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Famed Serbian film director Kusturica describes Alexandrov Choir loss as 'irretrievable'

December 26, 2016, 18:47 UTC+3 BELGRADE

"Their singing touched our hearts deeply," Emir Kusturica said

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© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

BELGRADE, December 26 /TASS/. World-renowned Serbian film director Emir Kusturica has described as "irretrievable loss" the death of the entertainers and musicians of the world-renowned Alexandrov Choir in the Tu-154 plane crash over the Black Sea, the Serbian News Agency CRNA reported on Monday.

"Nothing can be compared to the Alexandrov Ensemble! Their singing touched our hearts deeply. We used to play together. Never in my life have I seen such exceptional melodic power. It was invariably preceded by a loud ‘Hurray’ which spread all over Red Square," CRNA quoted Kusturica as saying.

"It was hard to hold back tears each time I heard them. It was a military music choir, which was unmatched," Kusturica said explaining that apart from being emotional, the Alexandrov Choir’s music also roused lofty feelings.

The Russian Culture Ministry will render all necessary assistance in restoring Russia’s world-renowned Aledxandrov Song and Dance Ensemble, which lost 64 artists and the group’s conductor, Valery Khalilov, in the Tu-154 plane tragedy in Sochi early on December 25, Russian Culture Minister Valery Medinsky said on earlier on Monday as he was laying a wreath to honor the memory of the crash victims.

"I am sure that the Alexandrov Ensemble will go on living against all the odds. The choir will be revived without fail. The (Russian) Culture Ministry is ready to render any sort of assistance if necessary," Medinsky stressed.

Earlier, he offered condolences to the families and relatives of the crash victims, most of whom were performers from the Alexandrov Choir who were flying to Syria to celebrate the New Year together with Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim air base. The Russian Culture Ministry along with the Russian Military and Historical Society are thinking of unveiling a memorial plaque to Lieutenant-General Valery Khalilov and a monument to the entertainers and musicians of the Alexandrov Ensemble.

A Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 bound for Syria crashed in the early morning hours of December 25 shortly after taking off from Sochi. There were 92 people on board the aircraft, including eight crew members and 84 passengers. Among them were journalists, servicemen and musicians from the world-renowned Alexandrov ensemble, the official choir of the Russian armed forces, who set off to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria. The Executive Director of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity fund Elizaveta Glinka, known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, was also on board the fatal flight.

The Defense Ministry said that debris from the Tu-154 aircraft was found 1.5 km off the coast of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters.

Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, the head of a government commission appointed to look into the Tu-154 plane crash, said earlier on Monday that a terrorist attack theory was not the main one. The plane’s technical state and pilot error look like the more probable causes behind the tragedy.

A national day of mourning for the plane crash victims was announced in Russia on Monday.

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