The New Katyn
From the editors
The death of Polish president Lech Kaczynski and other representatives of the Polish elite in a plane crash outside Smolensk has become a serious new challenge for the Russian and Polish peoples.
The Smolensk tragedy is one of the most tragic episodes in the tragic history of Polish-Russian relations. Sorrow can bring people closer together, but it can also separate them forever. Current anti-Russian feelings in Poland may receive new stimulus – especially before the upcoming elections.
Rising anti-Russian feelings in Poland could provide a new impulse to Russian authorities: to get upset, yet again.
There's a chance to turn away from each other once and for all, but there's also a chance for a historical reconciliation between the two peoples.
Katyn: A cursed russian question Andrei Kolesnikov
After the meeting of Vladimir Putin and Donald Tusk in Katyn, after the tragic plane crash, historical facts can no longer be viewed from the traditional Russian paradigm, formed by Alexander Pushkin many years ago: “Let this arguments be settled by the Slavs between themselves.” Everything has become much more serious, and the crash, as if through some devilish logic, happened as if to make even the stupidest and soulless people believe in the tragedy of the incident.
Will Russian-Polish relations improve? Most factors point in favour of such a scenario. On the other hand, for the second time in history, Katyn has become a place where many Poles died, and it's located on Russian territory. And, once again, Russia is linked in the Polish mindset with the death of their countrymen.
The political and the humanistic
Let it be known… the actions of both the president and the prime minister to me seem irreproachable.
A national day of mourning was announced immediately (in my memory, this is the first incident where such steps have been taken in honour of non-Russian victims). There was close joint work between Russian and Polish specialists (in the words of Polish foreign minister Radoslav Sikorsky, the Russian side expressed “openness beyond normal standards”). There was also an immediate lifting of visa requirements for Poles coming to identify relatives as victims.
Finally, television, which usually shows our country’s leaders as a “macho duo”, for the fist time showed visiting Poles mourning.
“Ordinary” Russians also didn't let us down. Flowers were laid at the Polish embassy in Moscow
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