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Poles criticise Russia 10 years after air crash

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The wreckage of the Polish presidential plane which crashed in western Russia in 2010, killing President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others. Photo: AP

The wreckage of the Polish presidential plane which crashed in western Russia in 2010, killing President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others. Photo: AP

The wreckage of the Polish presidential plane which crashed in western Russia in 2010, killing President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others. Photo: AP

Poland's ruling nationalists held scaled-down events yesterday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of a plane crash in Russia which killed top politicians and military officers, and renewed criticism of Moscow's handling of the disaster.

Senior officials laid wreaths in Warsaw to honour late president Lech Kaczynski, who died in the crash.

The crash in thick fog near Smolensk in western Russia was Poland's worst air disaster since World War II and stunned the country. It also deepened political divisions and revived suspicions about Russia, Warsaw's former Cold War master.

President Andrzej Duda, an ally of the ruling Law and Justice Party - founded by Kaczynski and twin brother Jaroslaw - expressed regret the coronavirus outbreak made it impossible to mark the tragedy properly.

Many Poles, including Mr Duda, suspect the crash was not caused by pilot error but by foul play."We don't have basic evidence, the wreckage is still in Russia, the black boxes are still in Russia," he said.

Irish Independent