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Poland honors president, 95 others killed in 2010 plane crash in Russia
WARSAW, Poland (AP) ' Poland's opposition leader laid a wreath Tuesday in memory of his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed with 95 others in a plane crash in Russia two years ago.
Poland is holding anniversary observances at sites in Warsaw and in Smolensk, Russia, where the plane crashed April 10, 2010. It was Poland's worst disaster in decades and claimed the lives of the first lady and dozens of top Polish civilian and military leaders.
President Bronislaw Komorowski laid flowers at a plaque to the victims that was placed on the Presidential Palace.
Minutes later, Jaroslaw Kaczynski laid a wreath in front of the palace and his followers added lights, flowers and a wooden cross. The names of the victims were read out.
In Smolensk, Polish Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski and Russia's Parliament Speaker Sergei Naryshkin laid wreaths at the site of the crash.
Kaczynski, the head of the nationalist Law and Justice party, has been fueling theories that the crash was an assassination. Hs followers have been mentioning the names of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Poland's leaders in this context.
On Monday night, followers of Kaczynski set fire to effigies of Putin and of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, showing they believe the crash was an assassination.
Polish and Russian investigations have concluded the crash was an accident due to bad weather conditions and inadequate crew training. Polish investigators also blamed poor guidance from Russian air traffic controllers.
The presidential delegation was traveling to honor 22,000 Polish officers murdered by Josef Stalin's secret police at the start of World War II in the Katyn forest and other locations. That symbolism has only added to the national grief and to conspiracy theories.