On Saturday, ceremonies were held in Poland to mark the 11th anniversary of the Smolensk air disaster, in which 96 people, including then Polish President Lech Kaczyński, were killed while attempting to land on a military airfield in western Russia.
On 10 April 2010, President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, the last Polish President in exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski, and dozens of high-ranking government officials and military commanders were killed in the air disaster. The delegation was on its way to nearby Katyn to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre in 1940, in which nearly 22,000 Polish prisoners of war, mainly army officers, police and administrative staff, were murdered by the Soviets.
« I came here to pay homage to the late President Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria and all the great Poles who were killed 11 years ago in a plane crash near Smolensk, » said President Andrzej Duda on the Wawel- Castle in Krakow, where the President’s couple are buried.
The President said they went to Smolensk, « for our homeland, in memory of the Polish army officers who were murdered by the Soviets in Katyn and who are guided by the feeling of community Let.
« Let this sense of community remain as it was then, because we need it very much today, » said Duda.
« The Smolensk air disaster is the greatest national tragedy in Poland’s post-war history … as it stole the most outstanding people who are most needed, « Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook, adding that it would be almost impossible to replace them. » / p> The Prime Minister, the Leader for Law and Justice, Jaroslaw Kaczyński, the twin brother of the late President, and the Speaker of the Sejm (House of Commons), Elżbieta Witek, government and state officials, laid wreaths on the monuments dedicated to President Lech Kaczyński and the victims of the Smolensk catastrophe remember Pilsudski Square and the Powazki military cemetery in Warsaw.
State Property Minister Jasek Sasin said on Saturday that a report by Antoni Macierewicz’s committee of inquiry into the air disaster in Smolensk « as far as I know in the near future « .
» I think it’s in the coming days and certainly not months « Sasin said, adding that the tragic crash » still divided the Polish people.
Sasin said he shared the frustration of all Poles who wanted to know the causes of the disaster. He admitted that it would have been much easier to seek the truth « immediately after the crash ».
« But both the TU-154 plane wreck and the black boxes are still in Moscow. And they are in Moscow because the team, led by then Prime Minister Donald Tusk, had given the Russians a tool to keep them, « Sasin explained, adding years later it was very difficult to investigate something that had previously been forged.
Poland has repeatedly requested the return of the wreckage and the black box, but the Russian authorities claim this is impossible due to its status as material evidence in the ongoing investigation in Russia.
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– Poland celebrates 11th anniversary of the Presidential Plane Crash In Russia
– UPI Almanac for Saturday 10 April 2021
– Protesters clash with police in Warsaw on the anniversary of the air crash in Smolensk Commemoration of the President’s plane disaster » > Ceremonies across Poland commemorate the President’s plane disaster