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What is your reaction to Polish plane crash?

09:41 UK time, Saturday, 10 April 2010

The bodies of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria Kaczynska are now lying in state in the capital, Warsaw. What next for Poland?

The first couple are to be buried on Sunday, a day after a memorial service for all the victims of last Saturday's plane crash in Russia.

The president and his party of senior Polish military and political officials were on their way to a memorial for the Polish victims of a World War II massacre by Soviet secret police at Katyn, near Smolensk.

Mr Kaczynski has been a controversial figure in Polish politics, advocating a right-wing Catholic agenda.

Are you in Poland? What is Lech Kaczynski's legacy? What impact will this have on relations between Poland and Russia?


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  • Comment number 1.

    Deepest condolences...

  • Comment number 2.

    This is huge tragedy for all Poles. I still don't believe it happened.

  • Comment number 3.

    My mom's from Poland, so obviously interrested in what happened.
    Must say though, that we're not fans of Mr. Kaczyński's ideas. Doesn't take away the fact that this a horrible disaster and my thoughts are with Poland now.

  • Comment number 4.

    i'm polish but i live in germany. i'm completely shocked. to be honest, i didn't like him as a politician but this doesn't matter now. i met his wife once and she had such a fantastic aura... it's a very bad day for poland. we lost our head of state, many very good politicians and a lot of people from the military. it's like a big hole in our country.
    the telephones are ringing, people are sitting shocked in front of the tv... life stands still in poland. on the tv i can see a crowd in front of the presidents palace... the flag flies at half-mast. RIP.

  • Comment number 5.

    A great loss for Polish leadership: not least the president who has been seen as one 'opposed to rapid free-market reforms and favoured retaining social welfare programmes'. The trouble with the openning up of Eastern Europe to rampant capitalism is that there is no social safety net for those left behind & wealth is now concentrated in the hands of a few.

  • Comment number 6.

    My decent condolences to the Polish nation.

  • Comment number 7.

    Any plane crash involving loss of life is tragic no matter who it is.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm Polish and we have just got this information - it is a big chaos noeone can really say how many people died what was exact reason.... a lot of people are crying in the front of president's house it is a big lost for all people from Poland and closest family of president whose mother is in hospital seriously ill...

  • Comment number 9.

    There were many important people on the plane with the president. Today, Poland has lost prominent people who had contributed a lot for this country and even though I didn't like all of them, I'm deeply sorry for them and their families. I think all of the Poles grieve for them, be it the supporters or the opponents. May they rest in peace.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am Polish and I am in total shock.
    The Polish delegation shouldn't have flown together on a Russian plane.
    I don't think this is an accident. And I don't think we will ever find out the truth.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is an horrible and sad accident.
    I would like to convey my personal condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and also to the people of Poland.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am shocked,it is absolutely unbeliveable...everybody in Poland is grieving...

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    I live in Poland. When I woke up this morning and turned on the tv I couldn't believe what I was seeing. That's true that people here didn't like him and his ideas as somebody sad before, but now it doesn't matter. Poland is now in a hard situation, without the most important persons in the goverment.

  • Comment number 16.

    It is an enormous tragedy for our nation. It is not only a tragedy of individuals but a blow to the whole state structure. Frankly, I cannot imagine what is going to happen. We will have a presidential elections in two months, we lost nearly all of the top officials, army's chiefs are dead. I hope that my country will not plunge in chaos.

    Pres. Kaczynski, as it was said, was a controversial figure, I didn't agree with him on many issues but now I am sure the whole country will unite in a mourning.

  • Comment number 17.

    Although I've never been a supporter of Kaczynski's, he was my President. I cannot belive he is gone, I simply cannot

  • Comment number 18.

    Great loss for all of us. There were actually two presidents on the plane. Our great former President Kaczorowski who survived IIWWar and comunist times and now died in Katyn, what an irony and cruelty of faith. More on president Kaczorowski

  • Comment number 19.

    This place in Russia is tragic for Poland, 70 years ago nearly 20 thousand, the most intelligent people were killed by soviets,now after so many years the most intelligent people die again in the same place...

  • Comment number 20.

    I would like to express my deepest condolences to the people of Poland.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hmmm yes the irony not just concerning katyn anniversary but that it was a plane crash Poland has been here before .
    Iam sad for all of Poland and its people.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hard to believe. I Don't know what can I say...

  • Comment number 23.

    I still can't believe, that it's true. It's one of the biggest disasters in history of Polish Third Republic.... Rest in peace Mr President...

  • Comment number 24.

    It's not only about the President, but many, many other venerable people on the plane. This news is extremely hard to digest. You can't be prepared for a disaster like that. Journalists on the radio don't know what to ask about, interlocutors don't know what to reply. Shocking.

  • Comment number 25.

    I can not believe it. I have been crying all morning. He was a good person, good president and all the others. And my uncle died in that tragedy as well. I just can not come to terms with it...

  • Comment number 26.

    The aircraft looks old! The airport was not up to Western standards and did not have any fog lights so the plane was coming in to land blind! Do these people never learn!

  • Comment number 27.

    All of Poland is filled with great sorrow and profound grief. It is a terrible tragedy! I can not stop crying. How to cope with such a great loss for the Polish State?

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    I am an English guy living in Myslowice, Poland, with my Polish partner. Her family and friends are deeply shocked by the tragic news, and the normal Saturday morning bustle is very subdued here.
    My sympathies and condolences to all Polish People.

  • Comment number 30.

    Sad, but with a senior and controversial politician we all have to suspect espionage.

  • Comment number 31.

    It is very sad , you do not wish things like that even to your gratest enemy. Many people dint like Lech Kaczynski presidency but he was a human and it is huge tragedy for all of us to loose head of our Country and so many countryman.

  • Comment number 32.

    The president of a major european ally is killed in an air crash, headline news on all TV channels EXCEPT the BBC morning 9 o'clock news when there is not even a mention in the headlines, eventually a breif mention 10 or 15 minutes into the bulletein. Come on BBC, some of us are interested in events outside our own country, if Sky news can have the crash as the top storey, why can;t the BBC even mention it!

  • Comment number 33.

    today i woke up and i thought i would spend this day in the shopping centre , i rather dont turn on telly so early but today it was otherwise, and then i heard it, when i was reading surnames of people who died i hoped that president and his wife were stil alive , maybe injured but alive, but headlines was red , and list of people who died only was going on, it didnt end, i cant believe , and i dont believe, i pray for peace for them , it is so sad.

  • Comment number 34.

    Its not just the tragedy of the loss of the Head of State. Its also the Commanders of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Special Forces and the Chief of the General Staff, plus the armed services chief chaplains of 5 religions and denominations, 2 deputy Speakers of the Lower House of Parliament (one of them a presidential candidate for this year's elections), 2 deputy Speakers from the Upper House (Senate), numerous government and presidential ministers, Senators and Members of Parliament, the president of the Central Bank, the head of the Polish Olympic Committee, the Citizen's Rights Ombudsman and the list goes on and on...........

    A tragedy on a particularly poignant day (70th anniversary of Katyn liquidations) for the victims, their families and indeed the nation.

  • Comment number 35.

    Mr. Kaczyński was the first president of Poland since WW2 that I was proud of.
    Mr. Kaczorowski was our last president on exile.
    Mr. Kurtyka was the head of IPN, the Institute of National Remembrance, whose work to restore the historical memory to Poles deserves my highest respect and gratitude.
    Mr. Skrzypek's policies brought Poland safely through the recent global economical troubles.
    Many were the families of Katyn victims.
    May they rest in peace and stay in our grateful memories.
    My deepest condolences to the families and friends of those perished, and to all of us, the Poles around the world. As long as we live, the Poland lives on.

  • Comment number 36.

    My first thought was - why would Russia assassinate the Polish President? Was it someone else on the plane they wanted to kill?

    Cant believe that in the modern age planes would be so badly maintained that they'd fall out of the sky.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    This is so surreal. The accident, the circumstances, the occasion.
    I'm shocked. And worried - what's next?

  • Comment number 39.

    Shocked and speechless.

  • Comment number 40.

    I am Polish and would like to share my opinion with you. We are all totally shocked after hearing about the plane crash. So many important Polish figures died. When it comes to my opinion and opinion of many Polish people, we all think that it is very suspicious that they all died in the crash plane In Rusia. 70 years after the massacre, when Soviet killed many people, once again, the Polish died in the same place, in the same country. In addition to this , the President was not popular in Russia as he did not blindly follow what the Russian government said. He could have been very inconvenient for Russian President. Moreover, I doubt that the plane itself was not checked before the flight due to the fact that very important people were flighting on the board. Anyway, I will leave it with you so you may judge what really happenede. I am convinced though, that the detailes of the crash will never be presented. I hope that the history will show what really happened.

  • Comment number 41.

    My deep condolences to Poland and to all who supported Kaczinsky's ideas of free Europe.
    What makes this incident suspicious is that the Polish president flied by an outdated Soviet scrap.
    I would remind you that he was also shot from the Russian occupied territories while he was in Georgia in 2008.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    And one more detail, he was one of the most unwelcome guy for the Russian authorities because he actively backed the elimination of the Russian influence in the former east block countries.

  • Comment number 42.

    Sad day for the Polish people. I hope the investigation will reveal what went wrong, so that another tragedy of this type will be avoided. My thoughts go out to the families of all onboard on this terrible day.

  • Comment number 43.

    This is indeed a tragedy for the whole of Poland. In commemorating those torn down by war far too young, the nation's leaders were also taken so cruelly, far from home. All that can console the friends and families of those killed and all the Polish people, is the message we heard on Easter Sunday across the world. For all those who do good in the world, peace and ever lasting life shall be theirs. Surely this is a time for prayer and thanks giving, for Poland has stayed faithful to that message. Words alone cannot express how much of a tragedy that this event truly is, but we give thanks for all that was done by these leaders in their lives. RIP

  • Comment number 44.

    It is tragedy that so many important cultural and historical figures have perished in this crash, a tragedy!!

  • Comment number 45.

    I cannot believe this is an accident.

  • Comment number 46.

    I am so sorry about this tragedy. I personally worked together with some Polish people, who had great character. I went once in Poland and I met there only good people.

  • Comment number 47.

    Deepest condolences to the relatives and all Poles. Współczucia dla rodzin i wszystkich Polaków.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    It is so hard to write anything in such moment.. So many people died. So many families suffering..Even though I am usually away from politics, from the government and what they do - I am shivering since I've heard about what happened. I feel like my country has lost what kept it balanced. Almost every most influential institution have lost some of its key people. I believe that everything will be fine, those who are left will organize everything according to the constitution, but a long time will have to pass until somebody gets such an experience and professional knowledge as many of these people had. It's so cloudy in Warsaw now.

  • Comment number 50.

    I am shocked and very upset... Reast in Peace

  • Comment number 51.

    Its a terrible tragedy but no matter what everyone else thinks about this, knowing recent Polish-Russian relationship it is hard to believe that all of sudden the trees grew up so tall that they caused this crash and lets not forget there is an important military base located near Smolensk. Either way we will never know the truth.
    May they rest in peace.

  • Comment number 52.

    Greatest tragedy in decades for Poland... Deepest condolences to the families.

    As a former official at one of the ministries in Poland, I flew on this airplane (worst conditions ever in my experience), and it is likewise tragic that lack of firm decision-making on ensuring the use of highest quality airplanes for the government and President has likely contributed to this tragedy.

    Likewise, how is it possible that the Entire General Staff of the Polish Army were allowed to fly on the same flight? Something worth investigating for the press..

  • Comment number 53.

    I would also like to second "art's" comment. The BBC's coverage has been wholly inadequate. This is the death of dozens of Polish leaders, why is it not leading the headlines. Poland is a very close European ally and given the numbers of Poles in this country, the BBC really should lead with this tragic news. Many rely on the BBC to knew what is happening back home and so far coverage has been very poor.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Regardless of the differences...

  • Comment number 56.

    Being from the opposite side of the political scene, I am having tears in my eyes. I wish I was with my nation when this tragedy is happening.
    Lech Walesa was right calling this tragedy second Katyn, as this one also takes political elites, that it will take years to recreate. Paradoxical as it is - they were going to visit Katyn. This place seems to be polish curse.

    Rest in peace.

    Czesc ich pamieci.

  • Comment number 57.

    I woke up in the morning and found out about this huge tragedy of our nation. It is incredible something like this can happen in a single moment. It should remind us how fragile our lives are and how suddenly everything may end. God bless them all.

  • Comment number 58.

    Unbelievable tragedy for all Poles. Except of the president many politicians, church figures and more important people are dead. One of the biggest plane crashes ever.

  • Comment number 59.

    Please fix IMMIDIATELY!! Here :
    Plane flight from Warsaw, not from Moscow!
    Russian Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova never said that it flight from Moscow! Do you put wrong information confusedly or you have a specific reason for that?

  • Comment number 60.

    I am in London 6 years. I am from Poland.
    I am proud to be Polish and my hart is broken today. I am 28 years old male and I was krying and I am still krying. I love my country and this is huge tragedy for my as a Polish citizen.


  • Comment number 61.

    This is very sad indeed. It also so very poignant as they were to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. However, why did so many important people travel on ONE plane ? It has historical resonances on many levels. Not just the Katyn massacre, BUT the mystery that still surrounds the death of the Polish President Sikorski during WW2,also in a plane "crash".
    Smutny dzien
    Janek Edinburgh
    Never Forget the red poppies of Monte Cassino

  • Comment number 62.

    It is so sad and tragic.. Just 2 years ago a simmilar accident happened to a Polish military plane carring some 20 Polish top military officials. The previous disaster was also caused by landing in bad weather conditions. You would think that governmental or presidential planes are extra secure. My deepest condolences for the families..

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm a UK based Pole. This is a tragedy for so many people. Although a great loss to all Poles, some reports are stating that there were up 132 people killed. Therefore 132 people who will have many family and friends who have lost a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their lives, and their loved ones.

  • Comment number 64.

    I can not believe it. I have been crying all morning. All the good people died, including my uncle;(

  • Comment number 65.

    This is an incredible tragedy. The history is happening.

  • Comment number 66.

    I am simply devastaed. The majority of the people who died in the crash were the intellectual elite of Poland (Janusz Kurtyka, Janusz Kochanowski, the President himself and others). I have no idea what will happen now. I cannot comprehend this loss. Poland lost its best people.

  • Comment number 67.

    it's like another little katyn for me - most important people in goverment are dead, what can be worse for state? Now, we're afraid of what will happen in next days or months.

  • Comment number 68.

    I din't like our president Mr Kaczyński. But now I feel sorrow. I hope, that this tragedy will help us to understand the dream of life. Especially in Poland, where we are still arguing. Arguing about everything. About a car park place, about a too high fence, about words and at last about legitimacy of our ideas. We should built our country, make him stronger. We should achieve real agreement inside and outside of Poland. Agreement among our citizens and with different nations. I hope that this tragedy will make our citizens, our politicians wiser and will renew our dream about strong and fair Poland.

  • Comment number 69.

    to moderator: I am deeply frustrated of BBC - I expected to see more on your channel, but coudn't find any news of this tragic and very important event. Please tell me how do you understand "BREAKING NEWS" then?

  • Comment number 70.

    This morning has been a huge shock for our community just outside Wroclaw. I have flown my own Union Jack and my wife has flown her countries Polish Flag both at Half mast on our house. And our web sites also fly the Polish Flag with Black ribbon in respect to all those souls who lost their lives in this tragic plane crash. The news, radio and TV is none stop about the loss of so many people. Now Donald Tusk must take Poland into a period of mourning and reflection and continue to lead and bond the people of Poland through this tough and sad time.

  • Comment number 71.

    May They rest in peace... A tragedy without precedence in the history of any country - the whole high echelon dead in one strike... I was never a big fan of his, but still... And i"m especially sorry for the First Lady, she was such a kind person. And the other people, simply a tragedy...

  • Comment number 72.

    I am British but live in Krakow, Poland and was shocked this morning by the news of the Polish President's untimely death. That shock is evident everywhere here. Despite the growing unpopularity of his administration and his somewhat 'quirky' image abroad, Kaczynski was recognised as a staunch nationalist with only the nation's best interests at heart; this is the source of the sombre faces on the streets of Krakow. Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister (and political opponent of Kaczynski) is a popular 'western-aligned' reformer yet Kaczynski was seen as the healthy counter-balance to his administration. The obvious question now is what happens next? Presidential elections were already planned for later this year (Autumn 2010) and the Leader of the Polish Sejm (Parliament), Marek Borowski, will now step-in as acting President. He, incidentally, recently won the nomination as Presidential candidate for the same political party that Tusk heads. Nonetheless, he is seen as an experienced and middle-ground politician - a steady pair of hands and a balance between the progressive reforming politics of Tusk and Kaczynski's right-wing national agenda. This proud nation and important EU member now finds itself in mourning for the loss of not just its President but also many other senior governmental figures. Let's hope Borowski's calming influence and wise stewardship unites the nation during this period of great sadness and unexpected transition.

  • Comment number 73.

    I am shocked and devastated that this has happened! Is the history repeating itself? Katyn has claimed even more Polish lives now.

  • Comment number 74.

    Very,very upseting news. My mum texted me to check the bbc in the morning cause she couldn't believe the Polish news.I live in Bristol now but that does not change the way I feel today. Katyn is now the darkest point in the Polish history and our memories. We can only pray for those who died there today. I is good to see we-Poles always unite in moments like this wherever we are.

  • Comment number 75.

    This accident will be remembered as the double tragedy of Katyn.

  • Comment number 76.

    Im curious as to wether polands new leaders will have a better "understanding"with russia!?! Also I hope that the international plane crash investigators do a fantastic job as they will have there work cut out. I just hope they don't face any delays by the Russians that will hinder there investigation!

  • Comment number 77.

    It's a great tragedy, but what bothers me most at the moment is that irresponsible people in Poland will make numerous conspiracy theories. A theory blaming Russians for this is likely to strain even more, already difficult contacts with Russia. And the planes were simply old. Remember when Leszek Miller's plane broke down and passengers were rescued only because of the pilot's abilities?

  • Comment number 78.

    Is this a coincidence???
    Is this a coincidence???
    Is this a coincidence???
    Is this a coincidence???
    Is this a coincidence???

    What about Russia?????

  • Comment number 79.

    Deepest condolences.

  • Comment number 80.

    It`s another sad,sad day in history of Poland.Hard to descripe what I feel.I pray for them and think about their families.

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm just a high school kid, so I've got nothing wise to say. But I cried a lot. I'ts such a great tragedy, no matter what you have thought about president and the others previously.

  • Comment number 82.

    Bells are ringing, people are crying...the prime minister, other politicians, journalists and thousands of regular people who either sit in front of the tv or come out to the streets with flowers and candles. This is Poland today.

  • Comment number 83.

    The president wasn't much liked, but in a situation like that all the nation is united in mourning. All the country's left speechless, and as in so many tragic moments people reflect upon the fragility of life.

  • Comment number 84.

    Yet again, Katyn took the Poland's finest...

  • Comment number 85.

    Obviously a terrible tragedy for all those involved and for Poland. No doubt this will be the cue for more spurious Russia-bashing from the BBC. Have already noted that the newspeaders are talking of Katyn as a Russian massacre of Poles rather than a Soviet one. This despite the fact that the Soviet leader and head of the security police that conducted the killings were Georgians, not Russians. I assume that someone somewhere at the BBC is aware that the USSR and Russia are/were not the same thing.

  • Comment number 86.

    This was a murder but certainly it was not the Russians behind...

  • Comment number 87.

    Deepest condolences from Russia
    I was born in Smolensk where the terrible accident happened this morning, and I've been to that place - Katyn where the president of Poland was heading. I was a child then but will never forget that place.

    It's real sad when so many people die...

  • Comment number 88.

    the history that likes repeating itself...

  • Comment number 89.

    Most sincere condolences for the Polish people and in particular for the family of President Kaczynski...!

  • Comment number 90.

    I am from Poland and have not been a fan of Mr kaczynski. But for us, and for me, this is huge tragedy....i can not is an icredible tragedy....

  • Comment number 91.

    I’m totally shocked. I’ve never supported this president but the human loss caused by this tragedy is unbelievable. They were political elite; there could be a future president on the board. There is something fatalistic about this catastrophe. Katyn is cursed for us. And I’m very very saddened.

  • Comment number 92.

    The information concerning the death of our president and several leading Polish politicians struck me. At first I didn't want to believe this. Listening to the radio and hearing the list of the passangers of the plane read out like a mantra was an unsettling experience. How could this have happened? As a student of political international relations I can only feel the mess in my head at the moment. It's a tragedy that will lead to dire results. I foresee the chaos in the country and I fear where it will lead to.

  • Comment number 93.

    I live in centrum of Warsaw. The atmosphere is dramatic here. We are sad. Most important people for our country died today.
    It is strange that this tragedy happend on their way to Katyn. They were flying to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre where thousand of polish great minds, military officers, doctors, professors, the most important ,best educated Polish citizens at that time, were killed by the Soviets.
    I am shocked and saddened by the news of plane crash. My prayers are with the affected families and Poland.

  • Comment number 94.

    No matter what aspect of this tragedy to take, each one will be a great grief. Airplane crash has taken so many lives and it can’t but leave a mark in everybody’s heart. Moral aspect of such tragedy is obvious. The other aspect concerns Polish people. What will be with them tomorrow? A huge probability of misunderstandings within governing powers that might lead to social unrests. I wish Polish people to cope with such a loss and receive their national legacy with dignity…

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    Too terrible to be true. The list of confirmed deaths is being displayed on every TV channel, but I still can't believe those people are actually no longer with us. The speaker for the Polish Foreign office said there was a yet unconfirmed report of three survivors, and I so want it to be true. Mr President, may you rest in peace.

  • Comment number 97.

    RIP Lech Kaczynski & everyone who died in the plane crash. Mourning for my neighbour country. Deepest condolences to the families !
    Showing our german condolences is hopefully a chance for a reconcilation with our polish neighbours. Katyn was the horrible end of something that startet by the fu... leader of the 3. Reich and Stalin. Poland's tragedies continues again...right in that moment of a new start with Medwedew taking
    part at the anniversary of Katyn...what a tragedy...

  • Comment number 98.

    I am really shocked...
    So many important people died again near Katyn. History's giggling...
    I would like to believe the crash is a haphazard. A lot of important people died including all generals from Polish army headquarters.

  • Comment number 99.

    It is totally shocking news for any country. This accident costed so many important lifes of Polish people but I hope they will overcome this situation.I pray for Polish nation.

    From Bangladesh

  • Comment number 100.

    I did not really agree with President Kaczyński's political ways, but it is a tragedy for faimilies and all Poles. on 70th anniversary of Katyń masacre we all experience next tragedy in the same place.


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