Support The Moscow Times!

Deadly TU-154 Christmas Day Plane Crash Caused by Human Error, Says Russian Defence Ministry

Candles are placed around a photo of the crashed Tu-154 in memory of victims of the crashed plane in the center of Sochi, Russia, Dec. 25, 2016. Viktor Klyushin / AP

The December 25 plane crash which killed 92 people, including members of Russia's renowned Red Army Choir, was caused by human error, a new report has found.

 In a statement released on Thursday, the Russian Defence Ministry said that the crash was caused by "pilot disorientation," the TASS news agency reported.

An investigative committee made up Defence and Transport Ministry officials, as well as experts from the aircraft's manufacturer, found no evidence of "external factors" which could have influenced the crash, such as overloading or problems fuelling before launch.

The TU-154 airplane lost radar contact two minutes after take-off from Sochi airport on Christmas Day 2017. All 8 crew members and 84 passengers were killed when the plane crashed into the Black Sea.

The flight had been bound for Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria, where 64 members of the Red Army Choir were due to perform at New Year's concert.

Russian servicemen and journalists from NTV, Channel One and Zvezda were also onboard the plane at the time of the crash. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more