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(CNN) — Experts say the deaths of senior military chiefs in Saturday’s plane crash could have more serious implications for Poland than the loss of the country’s president.

President Lech Kaczynski was killed Saturday when a plane carrying senior Polish officials on their way to a memorial service in Russia crashed at an airport in Smolensk..

Ninety-seven people were killed including the president’s wife, the deputy parliament speaker, the deputy foreign minister and the head of the National Bank of Poland.

“The entire top military brass, including the chief of defense and all the services, were on the plane,” said Tomas Valasek, of the Center for European Reform. “If that is true, then you’re looking at a situation, in effect, of the decapitation of the military services.”

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