"It is a big tragedy for the city; [many] of the people have been arriving since the early morning [at] the airport to lay down flowers as they treat it as their own tragedy, even though we can't say at the moment that there were any people from Sochi on that [specific] plane," Kirill Lemekh told Radio Sputnik.
He further explained that the local residents are viewing all those aboard as if they'd been from Sochi too, as the plane made a stop in the resort city. Thus all of the inhabitants of Sochi see it as their tragedy, he said.
Earlier on Monday, Anatoliy Pakhomov, the Mayor of Sochi, said that the local residents have offered their aid to comfort the relatives of those who were aboard the plane, who continue to arrive at the site of the crash.
People continue to bring flowers both to the local airport and the seaport, he said at the meeting of the government commission. The politician added that 12 relatives are already in the city and are being provided with all the necessary assistance.
"There are very many volunteers who have responded to the tragedy; very many people are asking how they [can] help," he said.
Pakhomov further added that the city's health resorts are ready to house all the relatives who arrive at the site.
Monday has been declared a national day of mourning in Russia following the Tu-154 crash near Sochi. Mayor Pakhomov has decreed that all flags be flown at half-mast throughout the city.
Meanwhile, prayers are being said for the victims in Russian Orthodox churches.
The Russian Defense Ministry plane crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday morning while en route from the Moscow region's Chkalovsky airport to Latakia, Syria after refueling at Adler Airport, near the Russian coastal resort of Sochi.
The 92 people aboard the plane included musicians from the Alexandrov Ensemble, journalists, high-ranking military officials and Elizaveta Glinka, the head of a charity called "Fair Aid."
Most of the passengers were traveling to Russia's Hmeymim Airbase in Syria to take part in New Year celebrations for Russian servicemen.
The plane's passenger list also included Anton Gubankov, the chief of the Directorate of Culture of the Russian Defense Ministry.
Journalists from the Russian television networks Channel One, NTV and Zvezda were also among the ill-fated passengers, according to the news organizations.
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