- Title: Russia releases footage of Polish plane debris from 2010 Smolensk crash
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: ****WARNING:CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS CROWD GATHERED IN FRONT OF PRESIDENTIAL PALACE, LIGHTING CANDLES CANDLE BURNING
- Keywords: Poland plane crash Russia Russian-Polish investigation Smolensk plane crash
- Reuters ID: LVA005C8WRL89
- Location: SMOLENSK AND MOSCOW, RUSSIA / WARSAW, POLAND
- City: SMOLENSK AND MOSCOW, RUSSIA / WARSAW, POLAND
- Country: Russia
- Duration: 00:00:11
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Air Accidents,Disaster/Accidents
- Story Text: A Russian government investigative committee on Friday (April 10) released footage of debris and plane wreckage from the 2010 plane crash in Smolensk, which killed 96 people as well as Poland's then president Lech Kaczynski, and said the evidence did not support the idea that there had been an explosion on board.
A spokeswoman for the committee said fragments of the plane and the remains of the victims did not show any traces of explosives or substances that would not have originated from the plane itself.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Poland's top officials will not go to Smolensk where the the presidential Tupolev-154M plane crashed in thick fog on approach to the airport on April 10, 2010 and commemoration events held in Poland will be low key.
While the crash, which also killed Kaczynskis wife Maria, the central bank chief, top army brass and many lawmakers, initially united Poles in grief, it later came to deepen divisions between liberals and conservatives, including the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.
An inquiry by Poland's previous government returned a verdict of pilot error, but PiS, led by Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw, has said there may have been an explosion. PiS also says Russia should return the plane's wreckage to Poland.
Ties between Poland and Russia have been strained since the crash and have plumbed new lows after a series of comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin last December about Poland bearing some responsibility for the outbreak of World War Two.
(Production: Maria Vasilyeva, Lewis Macdonald)
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