President Vladimir Putin declared a day of mourning Monday after a Russian military Tupolev-154 carrying 92 people, including dozens of Red Army Choir singers, dancers, musicians, service personnel and 9 reporters, crashed into the Black Sea Sunday, shortly after taking off for Syria. Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a defense ministry spokesman, told reporters that nobody had survived. The entertainers were being flown to Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Syria for a performance in the New Year.
Russia's RIA news agency, citing a security source, said preliminary information indicated that the plane had developed a technical malfunction or a pilot error. Another sources said that possible sabotage had not been ruled out. The weather had been good.