Russian air traffic controllers advised the pilot of a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski not to attempt to land, the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza said on Saturday.
All 96 people on board a Soviet-made Tu-154 were killed earlier on Saturday when the plane hit trees as it approached Smolensk airport in thick fog.
The paper said the pilot and Kaczynski were advised to turn around and head for Minsk, the capital of neighboring Belarus, as the Smolensk military aerodrome lacks the necessary navigational equipment to receive planes in heavy fog.
But the pilot and Kaczynski ignored the advice, the paper said.
Kaczynski, his wife, and a delegation of senior officials were on their way to a ceremony in Katyn to commemorate the memory of some 20,000 Polish officers killed by Soviet troops during World War Two.
KIEV, April 10 (RIA Novosti)