Saturday marks 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 less high-profile than in most previous years.
Polish President Andrzej Duda paid tribute to the late presidential couple in a crypt at Wawel Cathedral in the southern city of Kraków where they are laid to rest.
As he laid wreath at their grave, he said that the 2010 disaster should teach us “responsibility for building a community and responsibility for our homeland.”
Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki laid a wreath at memorial plaques commemorating Polish generals and his Office’s staff who died in the plane crash.
Morawiecki said in a social media post that his government is trying to continue the victims' mission.
Officials including Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party and the late president’s twin, laid wreaths at a statue commemorating all 96 victims of the disaster at Warsaw’s Powązki military cemetery.
The country's top officials also took part in a raft of other ceremonies, with physical attendance limited due to social distancing precautions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public broadcaster Polish Radio paid homage to the victims of the 2010 disaster with a series of tributes.
To mark the 11th 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.
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.