Statements by the Polish investigators added to a sense of distrust toward Russia that has deepened following the plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, that killed President Lech Kaczynski and all 95 other people aboard, many of them top Polish civilian and military leaders.
Russian investigators said a year ago that a voice on the black box of the plane was that of the Polish air force commander, Gen. Andrzej Blasik. They said he had alcohol in his blood, and that his presence in the cockpit and words he spoke to the pilots put them under psychological pressure to attempt a dangerous landing.
That allegation shocked and infuriated many Poles. Those of a patriotic bent in particular felt that their country’s dignity was being attacked by Russia, a historic foe.