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Monthly Warsaw march remembers 2010 presidential air crash

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 11.10.2017 10:50
A monthly "March of Remembrance” has been held in Warsaw for the 90th time to commemorate the victims of the fatal 2010 Polish presidential plane crash.
Polish ruling party leader Jarosław Kaczyński speaks during the monthly commemoration in Warsaw on Tuesday evening. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej ZborowskiPolish ruling party leader Jarosław Kaczyński speaks during the monthly commemoration in Warsaw on Tuesday evening. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

Tuesday marked 90 months since a Polish plane carrying President Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 94 others – including top political and military figures – crashed near Smolensk, western Russia.

The event is commemorated monthly in Warsaw with a Catholic Mass and a procession to the Presidential Palace.

Monuments to victims

Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice party and twin brother of the late president, on Tuesday reiterated that the monthly marches would continue until monuments to the Smolensk disaster victims are erected in Warsaw on the eighth anniversary of the April 10, 2010 crash.

“"In the spring of next year, everything should be clear and ready,” Kaczyński said, addressing those gathered. “We should have monuments erected not far from here, though at a slightly different site than we originally planned."

He added: “We should also have the final reports ready by those who are working to find out the truth" about the disaster.

Kaczyński has previously suggested that the monthly tributes would go on until a total of 96 marches have been held to honour all 96 victims of the crash.

Kaczyński also said on Tuesday that his brother deserved to have a monument honouring him in the Polish capital not only as a former head of state, but also because of his previous accomplishments as mayor of Warsaw, justice minister and a Solidarity freedom movement activist as well as the man who founded the Centre Alliance (PC), a party that was the forerunner of the now-governing PiS party.

"It was he who opened the way for victory for us; it was he who was telling the truth about Poland," Kaczyński said.

Minor scuffles

A group of anti-government protesters staged a picket near the commemoration despite a ban issued by the province governor. The protesters did not clash with the marchers, but there were reports of minor scuffles with police.

In the past anti-government protesters have brushed with marchers, largely supporters of Poland’s conservative government.

In June, anti-government protesters sat along the width of Warsaw's Krakowskie Przedmieście street, blocking the March of Remembrance's route. Some of the protesters were forcibly moved by police.

New probe continues

PiS has long challenged an official report into the crash issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.

A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.

PiS has launched its own inquiry into the crash which, in initial findings, suggested the plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion, and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled the Polish pilots about their location as the presidential plane approached the runway of the Smolensk military airport in 2010. (gs/pk)

Source: IAR

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