The forest near the crash site has become known as the "forest of death" because of the 1940 massacre of Polish officers and other members of the country's elite captured when Russian forces invaded eastern Poland. Over 20,000 Poles were killed in Katyn.
The massacre, which the Soviet Union long (50 years!) blamed on the Nazis, has been a long-standing sore point (one of many) in Russian-Polish relations. The victims were Polish officers along with many professors, scientists, doctors lawyers, priests and intellectuals.
Just last Wednesday the Russian and Polish prime ministers, Vladimir Putin and Donald Tusk, had honored the murdered Poles in an unprecedented joint ceremony in the Katyn Forest.
President Kaczynski, a true patriot and frequent critic of both Russia and Tusk, was not invited to the ceremony but made it clear he wanted to pay his own tribute. And he paid the price. Ironically 96 passengers, Polish president and top Polish military commanders joined ashes with those murdered in 1940 by Russians on the Russian soil.
Is the history repeats itself or really it was just a pilot fault? Hard to believe because Poland has the best pilots in the world.