Saturday will mark exactly 11 years since a Polish plane carrying President Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 94 others, including top political and military figures, crashed near Smolensk, western Russia, killing all those on board.
Due to safety precautions amid a coronavirus epidemic, this year’s anniversary events are expected to be less high-profile than in most previous years.
Officials are expected to lay wreaths at a statue commemorating President Lech Kaczyński in central Warsaw and at a separate monument unveiled in 2018 to honour all 96 victims of the disaster.
Tributes will also be paid to the late presidential couple in the crypt at Wawel Cathedral in the southern city of Kraków where they are laid to rest.
A raft of other ceremonies are scheduled for the day, with physical attendance limited due to social distancing precautions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party and the late president’s twin, told Polish Radio last year that his brother was "a central figure" in Polish politics and a driving force behind some of the key changes in the country.
His legacy carries on “even though he is no longer with us,” Jarosław Kaczyński said.
Polish Radio remembers
Public broadcaster Polish Radio last April paid homage to the victims of the 2010 disaster with a series of tributes.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the plane crash, the names of all 96 victims were read out in a special roll call of honour on all Polish Radio stations beginning at 8:41 a.m., the exact time of the crash on April 10, 2010.
At 4:00 p.m. on April 10, 2020, all Polish Radio stations and the polskieradio.pl website aired a special symphony concert in tribute to the victims of the tragedy.
Polish Radio also issued two CD albums to mark the anniversary of the air disaster.
The officials on the ill-fated flight had been on their way to commemorate some 22,000 Polish prisoners of war and intellectuals who were killed in the spring of 1940 on orders from top Soviet authorities in what is known as the Katyn Massacre.