Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

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Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Giant Speck » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:55 am UTC

SOURCE: http://tinyurl.com/y782tzm

MOSCOW – Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife died Saturday along with 130 others when their plane crashed while coming in for a landing in western Russia, officials said.

The governor of the Smolensk region, where the crash took place about 11 a.m. (0700 GMT), said no one survived.

"The Polish presidential plane did not make it to the runway while landing. Tentative findings indicate that it hit the treetops and fell apart," Sergei Anufriev said on state news channel Rossiya-24. "Nobody has survived the disaster."

The Polish foreign ministry confirmed that Kaczynski and his wife were aboard the plane.

The head of Russia's top investigative body, Sergei Markin, said there were a total of 132 people on the plane, a Tu-154.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby zombie_monkey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:43 am UTC

And they were going there for the first commemoration of the massacre of Katyn since the Russians admitted it... This is serious fan-hitting shit. And hugely ironic, Polish top officials dying in Russia en route to commemorate the massacre of the top Polish public figures and elite by the Russians.
Last edited by zombie_monkey on Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:39 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby olubunmi » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:56 am UTC

Russia's Emergency Ministry said there were 96 dead, 88 part of a Polish state delegation. Poland's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Piotr Paszkowski, said there were 89 people on the passenger list but one person had not shown up.


So that's 88 top officials who died in the crash...

This is a disaster.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby scikidus » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:25 pm UTC

My thoughts to the Polish people (I'm 1/2 Polish). On another level, it will be a wonderful tribute to Poland's growth watching their political system recover from such a terrible loss.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby psyck0 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:49 pm UTC

IIRC the president was a crackpot religious fundamentalist, so while I am not glad he's dead, I am glad he's out of power. Unfortunately, this will probably just garner sympathy for their party during the next elections and get them more power.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby The Reaper » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

Time to trim the trees in the flight path.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Sockmonkey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:28 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:Time to trim the trees in the flight path.


I think the plane just did that.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:36 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:
The Reaper wrote:Time to trim the trees in the flight path.


I think the plane just did that.

And if they'd stop trying to land on them it wouldn't be a problem. From what I garner, they shouldn't have been trying to land there, and they weren't on a proper approach. So it wasn't the trees being in the way of a plane but the plane being in the way of trees.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

olubunmi wrote:
Russia's Emergency Ministry said there were 96 dead, 88 part of a Polish state delegation. Poland's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Piotr Paszkowski, said there were 89 people on the passenger list but one person had not shown up.


So that's 88 top officials who died in the crash...

This is a disaster.


Not trying to be insensitive or anything, but isn't stuff like this exactly why you don't transport a bunch of governmental officials in the same vehicle at the same time?
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Roĝer » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:46 pm UTC

The plane did not contain the entire Polish government, it contained president Kaczynski and a lot of his political friends, that is mostly conservative party members. Nevertheless, among the deceased are:

The president and his wife
Two deputy speakers of the parliament and one of the senate
Fourteen parliamentarians and three senators
The president of the national bank
The highest chief of the Polish armed forces
The commanders of the air force, land force, navy and special forces
Two deputy ministers, plus a large part of the presidential office
An archbishop and a bishop
and some more rather important figures.

No matter what your political affiliation is, today is a very sad day for Poland.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:45 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:
olubunmi wrote:
Russia's Emergency Ministry said there were 96 dead, 88 part of a Polish state delegation. Poland's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Piotr Paszkowski, said there were 89 people on the passenger list but one person had not shown up.


So that's 88 top officials who died in the crash...

This is a disaster.


Not trying to be insensitive or anything, but isn't stuff like this exactly why you don't transport a bunch of governmental officials in the same vehicle at the same time?

Yeah, pretty much.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Winter Man » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:18 am UTC

Anyone see Putin's reaction? From the clip I saw he just turned up, then shrugged. Pretty much certainly got it in the edit, but still.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Dasboard » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:21 am UTC

UPDATED list of dead

Lech Kaczyński, President
Maria Kaczyńska, First Lady

Ryszard Kaczorowski, last President-in-exile

Krzysztof Putra, vice-Marshal of the Sejm (speaker of Parliament)
Krystyna Bochenek, vice-Marshal of the Sejm

Jerzy Szmajdziński, former Minister of Defence and intended Presidential Candidate for this year's election
Władysław Stasiak, chief of the President's office
Jacek Sasin, his deputy

Aleksander Szczygło, chief of National Security Bureau
Paweł Wypych, Secretary of State in President's office (note to Amerigoons: less important than it sounds)
Mariusz Handzlik, his deputy

Andrzej Kremer, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs
gen. Franciszek Gągor, Chief of Staff
Jerzy Bar, ambassador to Russia

Andrzej Przewoźnik, major historian

Maciej Płażyński, MP, former Marshal of the Sejm
Przemysław Gosiewski, MP, former minister
Zbigniew Wassermann, MP, former minister
Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, MP, former Minister of Social Policy
Jolanta Szymanek-Deresz, MP, former chief of President's Office
Aleksandra Natalii-Świat, MP, vice-president of Law and Justice party
Leszek Deptuła, MP
Grażyna Gęsicka, MP
Arkadiusz Rybicki, MP
Stanisław Zając, MP
Edward Wojtas, MP
Wiesław Woda, MP
Sebastian Karpiniuk, MP
Grzegorz Dolniak, MP

Janusz Kochanowski, Ombudsman

Sławomir Skrzypek, President of the Polish National Bank

Janusz Kurtyka, President of the Institute of National Remembrance (state institution for historical research)

bishop Tadeusz Płoski

and the chiefs of every arm of the Armed Forces.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Game_boy » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:39 am UTC

Winter Man wrote:Anyone see Putin's reaction? From the clip I saw he just turned up, then shrugged. Pretty much certainly got it in the edit, but still.


He's going to "personally lead the investigation".

I don't think comedy writers could do better.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Phen » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:51 am UTC

Game_boy wrote:
Winter Man wrote:Anyone see Putin's reaction? From the clip I saw he just turned up, then shrugged. Pretty much certainly got it in the edit, but still.


He's going to "personally lead the investigation".

I don't think comedy writers could do better.

Leave Kaczynski to me?

That aside, I'm also very interested in seeing how Poland fares through this tragedy.
Last edited by Phen on Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:11 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:02 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Not trying to be insensitive or anything, but isn't stuff like this exactly why you don't transport a bunch of governmental officials in the same vehicle at the same time?

To be fair, flying from Poland to Russia is not entirely unlike flying from, say, Washington D.C. to New York City. It is a fairly pedestrian journey. (Checked it to make sure I wasn't making a ridiculous claim: Warsaw is actually closer to Moscow than those US cities.)

All my sympathies are with Poland: I'm sure the country is full of talented individuals who can keep the country on its feet, but such a tragedy will undoubtedly have wide repercussions at least in the short term. I shudder to imagine something similar befalling my country.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Hawknc » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

God, this is a horrible tragedy. My thoughts are with Poland right now.

Pez Dispens3r wrote:I shudder to imagine something similar befalling my country.

Would it be horrible to say that, as long as Wilson Tuckey was on board, we'd probably come out better for it? Yes, I suppose it probably is, but I'm going to stand by it anyway.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby zombie_monkey » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:55 pm UTC

Also, they weren't going to Moscow, they were going to the site of the massacres, landing on Smolensk airport, which is just next to the border.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Diadem » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:32 pm UTC

So the Polish army is without a leadership? Someone should notify Germany.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Gears » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:39 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:So the Polish army is without a leadership? Someone should notify Germany.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby MrGee » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Vaniver » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:17 pm UTC

This is really tragic.

From the Washington Post article:
Edward Cody and Peter Finn wrote:A nationalist with an abiding suspicion of Russia, Kaczynski, 60, did not attend the joint ceremony Wednesday and instead was arriving for a largely Polish ceremony Saturday. Kazcynski had in the past infuriated Moscow with his embrace of Ukrainian and Georgian leaders hostile to Moscow and his support for the placement of a U.S. missile defense system on Polish soil.

The deaths near Katyn of Kazcynski and a delegation sprinkled with people who had felt the heavy hand of the Soviets seems extraordinary and will certainly fuel conspiracy theories about the crash. But all early reports pointed to pilot error.

Polish and Russian officials said the plane was serviced and refurbished at a Russian plant in December, but the Polish government's continued use of aging Russian jets has been the source of some controversy in the country. The government said it could not afford a new fleet of Western planes.

"I once said that we will one day meet in a funeral procession, and that is when we will take the decision to replace the aircraft fleet," said former prime minister Leszek Miller, who was injured when a government helicopter crashed in 2003.
It looks like it could go either way. I agree there's reason to suspect Putin, but I also think his reaction could be explained by "shit, now people are going to blame me for pilot error / mechanic failure. And I just lost face to try and improve relations!"
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby zombie_monkey » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:34 pm UTC

The way I understand it, Putin didn't invite Kaczynski, who decided to try and make a surprise visit so that Putin wouldn't be able to obstruct him if he had foreknowledge. The control tower didn't let them land four consecutive times, and _finally_ diverted them to Minsk, only when it would have beeen too late for them to land in Belarus and go with cars to Russia to the site of the massacre which is near the border (which would have been problematic, Belarus is still an overt dictatorship, unlike Russia who pretend to be a (semi-)democracy, has flirted with close alignment twith Russia, althought they've been tryingt to act independent, especially since Putin took control, as Putin is a KGB guy and Lukashenko is nomenklatura, natural enemies in the internal struggle for power, but who are hostile to Poland even more than Russia) so the Polish delegation had every reason to suspect the Russians were deliberately obstructing them from attending.

Also, the president's plane had been on a routine technical checkup, in Russia, just two weeks ago.

I think about the first factor there could have been some malign intent on the Russian side, I'm not so sure about he second one, although I wouldn't put it past them. Putin does hate Kaczynsi very much. Not that Kaczynski is someone you would ideally like for president, especially his anti gay rights actions and his bizzare support for Serbia against Kosovo (considering his opposition to Russian subversion of Europe in general, but I can imagine what bizzare religious train of thought brought that about, but I digress, it is kind of forgivable to me, if you have lived through communism, especially on the "wrong side", ironically for those who sought to eradicate religion they didn't understand they strengthened it in those who had their livelyhoods taken away, I suspect they didn't care for those people specifically). but he died for noble principles. This has been a great month for Putin, first the subway bombings put him again firmly in control of Russia since the uncertainty after he put Medvedev as president (not that anyone doubted this was temporary uncertainty), now Kaczynski dies. And Kyrgyzstan too.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby Diadem » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:The way I understand it, Putin didn't invite Kaczynski, who decided to try and make a surprise visit so that Putin wouldn't be able to obstruct him if he had foreknowledge. The control tower didn't let them land four consecutive times, and _finally_ diverted them to Minsk

Which of course does mean that if they hadn't been fucking with them, and allowed them to land the first time, this accident would not have occured.

Whether that's a fair spin to put on the story is another matter, but I'm sure it is grounds enough for people who already have an anti-Russian sentiment, to point a finger at Russia.

And i have to say. Not allowing a governmental plane to land is childish and dickish, and stalling them until they are almost out of fuel.. You're definitely playing with their safety then.
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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby zombie_monkey » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

Well _allegedly_ this was because of the fog, I'm not sure if you got that, but yeah. They made them wait and diverted them only when it was too late to make alternative arrangements to make it to the ceremony. And diverted them to a country even more hostile to Poland than Russia. Specifically Lukashenko (the ruler of Belarus) refused to attend or even send a Belarussian delegation to the ceremony at the site of the massacre.

EDIT: Some reports say they suggested that they to go to Belarus immediately after they arrived. Even if that's the case, I don't know how safe they would have been there, and they would surely been obstructed, Lukashenko would have probably extradited them back to Poland in the best case. They probably diverted them exactly there for that reason, rather than to another Russian airport.

In the end, all we know is what the Russians are claiming as of now. They're a sole and biased source of information.

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Re: Polish president among 132 dead in plane crash

Postby rath358 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:34 am UTC

Wasn't the death count 96?
Also, for various reasons, I find myself comparing this with Senator Wellstone's death...


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