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Russia responds to Ukraine rejoicing deadly plane crash

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

The Russian Foreign Ministry has responded to Ukrainian politicians “rejoicing” over the deadly crash of a military aircraft over the Black Sea, noting that the country is being run by radicals.

The Russian Ministry of Defense's Tu-154 plane was on the way to Russia’s Hmeimim airbase outside the coastal Syrian city of Latakia when it went down on Sunday, killing all 92 people abroad.

Following the announcement of the crash, several Ukrainian politicians posted insulting remarks over social media websites. After Russia’s censuring of the posts, Yuri Biryukov,  the adviser to the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, noted that it’s a "paradoxical paradox" that the Russians "seem not to understand why we are rejoicing over the death of 80 of their servicemen."

“Does he think we don’t understand the reasons why official Kiev is so glad over the death of 80 servicemen?!! We understand these reasons perfectly well and have been speaking about them for a long time: people backed by nationalists and radicals have come to power in Ukraine," wrote Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on her Facebook account.

Russian rescuers carry a stretcher with passenger belongings after a Russian military plane crashed in the Black Sea, on a pier outside Sochi, on December 25, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Eastern Ukraine has been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and Ukrainian army ever since Kiev launched military operations in April 2014 to crush protesters calling for greater autonomy in the region.

The United States and its allies in Europe accuse Moscow of having a hand in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a claim Moscow denies.

The Tu-154 airliner was carrying eight crew members and 84 passengers when it crashed. Most of the passengers were members of Russia’s famous Alexandrov Ensemble army choir.

After the plane crashed, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country will observe a national day of mourning on Monday.

A picture taken on December 25, 2016 shows candles near a picture of TU-154 airplane at the seafront in the city of Sochi after a Russian military plane which included dozens of Red Army Choir members crashed. (Photo by AFP)

“I want to express my most sincere condolences to the families of our citizens who died in the plane crash in the Black Sea this morning. The government will do everything to provide support. Tomorrow will be a national day of mourning in Russia,” Putin said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also sent a message to Putin telling his Russian counterpart that he is "extremely sad" over the Russian plane crash. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi also expressed his deep condolences to the Russian government and nation and the bereaved families of the victims.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also sent condolences to Putin, said deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer. "In her thoughts she [Merkel] is with the relatives of those dead," she said.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also offered his condolences to the families of the victims. "I have deep sorrow over the news about the crash of the Russian military plane with the large army choir onboard," he said.

"I hope that survivors will be found and rescued," he noted. "Our hearts are now with the families and relatives of victims of this awful tragedy," he added.

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