Smolensk catastrophe: Strong emotions in Poland as photos from Moscow’s morgue are revealed

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Photographs of former Polish Prime Minister and Minister of Health Ewa Kopacz smiling alongside Russian doctors and leisurely drinking coffee with them inside Moscow’s morgue have provoked outrage in Poland, according to a report from Polish news outlet Niezalezna

The photos were revealed in the new documentary “State of Emergency” that covers the April 10, 2010, Smolensk catastrophe, which was aired on public television on Sunday and Monday.

The photographs evoked strong emotions, as in them, Ewa Kopacz, is shown happily posing and drinking coffee with Russian doctors in Moscow’s morgue. The team was autopsying the catastrophe’s victims. One of the bodies can even be seen in the photos. Ewa Kopacz was in Moscow as the highest-ranking representative of the Polish government and was serving as the health minister at the time.

The pictures provoked outrage on social media.

The tags “State of Emergency” and “Kopacz” were two of the top trending ones on Polish Twitter. Solidarity Poland MEP Patryk Jaki posted the photos on Twitter and slammed Kopacz for disrespecting the victims of the catastrophe. 

“A sweet photo from the Moscow morgue with the body of a Smoleńsk Catastrophe victim revealed in Ewa Stankiewicz’s film. I’m at a loss for words,” he wrote.

Law and Justice (PiS) MP Rafał Bochenek emphasized that the photos showed how the Civic Platform (PO) was really “fighting for Polish dignity in Russia”.

“While we were all drowning in sorrow, crushed, and April 10, 2010, was to be remembered as one of the most tragic days in Polish history, this is how the then current government ‘fought’ in Russia for the dignity of our countrymen. A total failure and downfall. I have no words for this.”

Donald Tusk, who was the prime minister of Poland during the Smolensk catastrophe, decided to defend Kopacz.

“When Ewa Kopacz was helping the families of victims in the most difficult situations, PiS was organizing national witch hunts from safety. And it remains so today,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We’ve just seen what her help looked like,” PiS MEP Dominik Tarczyński commented in an interview with portal while referring to Kopacz’s photos from the Moscow morgue.

“All of Poland has just seen how she was helping. If according to Tusk this was help, then this is the manner in which Tusk’s government helped Poles for eight years – by posing for photos with Russians. This is how Tusk posed with Merkel. This is how Kopacz, as we’ve seen, posed with Germans in Germany. This is how they posed for eight years,” Tarczyński stated.

Kopacz is currently a Civic Platform MEP. She was previously the prime minister of Poland between 2014 and 2015, during the end of the Civic Platform government term. 

Title picture: Ewa Kopacz in Moscow’s morgue, source: TVP1, screen capture.

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