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Putin takes charge of Smolensk crash probe

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Putin takes charge of Smolensk crash probe


Russia’s two most powerful politicians have been paying their respects and lighting candles for the 97 people now believed to have died in the Smolensk air disaster.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has flown to the military airport where the doomed Tupolev 154 was headed when it plunged out of the sky.

President Dmitry Medvedev has given a televised address live on Russian TV.

He said: “Dear friends, citizens of the Polish Republic, myself and all the Russian citizens, we are shocked by this huge tragedy. By the death of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and all of the citizens on board the crashed plane.”

Vladimir Putin has assumed responsibility for the accident investigation. He is meeting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk who is flying in from Warsaw
after declaring a week of national mourning with two minutes of silence on Sunday at midday.

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