'Smolensk monument will be erected in 2018': ruling party leader
PR dla Zagranicy
A monument to the victims of the 2010 Smolensk air disaster, which killed 96 of Poland's top brass, will be erected in 2018, the 100th year of Polish independence, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has said.
Jarosław Kaczyński at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara.
Kaczyński, who spoke at a monthly rally to commemorate the 10 April, 2010 presidential plane crash in Smolensk, western Russia, which killed his brother, then President Lech Kaczyński, announced that a competition to determine the design of Smolensk victims' monument, which PiS wants to be erected in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, closed on Friday.
The rally was held at Warsaw's Piłsudski Square, named after the de facto head of state of newly-independent Poland in the early 20th century, where Jarosław Kaczyński laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The representative orchestra of the Polish Armed Forces played the Polish National Anthem and other patriotic songs during the rally, and the crowd frequently called out: “Honour and glory to our heroes”.
Some PiS officials had in the past referred to Smolensk victims as martyrs.
PiS has long challenged an official report into the Smolensk disaster 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 new commission into the crash, set up under PiS, earlier this year said the Polish plane was “probably brought down by a mid-air explosion” and that air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as the presidential plane was approaching the runway of the Smolensk military airport.
At previous rallies Jarosław Kaczyński has said that “Poland is closer to [finding out] the truth” about Smolensk.
Independence Day in Poland marks the 11 November 1918 armistice that ended World War One which led to Poland's subsequent return to the map of Europe after 123 years of partitions and foreign rule. (vb/di)
Source: Polskie Radio, PAP