During the morning of 10 April 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft belonging to the Polish government crashed while attempting to land at Smolensk, Russia. The aircraft was ferrying an official delegation to commemorate the victims of the Katyn forest massacre, shot by the Soviet secret police in 1940.
The Institute of World Politics extends its deepest condolences to the people of Poland on the loss of their President, Lech Kaczynski, and the First Lady, Maria Kaczynska, as well as the last President of Poland-in-Exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski. In addition, some of Poland’s most senior politicians perished, as well as relatives of the victims of Katyn. The chief of staff of the Polish armed forces, General Franciszek Gagor, the commander of Poland’s navy, the chief of Poland’s special forces, many other senior military officers, and the chief Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant chaplains of the nation’s armed forces are also among the lost.
The depth of this national tragedy for Poland is profound, but its sadness is reinforced by its connection to the IWP family. Several of the passengers were friends of the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, including Janusz Kurtyka, Andrzej Przewoznik, and Anna Walentynowicz, while others worked closely with The Institute of World Politics, including Mariusz Handzlik, Wladyslaw Stasiak, Zbigniew Wasserman, and Slawomir Skrzypek.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.