Smolensk presidential plane crash nine years on

On April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential Tu-154M plane crashed near Smolensk, western Russia. All 96 passengers and members of the crew, including then president Lech Kaczyński and the First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, were killed.

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The Polish delegation was going to Russia to attend the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre.

Apart from the presidential couple, among the victims of the crash were generals of the Polish army, representatives of parliament and political parties, the last Polish president-in-exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, as well as clerics of different religions, representatives of veteran organisations and the heads of many state institutions.

At 10:41 local time, a plane crashed near the Smolensk North Airport. All the passengers, pilots and the cabin crew died.

The commemorations of the crash will take place on Wednesday. At 8:41 Polish time, Poland’s ambassador to Moscow, Włodzimierz Marciniak will lay a wreath at the crash site. After that, the Polish delegation will go to Katyń to attend a holy mass.

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The speakers and deputy speakers of both chambers of the Polish parliament paid their respects to victims of the crash, including the late Maciej Płażyński, the former speaker of the lower chamber. The Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński laid a wreath at the grave of Władysław Stasiak, a previous holder of the position, who also died in Smolensk.

The ceremony of call for the commemorations of the victims of the crash takes place at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Warsaw’s authorities and families of the victims take part in commemorations that are held at the Monument of the Smolensk Crash Victims in the Powązki Cemetery.

In the evening, a holy mass will be held at the St. John’s Archcathedral in Warsaw. It will be attended by Poland’s top officials, including President Andrzej Duda.