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Poland 'reaches goal', monthly Smolensk marches called off: PiS leader

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 11.04.2018 08:30
Monthly Marches of Remembrance have been called off after a monument to victims of the 2010 Smolensk plane crash was unveiled in Warsaw on Tuesday, said Jarosław Kaczyński, head of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, on the eighth anniversary of the disaster.
Marchers carry a portrait of the late President Lech Kaczyński who died in the 2010 Smolensk disaster. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara.Marchers carry a portrait of the late President Lech Kaczyński who died in the 2010 Smolensk disaster. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara.

On the tenth day of every month since the April 10, 2010 crash in Smolensk, western Russia – which killed Kaczyński's twin, who was president of Poland at the time and 95 others, mainly top political and military leaders – a march had been held in Warsaw in memory of the victims.

The monument unveiled on Tuesday, resembling a stairway ascending into the sky and inscribed with the names of the 96 victims of the disaster, meant that marchers had "reached our goal" and that there would be no more monthly marches, Kaczyński said.

A report into the technical aspects of the crash is expected on Wednesday and further investigations into the crash are planned, including tests in the US of a plane identical to the one that crashed in Russia, as well as analyses by leading international air crash experts, Kaczyński said.

The ruling conservative Law and Justice party has long challenged an official report into the 2010 crash issued by Poland’s previous 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.

Law and Justice 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.

In mid-December last year, Poland's defence minister at the time, Antoni Macierewicz, said that Russia was responsible for the plane crash. He also said that the Polish presidential plane, which crashed near the western Russian city of Smolensk, was destroyed by "two explosions."

In January, the new team of investigators appointed by Macierewicz said that the jet’s left wing was destroyed as a result of an explosion on board.

The commission said that the explosion had "several sources" on the plane. (vb)

Source: PAP, IAR

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