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Poland: President Kaczyński is Killed in Plane Crash in Russia – Initial Reactions

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Poland, Russia, Breaking News, Disaster, Governance, History, International Relations, Politics

The news of the plane crash in Western Russia, which killed the President Lech Kaczyński [1], his wife and dozens of other senior Polish officials this morning, is reaching the entire blogosphere, as well as the mainstream media [2] now. The President was traveling to Katyn [3], to take part in commemoration of the anniversary of the 1940 Katyn Forest massacre.

Both Twitter and its Polish mirror service Blip.pl host initial reactions to the catastrophe. People are shocked.

Ewa_b posts [4]:


Nice is adding [5] [PL]:


It must be a bad dream ;-(

Others, like Namenick, express [6] their shock together with passing on the news in English:


Vagla points out [7] [PL]:


Half of Poland's government was on that plane.

Joined in sentiment [8] [PL] by hustka:


“these are the people who ruled the country” chaos!! ;o

Perdo points out [9] [PL]:


The Parliament Speaker steps in for the President. They will announce early elections.

Polish news services, such as Onet.pl, are currently crashing under the load of traffic; mobile networks are also overloaded.

Dziennikarz is reporting [10] [PL]:


All Polish portals are having problems with gigantic traffic

Malisa updates [11] on mobile networks [PL]:


#plusgsm [12] network overloaded. people must call each other with the news.

Mainstream media is delivering news updates constantly, so reactions to those start to appear as well:

KissMeJoeJ is posting [13]:


Polskatimes.pl has published [14] the initial list of people who were on the plane, feeding [15] it to Twitter, too.

Some, like Irenkaa, start speculating [16] [PL]:


I wonder if it really was an accident…

Voter101 comments [17] on the fact that President was not liked by the public [PL]:


#president no one liked him – now there will be respect for the dead…Irony.

Naphilim explains [18] [PL]:

Maybe I didn't like him, but this is not how I imagined the change of the head of the country.

People are beginning to gather and express their grief, as dominikpanek is reporting [19] [PL]:


In front of Presidential Palace in Warsaw citizens of the capital gather. They are bringing flowers and wreaths.

Twitter users are using #RIPLechKaczynski [20] hashtag to express their grief online, calling others to join them, the way TeamJoeJ does [21]:


Linkaaa‘s tweet [22] sums up the general feeling of the Polish social media users now: