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Russians Shot Polish Crash Survivors?

Sensational footage apparently showing Russian soldiers shooting survivors of the air crash that obliterated most of Poland's top-brass, including President Kaczynski and the three military chiefs, has surfaced. The blurred film clip was recorded on
PTI May 17, 2010 10:55 IST
PTI
Sensational footage apparently showing Russian soldiers shooting survivors of the air crash that obliterated most of Poland's top-brass, including President Kaczynski and the three military chiefs, has surfaced.

The blurred film clip was recorded on a mobile phone is now being studied by Polish and Russian experts to determine its authenticity. There have been claims that the clip is a deliberate attempt at sullying Moscow.

The film was initially shown on Rossiya-24 TV two days after the Tupolev Tu-154 plane crashed near Smolensk military airport in Russia on April 10, killing 96 people on board. The clip did not appear to include shooting sounds now heard on the internet version, the Daily Express reports.

There is also shouting heard in Russian to "kill" survivors on the web clip, which was not on the earlier footage. The TV station denied masking any gunfire and said they merely edited out a swear word. No one is actually seen being shot on the footage. Some viewers have pointed out inconsistencies, such as trees moving around.

Polish investigators have demanded more protection for the crash site from the Russians, and have secured permission for their own examination of the crash site. Last night, Russian officials confirmed they had interviewed the man who allegedly made the film. He was not named, nor has he spoken in public about whether he heard gunfire, the report said.




An aviation expert said, "The way this footage has spread on the web means it is essential to get answers on which version of the footage has been altered. What is clear is the scenes shown on several versions of the film are from this crash site."

Investigators are not ruling out the possibility of the bullets of the President's armed guards exploding at the crash site. Seven pistols were recovered from the wreckage. Many of the bodies from the crash were badly mutilated and could only be identified by DNA, but no reports have suggested bullet injuries to any of the passengers.

A Russian account suggests the footage was filmed by someone living close to the crash site — and later an 'incorrect and sensational interpretation' was put on the film. According to this theory, the gunshots heard were from the guns carried by the president's guards.