Polish Leadership Wiped Out in Plane Crash
A plane carrying the Polish president and dozens of the country’s top political and military leaders to the site of the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in World War II crashed in western Russia on Saturday, killing everyone on board…
The crash came as a stunning blow to Poland, wiping out a large portion of the country’s leadership in one fiery explosion. at the moment that Russia and Poland were beginning to come to terms with the killing of more than 20,000 members of Poland’s elite officer corps in the same place 70 years ago.
As well as the president and his wife, Maria, a number of senior officials were on the passenger list.
They included the army chief of staff Gen Franciszek Gagor, central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek and deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer.
Others killed include the chief of the president’s chancellery, the chief of the National Security Office, and the deputy speaker of the lower house.
The plane was trying to land in thick fog.
Vladimir Putin was to join the Polish leadership in commemorating the 1940 massacre at Katyn, the first Russian leader to do so. Lech Walesa calls the crash “the second disaster after Katyn.”