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Katyn mourners pray for plane crash victims

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Katyn mourners pray for plane crash victims


News of President Kaczysnki’s death shocked the crowd gathered at the Katyn memorial to remember 22,000 Poles murdered by Soviet forces in 1940.

Former Polish government minister Jacek Sasin led prayers for all those who died on board the Tu 154 Tupolev which crashed in thick fog on its approach to Smolensk airport.

The grief of those present was a poignant reminder that many people on the doomed aircraft were relatives of the victims of the Katyn massacre, an enduring symbol for Poles of their suffering under Soviet rule.

For many decades Moscow blamed the Nazis for the deaths of thousand of Polish prisoners of war and intellectuals and only acknowledged its responsibility in 1990, a year after the fall of Communism in Poland.

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