From the NY Times:
MOSCOW — A plane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife crashed in western Russia on Saturday morning, and there were no survivors, according to Russian media.
Officials did not immediately have information on the identities of the dead.
A spokeswoman for the emergency management ministry said on Russian television that the plane, a Tupolev 154, crashed as it was landing in Smolensk, and 87 people on board had died.
Mr. Kaczynski had been due in western Russia to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II.
The ceremonies were to be held at a site in the Katyn forest close to Smolensk, where 70 years ago members of the Soviet secret police executed more than 20,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet Army invaded Poland in 1939.
MOSCOW (AP) — Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife died Saturday along with 130 others when their plane crashed while coming in for a landing in western Russia, officials said.
The head of Russia’s top investigative body, Sergei Markin, said there were a total of 132 people on the plane, a Tu-154.
Kaczynski, 60, became president in December 2005 after defeating Tusk in that year’s presidential vote.
The nationalist conservative was the twin brother of Poland’s opposition leader, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
I know people are wondering if this was an act of terrorism, and no one can or will say if it is right now. All I had to do though was see this new story from the BBC to realize that there is more to this story than they are telling.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and scores of others have been killed in a plane crash in Russia.
Polish and Russian officials said no-one had survived after the plane apparently hit trees as it approached Smolensk’s airport in thick fog.
Poland’s army chief, central bank governor, MPs and leading historians were among more than 80 passengers.
They were flying in from Warsaw to mark 70 years since the Katyn massacre of thousands of Poles by Soviet forces.
As well as the president and his wife, Maria, a number of senior officials were on the passenger list.
They included the army chief of staff Gen Franciszek Gagor, central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek and deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer. (emphasis mine)
World leaders including Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered their condolences to Poland.
Mr Kaczynski, who had fewer powers than the prime minister but had a significant say in foreign policy, was a controversial figure in Polish politics.
He had advocated a right-wing Catholic agenda, opposed rapid free-market reforms and favoured retaining social welfare programmes.