Polish officials pay tribute to Kaczynski plane crash victims

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and other Polish government officials on Sunday paid tribute to the victims of last year’s plane crash in western Russia that killed president Lech Kaczynski.

Commemorative services are being held across Poland on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the Kaczynski plane crash near Smolensk in Russia.

Official commemorative events started with a minute of silence observed at Warsaw’s historic Powazki cemetery near the memorial to the plane crash victims. After the national hymn was played and a prayer was held, the names of all those who perished in the plane crash were read out.

The Polish Air Force’s Tu-154 that was carrying then-President Kaczynski and 95 others crashed in thick fog near the Russian city Smolensk on April 10, 2010. Everyone on board died. The high-ranking delegation was due to attend a memorial ceremony for the victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre, in which Soviet secret police killed thousands of Polish military officers.

The Russia-based Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) in January laid the blame for the Kaczynski crash squarely on the Polish side, and some politicians in Poland have since lined up to try to pin blame elsewhere.

A day before the first anniversary of the Kaczynski plane crash, the families of the dead visited the site of the tragedy in western Russia.

WARSAW, April 10 (RIA Novosti)


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