How do you top a two week stretch that involves a twin subway bombing, a bloody revolution, the signing of a historic nuclear treaty, and the final reconciliation between Poland and Russia over the Katyn massacre?
Apparently, you let a plane carrying some of the most important people in the Polish government — including the Polish president — crash right near the site where over 20,000 of their compatriots were massacred by the Soviet secret police in 1940, the very site the Polish dignitaries were going to consecrate.
Which is what happened this morning.
This morning, a crappy, Soviet-era Tu-154 was headed from Warsaw for Smolensk (near the site of the massacre), but found that its ability to land was hampered by the fog. It tried to land again and again, with no success. On its fourth attempt, the plane grazed a tree, which ripped off its back section, and sent it hurtling into to the ground at 10:50 a.m. local time.
Every crew member died, as did all the passengers. Among them were the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, his wife, the head of the National bank, the vice speakers of the Sejm and the Senate, the chief of staff, the head of national security, the Olympic committee head, the deputy defense minister, and a row of senators.
Vladimir Putin, newly reconciled with the Poles, said he would personally oversee the investigation.
Stranger than fiction, as they say.