Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) and brother of the deceased President Lech Kaczyński, addressed a commemoration march for the 12th anniversary of the Smolensk air disaster and claimed that in the coming days details would emerge of what actually happened 12 years ago.
“We know what happened in Smolensk and in the coming days we will be revealing that” said Kaczyński, who regretted that the pandemic had made it impossible to hold commemoration marches in 2020 and 2021 but said the three years had been important for getting to the bottom of the causes of the tragedy and that the memory was an important part of Poland’s national identity.
The Law and Justice (PiS) leader claimed that “the change in the way of looking at this tragedy has come as a result of the war in Ukraine and the crimes committed by Russia during it,” revealing how in reality Russia had changed little since Soviet times. He thanked all those who refused to give up in the search for truth.
He called for accountability for the “crime of Smolensk,” and said what had happened was in Moscow’s interests and that there was now a need to identify those who took the decision and executed it.
Kaczyński called on European leaders to face reality, and argued that untangling what happened in Smoleńsk was part of the fight for Ukraine’s freedom and that there must be accountability for both.
On April 10, 2010 a Polish plane carrying President Lech Kaczyński and 95 other passengers, including many senior establishment figures, crashed on the approach to Smolensk airport in thick fog. The Polish president and the VIPs were traveling to take part in a commemoration of the Katyn genocide committed by the Soviet Union in 1940. There were no survivors of the crash.
A Russian-led investigation blamed the pilots. A Polish state investigation attributed some blame to the air traffic controllers on duty that day. Independent investigations have continued and have been hampered by the lack of Russian cooperation over interrogation of witnesses and the transfer of the plane wreck and the originals of the plane’s black boxes.