Poland in Shock at News of Deaths in Russian Plane Crash
According to official press release from the Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman, more than 80 passengers including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, head of the Polish army and the head of the presidential administration, along with the central bank governor, other senior officials and their families, died in a plane crash today morning in Russia.
The Polish delegation was flying with presidebtal plane to Russia for events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre of 22 thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police in Katyn and elsewhere during World War II. The Russian-built Tupolev Tu-154 went down some 1.5km from Smolensk airport in thick fog. The plane reportedly struck trees as it approached the airport and caught fire. The Soviet-built presidential plane Tupolev TU154M was at least 20 years old. Polish state news agency PAP said there were no survivors in the crash, recorded at 10:50AM local time some 400km west of Moscow.
The Polish President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria Kaczyńska, Head of National Security Bureau Aleksander Szczygło, National Bank President Slawomir Skrzypek, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremoer, Army chief of staff, Gen.Franciszek Gagor, Air Forces Commander Gen. Andrew Błasik, Special Forces Commander Gen.Vladimir Potasiński, Parliament Deputies: Leszek Deptuła, Gregory Dolniak, Grazyna Gęsicka, Przemyslaw Gosiewski, Sebastian Karpiniuk, Izabela Jaruga, Zbigniew Wassermann, Aleksandra Natalia, Arkadiusz Rybicki, Jolanta Szymanek, Wiesław Woda, Edward Wojtas, Janina Fetlińska, Stanisław ZAJĄC and the last Polish President in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, representatives of Katyn families and representatives of Polish religious affairs and journalists were also on the passenger list.
The Polish government under head of Prime Minister Donald Tusk hold an extraordinary meeting later at 13.00, the government press office said in a statement. Bronislaw Komorowski, the speaker of Poland’s parliament and a former defense minister will take over as interim president of Poland.
Maria Kaczyńska, wife of Polish President, had assisted the mother of a Chechen woman, who lost three children as they attempted to enter Poland illegally in 2007, achieve refugee status.
Condolence message of WaYNaKH Online:
To our brave friends Polish people and the families of victims,
It was with a great sense of loss when we heard of 88 persons including your top officials’ death. We wanted to let you know that you have our greatest sympathy, and our hearts are truly saddened.
We do not know personally many of your officials, but as we know they were always very tolerated Chechen ayslum seekers, gave them a shelter in your country and interested in our tragedy in our homeland: Chechnya and try to help us. Especially Maria Kaczyńska was more than just a wonderful person; she was so kind and considerate to Chechen asylum seekers, even once a time she had visited a Chechen mother at a hospital.
We know that victims passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of all those who knew them. The victims of this heartrending crash will always remain within the hearts, and we have included them in the daily prayers. May God give you strength.
Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with you our friends.
With our deepest sympathy,
Waynakh Online Administration