Sunday, December 25, 2016

Russian Plane, Headed For Syria, Carrying Iconic Entertainers, Crashes. No Survivors

Planes crash. I realize that. Sometimes, some plane crashes are very, very suspicious.
This crash is one of those suspicious ones. When I first saw the news this morning three initial thoughts crossed my mind- Timing. Timing. Timing 
And after taking the time to read- more impressions began to form-

1st the Timing?

 -Aleppo's liberation. 
- Ambassador Assassinated. 
- Deal with Turkey and Iran
- And finally Christmas

2-Plane heading to Syria

3- Cultural Icon

This famed group was apparently a cultural icon- A big part of the Russian narrative
So the demise of these carefully selected individuals is truly a strike at the heart of  Russian culture, history and society

Searching the Black Sea

 A military plane carrying members of a renowned Cold War-era musical ensemble that was going to perform for Russian servicemen at a Syrian air base crashed into the Black Sea early Sunday, apparently killing everyone aboard, officials said.

 The flight also carried nine journalists and a prominent Russian philanthropist.

 Debris from the plane was found at a depth of 160 to 230 feet about a mile offshore, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. On Sunday, the temperature of the Black Sea was about 50 degrees, which makes hypothermia inevitable after about an hour in the water, it said.

 "The investigative committee is looking at various theories. Naturally, it considers the entire spectrum and any possible reasons that might have led to the crash. It is too early to speak about a terrorist attack," he said, according to the official Tass news agency.
The largest group of passengers were 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the army’s official dance and choir company. They were planning to perform at the Hemeimeem air base near Latakia, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. The list included the ensemble’s conductor, Valery Khalilov.
Active since 1928 and founded by the author of the Soviet national anthem, the Alexandrov Ensemble — informally known in the Soviet era as the Red Army Chorus — was immensely popular. It toured the world performing Russian folk songs, World War II anthems and patriotic music and was dubbed “Russia’s singing weapon.”
The ensemble consisted of 100 to 120 members depending on the type of performance, including a choir, a dance troupe and an orchestra. Because the performance at the air base was going to be mostly a cappella, only the choir and a few dancers were aboard the plane, Russian media reported.
 It is very difficult indeed to find any words with which to describe the loss that the families of the deceased suffered, as well as the loss to Russian culture, Ilya Reznik, a Russian poet-songwriter, who worked closely with the ensemble, said.
I've got a rather large post saved that needs tidying.. a concern that something else was going to happen was looming large in my mind as typed away. I'm afraid this might have been that "something else". Of course, I may be wrong- but this incident nags at me.

Terrorism has not been ruled out! 

Additional Reading-

Vladimir Putin declared December 26 as the day of national mourning for those who died in the Tu-154 plane crash.
“Tomorrow the day of national mourning will be declared in Russia,” Putin told reporters.
The Russian Defence Ministry said one of its TU-154 Tupolev planes had disappeared from radar screens at 0525 MSK (9.25 p.m. ET), two minutes after taking off from Sochi in southern Russia, where it had stopped to refuel from Moscow, on its way to Syria.
An unnamed ministry source told Russian news agencies no life rafts had been found, while another source told the Interfax agency that the plane had not sent an SOS signal.
In televised comments, President Vladimir Putin, speaking in St Petersburg, declared Dec. 26 a national day of mourning.


“Putin has ordered Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to form and head a state commission to investigative the crash of the Tu-154 plane in Sochi,” the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that Putin expressed his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the crash.

The Tu-154 plane went down in the Black Sea shortly after taking off from the southern city of Adler where it had been refuelling, defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies.

It disappeared from radar just two minutes after it took off at 5:25 am (0225 GMT).

From Earlier 

Samantha Power’s Syria Problem?