over the presence of alcohol in the blood in a concentration of 0.6 grams per litre are spurious, considering it is medically noted that a body can posthumously and endogenously produce up to 1.0 grams of alcohol, thus conclusions based on 0.6 grams per litre alleging that General was not sober are abusive. The procedures used to determine this alcohol level were also in breach of procedures normally used to obtain such readings.

Also spurious are the claims that the body of General Blasik was found in the cockpit of the wrecked plane; first of all, there was no cockpit – it was obliterated. Secondly, the section which encompassed the cockpit also encompassed the presidential suite and two VIP cabins; Gen. Blasik was sitting in one of these cabins, and was therefore found where one could expect to find him in the event of a crash.

And so history has come full circle. Just as notorious German newspapers were placed by Russian Burdenki Committee agents in 1941 in the pockets of Polish army officers murdered in 1940 to deflect blame for the murder of the Polish elite away from Russia/Stalin, so papers placed by the MAK Committee into the hands of Edmund Klich and some Polish-language media (I purposely do not call them Polish) were once again supposed to deflect blame away from Russia.

English translation Mateusz Fenrych

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Pressure from Moscow and the missing records of conversations

In the transcripts and copies of the records of conversations from the Tu-154M cockpit, there are missing passages which should refer to the crew being directed to land from the east, the more dangerous end of the airport in Smolensk. There are also no records of the tower's commands guiding the plane by radar RSP, and such commands must have been issued. – In landing by the RSP procedure, which is mandatory for Siewiernyj, responsibility lies with the flight controllers – one of the flight controllers at Okecie told "Gazeta Polska".

– These fragments must have been cut out. I see no other explanation – said flight the controller at the Warszawa-Okecie airport, one of the most experienced experts in the profession. At the Smolensk-Siewiernyj airport – as at any airport – planes can land from two directions, in this case, from east to west (E-W, 259) and from west to east (W-E, 79). The point is that it is easier to take off and land against the wind, therefore, in good weather conditions the wind speed and its direction determine the selection of the side of the airport by the flight controllers. In the transcripts there should be a record of a standard conversation between the Tupolev crew and the flight controllers regarding the direction of approach. However, there is no trace either of audio records of conversations with the cockpit or of its transcripts, even though this topic is recorded in the published conversations with other landing planes there on that day.

The mysterious role of the Colonel Nikolai Krasnokutski and pressures from Moscow
On April 10, 2010, the Polish Tu-154M approached the airport from the east (EW, 259) – more difficult because of the unusual terrain (pits) and the scattered buildings and trees before the runway. This was dangerous because – wrote "Nasz Dziennik" (02/02/2011) – in fog, specific and very dangerous air currents occur near the recesses of land on the east side. Therefore, according to Sergei Wieriewkin, former deputy head of the Moscow Vnukovo airport – as he was quoted by "Nasz Dziennik" – after the IL-76 plane crash 10 years ago during the fog, a notice was issued to avoid landing planes on the dangerous 259 degrees, and to use the opposite course, or the 79 degrees. As reported by the "Nasz Dziennik", Colonel Nikolai Krasnokutski, former commander of the Guards Regiment, was aware of this order. He was present in the tower on 10 April, and made contact with a mysterious "Logic" in Moscow.

In their remarks to the MAK report, the Polish ministerial commission investigating the causes of the Smolensk disaster states that the flight controller Lt.-Col. Pawel Plusnin was under pressure from his superior, Colonel Nikolai Krasnokutski, who was also in the tower. At the same time it is important to note that the Polish commission showed, as demonstrated in its amendments to the MAK report, that Col. Krasnokutski unlawfully landed the Polish Tu-154M on 10 April, as he had no right to talk with the Tupolev crew yet did so. Despite repeated recommendations of the flight controller to abort the approach to land, at 8:26:17, that is 15 minutes before the crash, Colonel Krasnokutski's unambiguous order: "Bring up to 100 m, 100 m, end of talks" finished the debate in the tower.

The Polish ministerial commission also states unequivocally that the Krasnokutski decision ended any further attempts by the flight controller to direct the Polish Tu-154M to an alternative airport. At 8:33:52, seven minutes after taking control of the tower, Colonel Krasnokutski reported to the unknown general: "Everything is ready, Comrade General, they are approaching on the path, everything is turned on." The conversation with the mysterious General was recorded from an open microphone at the control tower in Smolensk, but this conversation is not appended to the transcripts of outgoing telephone conversations from the tower, which means that it must have taken place through other, informal means of communication. Despite questions by the Polish investigators, the Russians did not explain who the mysterious general was, nor by what means of communication the conversation took place.

Suspect copy of black box

– When taking over a plane, flight control must "welcome" the crew and state the type of approach, determine the direction, the runway and the type of radar. For controllers, it is like a prayer. With such information, the crew can schedule the distance and speed of descent, because it should be remembered that in the case of approaching from the opposite direction to flight, the aircraft must circle the airport – the flight controller at Okecie airport told "Gazeta Polska". He has handled many VIP flights in his career, including heads of other countries.

From the radio conversations of IL-76 plane with the tower at 6:47:53 (Polish time) we know that the crew of IL-76 asked for the direction of landing. After a few seconds they were told to land from "259", and later at 6:54:17 the airport controller in Smolensk informed the Russian IL-76 about visibility, wind speed and direction, pressure and temperature, and – most importantly – the direction of landing and the type of radar. The crew of IL-76 had confirmed this information. At 6:55:51 the "259" landing direction was also given to the Polish airplane Yak-40, which was carrying Polish journalists. Both in the transcripts and in the copy of the audio file (Polish investigators do not have the originals) of crew conversations Tu-154M with the tower there is nothing on the direction of landing and the landing system used (RSP+OSP).

In the transcripts of Tu-154M on 10 April, we find only two passages referring to the direction of landing, also, neither is a transcript of conversations with the flight controllers. First, at 8:10 (Polish time), that is 31 minutes before the crash, Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk says: "We are taking the 259 [direction from east to west] from the other side." Ten minutes later, at 8:20, there are words which tell us that the crew did not receive any guidance from the tower as to the direction of approach. 2nd pilot Robert Grzywna says: "It looks like 259, this would be even better, because it would not be against the sun." This conditional phrase clearly indicates that the pilots await the decision of the controllers. In the end, the approach was from direction 259, but there is not even a single word mentioning the decision of the tower on this issue!

– After the words "It looks like 259, this would be even better, because it would not be against the sun" we expect that in the next minutes we will hear an exchange between the Tu-154 crew and the flight controllers on the landing direction as well as data from the tower about the wind and other parameters, which will allow the crew of the Tu-154 to take the appropriate landing direction ensuring the maximum degree of safety. However, nothing happens. At 8:23 the pilots established contact with the tower and a few minutes later, we learn that they are already flying to the eastern side of the airport to land from east to west. There is no word about taking such a decision.

Interestingly, the minister, Jerzy Miller in his speech to Parliament on the MAK report in January 2011 said several times that the Polish investigators are examining a 30-minute version of the copy of the conversations of the Tu-154M crew with the tower, which should not include a fragment from 8:10, because the disaster happened at 08:41. The audio record file from 8:10 has not been included either in the presentation of the MAK in Moscow or in the presentation of Jerzy Miller in Warsaw. In both cases, the audio recording began with the subsequent passages.

It should be noted that the June publication of information about the 38-minute version of the black box transcripts of Tu-154M caused considerable surprise among the experts, because all the black boxes of aircraft are equipped with a 30-minute tape. The Russian side explained later that the Tu-154M was equipped with thinner tape, but there is no hard evidence to prove that the black box of Polish Tu-154M had non-standard tapes, although in such a case of changes the documents are mandatory.

The mystery of the western side of the landing
It is only in the final report that the MAK commission for the first time indicates that the systems of ground-based homing devices NDB (non-directional beacon) are currently only on the eastern side. S. Amielin, the Russian journalist, wrote that these devices were dismantled in the autumn and winter of 2009, i.e. at the time when the Russian and the Polish press and the Russian Embassy Counsellor talked about the planned visit in April 2010 of the Polish delegation to Katyn, near Smolensk.

This is indeed strange, because from the conversations of the Tu-154M crew and the press statements immediately after the disaster it seems that nobody knew about the alleged changes in the equipment of Smolensk airport, although such information should have been clearly communicated by the Russian side. Instead, there were many newspapers headlines such as: "Why did they land from the east?" Or "On April 7 they also landed from the east." Formal statements of those involved in the investigation do not mention the dismantled NDB equipment from the west side. For nine months no one has officially confirmed that planes were not allowed to land from the west. Photos of the allegedly destroyed facilities of the western side of the airport were published by S. Amielin only in October 2010, yet the Polish internet surfers (connected with the military) discovered images of a radar installation on the western side of the landing two months earlier, in August 2010, indicating that this side is open. The mystery of the landing from the west, although a simple matter, contains mostly blanks, insinuations and ambiguities.

"The course and path"
Another puzzling issue is the lack of copies of the audio conversations and transcripts concerning the correction of the flight by the controllers. At the airport in Smolensk – from the east (E-W, 259) landing is supported by radar and the two leading beacons (NDB). This is confirmed by Russians themselves: "At the Smolensk airport, the system of approach to land RSP + OSP (called PAR + NDB in English) for 259 ° consists of a radar landing system RSP-6m2, a closer leading beacon PAR-10 and a further leading beacon PAR-10 and markers". The information on this system, RSP + OSP, is present also in the talks between the controllers in Smolensk and the Russian IL-76, which attempted to land on the same day as the Tu-154M.

–RSP radar, the equivalent of the Polish military airfields RSL radar is accurate. This means that the responsibility lies entirely on the Russian side, because radar-guided approach requires continuous cooperation between the tower and the plane – the expert flight controller from Okecie told "Gazeta Polska". According to him, a break in what the tower says to the crew can be no longer than a few seconds. The controllers have to guide the plane continuously. – The controller becomes a member of the crew – he emphasises.

It is therefore surprising that what the controllers say is, as recorded, rudimentary, and only confirms that the plane is on the path and course, but – let's remember – at the time of these confirmations theTu-154M was never in fact on the path and course. On the contrary, for unexplained reasons, it was at first too high, then too low. At the same time, as acknowledged by even the MAK commission, all communications on distance from the runway were given with an error of about 600-1000 meters, which meant that the crew was led to think that the airport was closer than it really was.

– My friend from the Okecie airport brought over two thousand planes on the RSL radar, and never recalls a situation in which the plane would always be perfectly on the path and course. In every case, the flight has to be more or less corrected, for example, the crew is told to increase or lower the altitude or turn left or right. In this case either the controllers' corrections had been cut out from the recordings, or they did not perform their task at all – he told “Gazeta Polska"

It is also surprising that, on the tape, the crew is not heard confirming the commands from the tower. Before this tragic flight, Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk had landed six times in Smolensk and knew the Russian procedures well. Also, from the recordings of the crew conversations it is apparent that the Polish Tupolev crew agreed that the navigator will read the altitude after the distance, according to the "acknowledgement" procedure. Probably the important part of conversations between the Polish crew and the Smolensk tower has been cut out.

Suspect copies of the black boxes
What are the missing commands and information that the crew received from the Russian controllers guiding the Tu-154M101? Why did the plane land from the east side and why, despite the precision approach provided by radar, had there been a disaster? Why did the Russian Colonel Krasnokutski exert pressure, and who did he speak to? By what means of communication did he talk to a mysterious general, since the conversation was not recorded in the outgoing calls from the tower of Smolensk airport?

We will never get the answers to these questions unless Russia returns the original Polish black boxes. The originals of the black boxes of Tu-154M are still in the hands of the Russians, although the MAK investigation has been completed (October 2010) and final report has been published (13 January 2011). According to the rules under which the investigation of the Polish government Tu-154M crash took place, the wreck of the airplane and all the material evidence, including the black boxes, should have been returned to Poland after the investigation by MAK had been completed. The Polish government and the press should demand their return every day. These materials are of great importance, since even the Polish military prosecutor in his final statements allowed the possibility that the Polish side received falsified or incomplete copies of the black boxes. Further, the day after publication of the article “MAK tampered with the black box record?" in "Gazeta Polska", the Polish commission investigating the Tu-154M disaster postponed, for six weeks, the publication of its findings, justifying the delay by the absolute necessity to carry out an experiment on a second Tu-154M, concerning how the black boxes record the various actions of the crew. Why and what questions arise in connection with this issue, will be stated in the next article.

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