Poland, Russia spar over memorial plaque

By Andrew E. Kramer

Ceremonies on Sunday and today in memory of the president of Poland and dozens of the country’s top political and military leaders who died in an airplane crash a year ago are being overshadowed by a dispute between Russia and Poland over the wording of a memorial plaque.

Both nations had agreed to erect a memorial at the crash site in western Russia, and in preparation the Russians moved a large boulder to serve that purpose. President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other Polish officials, including members of Parliament, the chiefs of the army and navy, and the president of the national bank, died while traveling to commemorate an earlier tragedy near the spot: the Soviet massacre of Polish prisoners at Katyn Forest in 1940.

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