Poland’s President, Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and much of his cabinet, and all the passengers have been killed in a terrible airplane crash near Smolensk, Russia, when the ancient Tu -154 Tupolev carrying them missed the runway in thick fog and went down. There were no survivors.
“We still cannot fully understand the scope of this tragedy and what it means for us in the future. Nothing like this has ever happened in Poland,” Paszkowski (foreign ministry spokesperson) said. “We can assume with great certainty that all persons on board have been killed.”
The crash is likely to be a setback in Polish-Russian relations which had been improving of late after being poisoned for decades over the Katyn massacre.
Russia never has formally apologized for the murders of some 22,000 Polish officers, but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s decision to attend a memorial ceremony earlier this week in the forest near Katyn was seen as a gesture of goodwill toward reconciliation. Rossiya-24 showed hundreds of people around the Katyn monument, many were holding Polish flags, some of them were weeping.
In a case of horrible irony, President Kaczynski and his army Chief of Staff and Deputy Foreign minister were to attend a memorial service to mark the Kaytn Massacre, or Zbrodnia Kaytnska, near Smolensk, when about 22,000 Polish POW officers were murdered by the Soviet Secret Service NKVD during World War 2 by order of Stalin, in 1940. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K…