Russia and the EU mark an official day of mourning on Monday as Poland observes a week of commemoration following the deaths of President Lech Kaczynski, the first lady and dozens of senior Polish leaders in a plane crash on Saturday.
Russia and the European Union mark an official day of mourning on Monday as Poland observes a week of commemoration following the deaths of President Lech Kaczynski, the first lady, and dozens of senior Polish leaders and military officials in a plane crash in Russia on Saturday.
Poland began a week of national mourning on Sunday as Kaczynski’s body arrived in the capital, Warsaw, from the Russian town of Smolensk, near where the presidential plane crashed. His flag-draped coffin was met by acting President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Also on the tarmac were Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the president's twin brother and a former prime minister, and Marta Kacyznski, the only child of the president and his wife, Maria, who also perished in the crash and whose body was identified on Monday.
World leaders have expressed shock and sorrow over Poland’s loss. In a gesture of solidarity with Poland, Russia and the European Union declared Monday to be a day of official mourning.
In the hours and days following the deadly April 10 plane crash, Poles gathered in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw to pay tribute to the dead
Thousands of people gathered in front of the Polish presidential palace in the hours after a plane crash killing the head of state Lech Kaczynski. (AFP)
Poland's central bank governor and armed forces chief of staff were also among the 96 people killed when the ageing Tupolev jet crashed in thick fog near the western Russian city of Smolensk. (AFP)
Crowds left red and white roses and lit candles in front of the 200 year old building near Warsaw's old town. Though Kaczynski was a divisive figure in his home country, many were in tears. (AFP)
People spontaneously sent mobile phone text messages asking friends to gather in Pilsudski Square, the traditional venue for large gatherings including Papal masses, on Saturday night. (AFP)
Across the devoutly Catholic country, people flooded into churches to pay homage to, and mourn, the dead. (AP)
"All Poles must be together today regardless of their political views," 50-year-old Jan Szczepanski told reporters. "I didn't support Lech Kaczynski, but it doesn't matter today."
Date created : 2010-04-12