Rival ceremonies held for Polish crash victims

by William ASTON on April 11, 2011

The twin brother of former Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash a year ago, has boycotted the official ceremonies to commemorate the tragedy. Jaroslaw Kaczynski held his own rival services and criticised the way the affair has been handled by the government.  


The official rituals were held on Sunday (April 10), exactly a year after the president’s plane crashed in Smolensk, Russia. Bronislaw Komorowski, the country’s new president, paid tribute to the 95 victims of the crash and his predecessor at a church in Warsaw. Prime Minster Donald Tusk also lit candles at the memorial.


Mr Komorowski called for an end to the recrimination and a start to healing when visiting the cemetery later in the day were many of the victims were laid to rest. He also called for the “dreams and passions” of those who had died to be carried on by the Polish people.


Jaroslaw Kaczynski refused to attend the official commemorations, however, and held alternative events himself. The former PM laid a wreath at the Warsaw presidential palace for his twin, who he founded the conservative Law and Justice Party with.


Kaczynski blames the Russian authorities for his brother’s death after they refused to close their airport in dense fog. A Russian investigation, however, concluded that the plane’s flight crew were to blame after they decided to land despite the warnings of ground controllers.





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