Confirmed: Red Army Ensemble has perished in Black Sea air crash

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman of the Russian defence ministry, has told Reuters in the past hour that none of the 92 people on a Syria-bound plane has survived the crash into the Black Sea.

Passengers on the military plane included 62 singers, instrumentalists and dancers of the Alexandrov Ensemble, formerly the Red Army Ensemble, Russia’s most celebrated performing troupe.

This is a musical catastrophe without parallel. A tremendous ensemble has been destroyed in an instant.

UPDATE: Putin ordered the ensemble to play in Aleppo.

UPDATE2: A Moscow music school mourns its sons.




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  • A musical tragedy without parallel and a human tragedy sadly with all too many parallels. We must hope that the ensemble will be able to be rebuilt over the coming months and years, but the greater tragedy is suffered by thousands of people in Russia and beyond who will have lost people forever in this terrible disaster.

  • Some reports are claiming 64 members of the ensemble are dead. I assume (and hope) that the total number of losses cannot increase, if the correct number of passengers and crew was known with certainty, but the exact role of those lost may become clearer in the coming days.

  • Parallel….We lost the US Navy Orchestra in a mid-air collision over Rio in 1960. It was never reconstituted. The band continued, but the string component was lost forever.

  • Absolutely terrible — a huge blow to the music community. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends and the people of Russia.

  • It grieves me to read about this tragedy. We lost the U.S. Navy Orchestra in an air plane crash in 1960.
    My heart and prayers go out to their families and friends.
    May God be with them in their time of loss and morning

  • As singers they were the best of the best – incomparable. They were condemned however by being employed as a propaganda tool by Mr Putin who will forever bear the blame for their untimely and unnecessary deaths.

    • And who might be the ‘shooter’ that made the decision they should die to prevent their entertainment, very dark cloud that only the shadow governance would find cover, cowards!

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. These were the best of the best who will be sadly missed not just by their loved ones but people worldwide like me who appreciated their expertise in music. RIP

  • Another tragedy similar to the Brazilians football player in Colombia. Across the Atlantic we embrace their families to give them strength to be able to cope with such tragedy

  • As a retired US Navy Band musician I can appreciate the loss of these outstanding musicians. May they rest in peace and their families be comforted.

  • This is very sad. There was a piece in the last Economist about airline safety ratings, which are awarded by some watchdog group on a five star scale, and I believe it said that the group deducted an entire star if a company’s fleet included Russian-made planes. They are THAT prone to failure and disaster.

    I am appalled that the author chooses to identify the group by a long outdated moniker, and in the headline no less. Evidently standards do not apply here.

  • Music like smiles is a universal language. Sincerest condolences regarding your loss. May God give you all comfort in your bereavement!

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