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MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov has denied rumors that the Alexandrov Ensemble, an official choir of the Russian armed forces, was going to give a concert in Aleppo.
"The Alexandrov Ensemble was flying [to Syria] at the initiative of Valery Khalilov with only one purpose - to give a concert at the Hmeymim airbase," Pankov said.
Some media reports earlier said that the ensemble was planning to give concerts at the Hmeymim airbase and in Aleppo.
A military Tu-154 plane crashed in the early morning hours of December 25 shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
There were 92 people on board the aircraft, including eight crew members and 84 passengers. Among those on the fatal flight was the Executive Director of the Fair Aid charity fund, Elizaveta Glinka, better known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, as well as military servicemen and nine reporters from Russia's Channel One, Zvezda and NTV networks.