April 11, 2010

 Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife died Saturday along with more than 80 others when their plane crashed while coming in for a landing in western Russia, officials said.Reports suggest that The Army chief of staff, Gen. Franciszek Gagor, National Bank President Slawomir Skrzypek and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremoer were on the passenger list.
                  The Tu-154 plane crash occurred about 1.5 km from Smolensk airport, about 400 kilometers (275 miles) west of Moscow in foggy conditions. "It clipped the tops of the trees, crashed down and broke into pieces," the governor of the Smolensk region, Sergei Antufiev, told a news network by telephone.
The head of Russia's top investigative body, Sergei Markin, said there were a total of 132 people on the plane, a Tu-154.
              Kaczynski was flying to Russia for events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police in Katyn and elsewhere during World War II.The presidential plane was a Soviet-built Tupolev TU154M, at least 20 years old.In Warsaw, Prime Minister Donald Tusk called an extraordinary meeting of his Cabinet.
Kaczynski, 60, became president in December 2005 after defeating Tusk in that year's presidential vote. 
                 The nationalist conservative was the twin brother of Poland's opposition leader, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.Kaczynski had said he would seek a second term in presidential elections this fall. He was expected to face an uphill struggle against Parliament speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, the candidate of Tusk's governing Civic Platform party.According to the constitution, Komorowski would take over presidential duties.







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