"On behalf of the Chinese government I express deep sympathy in the wake of this tragic event. I extend deepest condolences to the families affected," Xi said in a message to Putin, as quoted by the China Central Television (CCTV).
Early on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 plane heading from Moscow to Syria with 92 people on board, including the Alexandrov Ensemble members, and nine journalists, disappeared from radar shortly after refueling and take-off from the Russian southern city of Adler, near Sochi. Fragments of the plane were discovered 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the sea shore of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters (164-184 feet).
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into the catastrophe. A special services source told RIA Novosti that a terrorist attack is not being considered as the main cause of the crash.
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