A Russian military plane which was en-route to Russian military base in Syria crashed early today. The Tu-154 that was carrying 92 people among them nine Russian Journalists including a TV crew disappeared from radars shortly after take-off from the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.
According to ABC News, the Defense Ministry has confirmed that the rescuers have already found fragments of the plane.
The defence Ministry which has ruled out possibilities of a terrorist attack also said the plane was carrying a famous Alexandrov military choir which was en-route to a chrismas concert in Syria adding that there were no survivors. “It was carrying eight crew and 84 passengers, including members of the world-famous Alexandrov military choir” the Defense ministry said.
The ministry said rescue teams found fragments of the plane at a distance of about 1.5 kilometres from shore at a depth of 50 to 70 metres adding that rescuers had already have found one body and personal documents belonging to some of those on board.
Viktor Ozerov, head of the defence affairs committee at the upper house of the Russian Parliament, said in remarks carried by the state news agency RIA Novosti he “totally excludes” terrorism as a possible cause of the crash. He said it could have been caused by technical malfunction or crew error.
It will be remembered that in May this year another Russian Sukhoi 100 plane crashed in Indonesia killing 45 passengers on board. According to Russia’s military intelligence organization (GRU) Washington was behind the crash. “We know that they have special equipment that can cut communications between an aircraft and the ground or interfere with the parameters on board,” Christian Science Monitor quoted a GRU general as saying, without mentioning his name.
The Superjet, which was crucial to Russia’s hopes of becoming a major player in the modern aviation market, took off from an airport in the capital Jakarta on May 9 on a demonstration flight, but it lost radio contact and vanished from radar screens 50 minutes later.
The general further noted that the electronic jamming of the jet’s onboard equipment was the most plausible explanation for the plane’s slamming into the side of a dormant volcano in the Indonesian province of West Java.
The Russia –America relationship has deteriorated further of late when Washington accused Russia of Cyber Attack that is said to have helped Donald Trump of the Republican Party beat the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the just concluded U.S elections.
It was also last week when a Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot dead in an attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital on Monday by a gunman shouting “Don’t forget Aleppo”.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov, which marked one of the most serious spillovers of the Syria conflict into Turkey. Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes were instrumental in helping Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo.