In the year 2010 a great tragedy struck the nation of Poland. A Polish Air Force jet carrying then President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, along with high ranking military and political officials, Polish clergy and relatives of victims from the Katyn massacre took off from Warsaw headed for Smolensk in Russia for a joint commemoration of the 70 th anniversary of the mass executions of Polish POWs by the Soviet Army during World War II. While attempting to land at Smolensk North Airport in the middle of thick fog, the plane plowed into the forest far short of the runway and exploded, killing all 96 passengers and crew aboard. Poland and Russia mourned the shocking incident, and the Polish president and first lady were accorded a state funeral before being buried.
Although the general consensus for the root cause of the crash was an accident brought on by pilot error – the air force unit the provided the pilots was found to be ineptly trained and subsequently disbanded – there have been conspiracy theories as to what may have actually went down, most likely assassination. As The New York Times tells it however, on Monday night the bodies of Lech and Maria Kaczynski were exhumed from their burial place, brought on by a renewed investigation into the plane crash.
In addition, the remains of the other victims of the Smolensk incident, 83 more of the 96 total, were also being exhumed by order of Polish prosecutors. The late president and first lady have been interred in a sarcophagus under Wawel Cathedral in Krakow alongside Polish kings and heroic figures.
On hand when the bodies were disinterred was Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, leader of the Law and Justice party that had entered into power in the Polish government last year.
Kaczynski’s party has long argued that the conclusions reached by Russian authorities and the former government’s joint investigation were inconclusive as to what actually caused the plane to crash.
They were doubtful of the accident conclusion and were offering alternative theories that suspect a conspiracy in the works: that the President’s plane was shot down by Russian hands, that there had been a bomb on board, or that the prior Polish regime may have sabotaged it with the incompetent flight crew. No evidence has been found that would lend veracity to any of these theories however, but the cry of foul play has taken grip of the Polish popular imagination; a film of the incident that played on the bomb theory premiered at Warsaw’s opera house last year.
The exhumations were called for by Polish deputy prosecutor general Marek Pasionek, who wanted new autopsies done due to reports of “medical violations” performed by Russian authorities from 2010 who originally examined the bodies.
Photo Credit to https://arynews.tv