Crash anniversary highlights Polish rift

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Crash anniversary highlights Polish rift

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First anniversary commemorations of the Polish presidential plane crash have highlighted how the disaster has proved a divisive factor in Poland’s politics.

The country’s leaders attended the official ceremony in Warsaw to commemorate the deaths of the then president Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people, including senior Polish dignitaries, killed when their plane crashed in Smolensk in western Russia.

The prime minister Donald Tusk has been fiercely criticised by Kaczynski’s twin brother for allowing the Russians to conduct their own inquiry into the crash and for failing to reject the findings.

So Jaroslaw Kaczinski and supporters of his conservative Law and Justice party conducted their own memorial ceremony in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw.

‘Poles have been coming here for a year now. I am not interested in the official ceremonies, that’s it.’ said one mourner at the Kaczinski family ceremony.

The Russian inquiry blamed the pilots for the crash.

Conservatives plan a series of demonstrations demanding a clearer explanation of what happened.

Some even talk of a plot, something the Polish prosecutor has specifically ruled out.