The Polish President’s plane crashed in Russia early today killing all aboard. President Lech Kaczynski dead at 60, along with his wife and delegation including top military officials and the head of Poland’s National Bank were all on board.

Poland’s Parliament Speaker took over as acting President for the time being; Lech Kaczynski’s party released a list of those who were on the flight to Russia. They included the head of the National Security office, the deputy parliament speaker, the deputy foreign minister, and the army chief of staff.

The Polish President’s plane crashed on its way to Russia to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the killing of Polish prisoners of war in the Russian village of Katyn. Katyn was the scene of the execution of over 20,000 Polish officers during World War II.

The Crash took place around 3:00 am ET when the plane tried to land in heavy fog near Smolensk, Russia. As the pilot attempted to land, he clipped the tree line reports say; other reports say that the pilots were advised to land elsewhere but decided to land in heavy fog. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has launched an investigation into the crash.

World leader’s including President Barack Obama have issued statements of condolence. Obama said in a statement:

“Today, I called Polish Prime Minister Tusk to express Michelle’s and my deepest condolences to the people of Poland on the tragic deaths this morning of President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynski, and all who were traveling with them to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kaczynski family, the loved ones of those killed in this tragic plane crash, and the Polish nation. Today’s loss is devastating to Poland, to the United States, and to the world. President Kaczynski was a distinguished statesman who played a key role in the Solidarity movement, and he was widely admired in the United States as a leader dedicated to advancing freedom and human dignity.”

As the Polish President’s plane crashed the entire head of the military structure in Poland was decimated as all were on board to commemorate the massacre of fellow Polish officers. Lech Kaczynski dead at the age of 60. He had been President of Poland since 2005. We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.




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