The 2010 Katyń Families Association



In the early hours of the morning, on April 10th, 2010 a TU-154M plane crashed in Smolensk (Russia) a 1km short of the runway in foggy weather conditions, killing all passengers on board.

The plane was carrying a delegation of 96 deserved and distinguished patriots, members of the Polish elite, including the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, former President Ryszard Kaczorowski, the entire general army command, the Chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland's deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 15 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.

An event regarded by many as the worst national disaster to befall on Poland since World War II.

They were on the way from Warsaw (Poland) to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre.


What happened?

On 10 April 2010 the Polish aircraft Tu-154M was flying at least a few metres above the ‘Smolensk birch tree’. This is the conclusion reached in an expert opinion that has been in the hands of the military prosecutor’s office since 2011. The expert opinion was compiled by ATM, the manufacturer of the aircraft’s Polish black box.



On 10 April 2010, a Polish aircraft carrying the Polish President and 95 other people was destroyed in Smolensk. Four years later, the Russians shot down a Malaysian Boeing 777 carrying almost 300 people from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and other countries. Here are some differences and similarities of these two events.



A court in Warsaw has ruled that the Prosecutor must reopen the case concerning irregularities in the organisation of flights to Smolensk. "The omissions on the part of state officials are very serious. These concern the failure to provide adequate security for the President’s visit, which directly exposed him to danger. The ineptitude and incompetence of state officials should be subject to legal sanctions – said Bartosz Kownacki, legal representative to some of the family members of the Smolensk victims. >>