April 10th, 2010
11:31 AM ET
13 years ago

Condolences roll in after plane crash

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/10/art.poland.gi.jpg caption="Poland President Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash in Russia." ](CNN) - World leaders, agencies and officials mourned the death of the Polish president, killed in a plane crash early Saturday.

President Barack Obama:
- "Today's loss is devastating to Poland, to the United States, and to the world. ... Today, there are heavy hearts across America. The United States cherishes its deep and abiding bonds with the people of Poland."

Former President George W. Bush
- "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the deaths of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and all those aboard their airplane.  President Kaczynski was a strong defender of freedom and a friend to the United States.  Laura and I have fond memories of our visits with the President and Maria. On this sad day, we send our heartfelt condolences to people of Poland, and especially to the families of all those lost in this tragic accident.  We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers. "

The U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- "This is a horrible tragedy for Poland. We extend to the people of Poland our deepest condolences."

More reactions after the jump

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev:
- The Russian president offered his condolences to Polish Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski during a telephone conversation with him, Interfax reported.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown:
- "I was shocked and saddened at the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria. President Kaczynski was one of the defining actors in Poland's modern political history. From his role in the Solidarity movement to his long and distinguished career in public service – including as Justice Minister, Mayor of Warsaw, and most recently as President of Poland – he will mourned across the world and remembered as a passionate patriot and
democrat. My thoughts are with his family and countrymen at this most difficult of times."

Kanat Saudabayev, chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:
- "I offer my deepest condolences to the Polish people and to the families of those killed in this tragic accident. Our hearts go out to you in this difficult time."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai:
- The Polish president was a good ally and friend of Afghanistan in fighting against terrorists. The president expressed condolences on behalf of the Afghan people to the friend, families, soldiers and the Polish people.

British Queen Elizabeth II:
- "It is with the deepest sorrow that I have learnt of the death of President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Madame Kaczynska. On this sad occasion I recall President Kaczynski's long and distinguished public service and his role in the Solidarity movement. The deaths of many other of Poland's leading figures, including former President in Exile Kaczorowski, only serve to deepen this tragedy."

Clarence House (Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla):
- "The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are shocked and deeply upset by the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Madame Kaczynski and many others at Smolensk airport this morning. As guests of The President and his wife only a few weeks ago, Their Royal Highnesses experienced at first hand their generous hospitality during what was a very memorable and enjoyable visit to Poland."

German Prime Minister Angela Merkel:
- Kaczynski devoted his life to freedom and the greater good, she said. "The whole of Germany is mourning."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
- "I knew President Kaczynski as a Polish patriot, as a great friend of Israel and as a leader who was very active on behalf of his people and for advancing peace and prosperity in the world. We recently met in Warsaw, in January of this year, within the framework of the events commemorating 65 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz camp and International Holocaust Day. President Kaczynski led an important process for opening a new page in relations between the Polish and Jewish peoples and developed Polish – Israeli relations."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy:
- The president said he learned of Kaczynski's death with "great emotion and a deep sadness" and expressed his sympathy to the families of the president and other victims.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
- "On behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General expresses his deep and heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Poland and to the families of those who perished. The Secretary-General said President Kaczynski had served his country and people with distinction and conviction, and was deservedly respected internationally. That he died en route to an event marking a new level of reconciliation between Poland and Russia is particularly poignant."

Filed under: Poland
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    So this crashed plane was just serviced in Russia, and it was flying into Russia, and this accident will be personally investigated by Putin.

    Why didn't we give Poland a Boeing before this happened?
    I am afraid this 'accident' will reshape Poland and her foreign relations.

    April 10, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Opinion-Nation

    A horrible event, and a sad day for Poland and the families of the president, first lady, and senior dignitaries.

    April 10, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Poland, a country that is on the verge of greatness, God bless you, and may you move forward as you always have but never gotten credit for.

    Go Polska....

    April 10, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. observer

    Don't you think the title of this article is a tad bit callous? Come on, CNN, you're not ABC.

    My heartfelt condolences go out not only to the victims of the crash and their families, but the entire nation of Poland. I hope they can all pull through this tragedy.

    April 10, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Paweł Wiliński

    The tragedy for me and my whole country.I'm shocked and sad.Regrets that I can not now be in Poland Pawel

    April 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    When things go bad in a plane, they go bad quickly. One second your fine, and in the next second you could be gone, it really something most of us pilots accept, it really is too bad when that happens to passengers.

    I completely understand having your life depend on someone else, a lot of us depend on pilots every day. So much for the Reagan ATC strike bust. A single ATC is responsible for more lives in one shift that a hospital doctor in his whole life time, l love you ATC guys...

    RIP Mr. and Mrs. Kaczynki, and RIP all the crew and passengers on that flight.

    May another plane crash never ever occur again.

    April 10, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Zach K

    A Very SAD day for the whole world. Not only losing the president, but nearly 100 people died in that crash. RIP Lech, and condolences to the whole nation of Poland. Politics is irrelevant and inappropriate for tragedies like this. 🙁

    April 10, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Jon

    It is a tragic loss for the war on terrorism. The Polish President was one of strongest Bush and US allies in the world, who also include Tony Blair, John Howard, former Spain Prime Minister and Italy Prime Minister and among many others. He strongly opposed or disagreed with Obama who wanted to abandon the Eastern Europeans allies, and opposed Putin and Russia President. His death in a plane crash in Russia and returned from attending the disarm meeting in Russia doea not smell right here. You can tell who would be happy for this tragic loss. God blesses his soul! America loses one of great friends.

    April 10, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Oregon Calling

    Our thoughts are with you.

    April 10, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Marry

    …so very tragic! So sorry for Poland – my heartfelt condolences!

    April 10, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. John

    God bless President Kaczynski, the Polish Government, and the People of Poland. America stands with you.

    April 10, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. alumette

    Why so many influential people together in the same plane ? The Polish government is evidently having to re-group quickly. Very tragic losses.

    April 10, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Denna

    My sympathies to the people of Poland. What a terrible tragedy. Please know that the good people of the United States will pray for you souls and your families.

    April 10, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Elmer

    My heartiest sympathy to people of Poland

    April 10, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |