Polish and Lithuanian flags in Vilnius commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Smolensk air disaster

A decade ago, on 10 April, the world was shocked by the news of a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, on which Polish President Lech Kaczynski flew with a large delegation. Today, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy, Vilnius will be honouring the memory of its victims by flying both the Polish and Lithuanian flags on the street named after President Lech Kaczynski.

“The Smolensk disaster is the most painful tragedy to have shaken modern Poland, and Lithuania. The late President Lech Kaczynski actively fostered friendship between Lithuania and Poland, so we commemorated him in Vilnius a few years ago by naming one of our streets after him. Historically and culturally, our nations have always been side-by-side, and we are together with the entire Polish nation in our thoughts today, remembering this sad day,“ says the Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius.
Lech Kazcynzki Street, which is next to the Municipality of Vilnius, was named after the late Polish leader in 2018 when Lithuania and Poland commemorated the centennials of their statehood. Two signs are used to indicate the street name: one in Polish and the other in Lithuanian. As such, the street has become a symbol of the common historical and cultural path of Lithuania and Poland.

Lech Kaczynski served as President of Poland from 2005 to 2010. The Polish leader, his wife and a large delegation of politicians, historians and economists all went to Smolensk to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. All of the passengers on the plane were killed instantly.