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MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. DNA testing experts have identified more than 70 victims of the crash of Tu-154 aircraft operated by the Russian Defense Minostry over the Black Sea, some sources in the Forensic Medical Examination Office informed TASS on Friday.
"To date, the process of identifying more than 70 victims has been completed. Their relatives have been informed about the results of the examination," one of them said. According to the source, work to identify the remains of the passengers continues.
Among those identified are Executive Director of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Russian for Fair Aid) charity fund Elizaveta Glinka, known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, head of the Defense Ministry’s Culture Department Anton Gubankov, Artistic Director of the Alexandrov Ensemble Valery Khalilov, 10 crew members and nine journalists.
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 8 crew members and 84 passengers, none of them survived.
Among those on the fatal flight were military servicemen and nine reporters from Russia's Channel One, Zvezda and NTV networks. The plane was also carrying more than 60 members of the world-renowned Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian Armed Forces. The ensemble was on its way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria.