WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s government moved swiftly Sunday to show that it was staying on course after the deaths of its president and dozens of political, military and religious leaders, even as tens of thousands of Poles expressed their grief over the plane crash in Russia that shocked the country.

New acting chiefs of the military were already in place, and an interim director of the central bank was named Sunday, said Pawel Gras, a government spokesman.

It was a rare positive note on a day wracked by grief for the 96 dead and laced with reminders of Poland’s dark history with its powerful neighbor. The Saturday crash occurred in thick fog near the Katyn forest, where Josef Stalin’s secret police in 1940 systematically executed thousands of Polish military officers.

President Lech Kaczynski and those aboard the aging Soviet-built plane had been headed there to honor the dead. A preliminary analysis showed the plane had been working fine, a Russian investigator said.

Tens of thousands of Poles softly sang the national anthem and tossed flowers at the hearse carrying the body of Kaczynski, 60, on Sunday to the presidential palace.

The coffin bearing the president’s remains were met first by his daughter Marta, whose mother, the first lady, also died in the crash. She was followed by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the ex-prime minister and the president’s identical twin.

President Dmitry Medvedev declared today a day of mourning in Russia.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.