MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On December 8, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu handed over the black box of the downed Su-24 to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader ordered to decode the flight recorder only in the presence of international experts.
"On December 18 at 10.00 a.m. Moscow time [07:00 GMT], Defense Ministry officials will hold a briefing on the beginning of decoding of on-board recorders from the Su-24M plane, which was shot down on November 24, 2015 over Syria by a Turkish fighter jet," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
The "black box" from the downed Su-24 has been recovered in a special operation by the Syrian army and personnel from the Russian air group deployed in Syria earlier in December.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed hope that the data from the flight recorders would clarify the warplane's movement and trajectory before the crash.
The Russian Su-24 frontline bomber was brought down by Turkey in response to an alleged violation of Turkish airspace by the Russian aircraft. Both Russian and Syrian defense officials confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace, and was illegally downed in Syria.
Putin described the Turkish attack as a "stab in the back" carried out by "accomplices of terrorists." One of the plane’s two pilots was killed by rebel gunfire from the ground after they ejected. The second pilot was rescued.