Crazy theories are sometimes true, just not this time

The mode of the murder in Grosvenor Square was so inordinately bizarre that for years, I could not bring myself to accept the Kremlin’s complicity. Perhaps the 21st-century approach to political assassination is performing it as if an episode of Austin Powers.

This said, the pet hypothesis of Antoni Macierewicz and Jarosław Kaczyński – Putin brought down the plane with Lech Kaczyński and other Polish leaders in 2010 – still belongs in the conspiracy theory realm. Under slightly different circumstances, its Polish promoters would have made a valuable addition to the Kremlin propaganda machine. In their shared mental world, incompetence and bad luck are only allowed cameo appearances. All the big roles are taken by powerful, evil enemies tirelessly conspiring against the long-suffering mother country.


  1. The Polish plane crash was always for me just an unfortunate accident of the type so often seen in the former East Bloc states.

    I remain convinced that the death of Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie was just a dumb accident rather than anything deliberate. Having lived in Russia, I am well aware of how deadly the combination of non-accountability, complacency, and bureaucracy is. I’m not even convinced alcohol was a factor, despite the snowplough driver being a bit drunk: the accident would have happened anyway.

    • Agreed, the disaster in Vnukovo-3 was probably waiting to happen. Considering that Vnukovo-2 is the main airport for government flights and the three Vnukovos share the two runways… I guess things must have improved since but I have no idea.

      The Poles should have flown to Minsk and taken a car from there to Katyn. Landing in Smolensk would have been OK in good weather but any complications should have diverted the plane to the nearest international airport, which was Minsk.

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