Il volo della morte.
What has slowly emerged over the last 14 hours is just how devastating this is for Poland. Not only have they lost their head of state, but they have lost a large number of high ranking government officials. Among the dead, in addition to President Kaczynski and his wife, Maria Kaczynska, were Aleksander Szczyglo, the head of the National Security Office; Jerzy Szmajdzinski, the deputy parliament speaker; Andrzej Kremer, the deputy foreign minister; and Gen. Franciszek Gagor, the army chief of staff. The entire top military brass, including the chief of defense and all the services, died in the crash, effectively decapitating the Polish military. They have lost opposition leaders, and all the candidates for President in September’s upcoming election save one. The head of the National Bank and their leading gay rights activist were on that plane. And perhaps saddest of all, family members of the people massacred in Katyn were on that plane.