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Russian diplomat: Ukrainian radicals and nationalists ‘rejoicing’ over Tu-154 plane crash

December 26, 2016, 0:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Earlier in the day, a number of Ukrainian politicians voiced insulting pronouncements in social networks following the air crash off Sochi coast
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© Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASS

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. Ukrainian radicals and nationalists are ‘rejoicing’ over the crash of the Russian Tu-154 plane in the Black Sea, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, a number of Ukrainian politicians voiced insulting pronouncements in social networks following the air crash near Sochi. Thus, adviser to the Ukrainian president Yuri Biryukov wrote on his Facebook account that it’s a "paradoxical paradox" that the Russian "seem not to understand why we are rejoicing over the death of 80 servicemen" of the Russian army.

"Does he think we don’t understand the reasons why official Kiev is so glad over the death of 80 servicemen?!! We understand these reasons perfectly well and have been speaking about them for a long time: people backed by nationalists and radicals have come to power in Ukraine," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook.

"These are the reasons. And now they are clear not only to us," she added.

A Tu-154 plane from Russia’s Ministry of Defense vanished from radar screens at 05.40 a.m. Moscow time (02.40 a.m. GMT) shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

According to the latest information, there were 92 people on board the aircraft, consisting of 8 crew members and 84 passengers. Among them was the Executive Director of the Fair Aid charity fund, Elizaveta Glinka, better known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, as well as servicemen and reporters, including from Channel One, Zvezda and NTV.

The plane was also carrying more than 60 members of the famous Alexandrov ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian armed forces, who set off to celebrate the New Year with the air group of Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria. The choir’s conductor Valery Khalilov was also on the list of passengers.

The Defense Ministry said that fragments of the Tu-154 had been found 1.5 km off the coast of Sochi at the depth of 50-70 meters. Eleven dead bodies of the crash victims have been found. No one has survived. A search operation is underway.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on charges of violations of flight safety rules resulting in human deaths.

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