It is with great sadness that we learned of the death on Christmas Day of 60 members of the Red Army Choir in an air accident whilst on their way to Syria to perform for the troops.
A Russian military plane carrying 92 people, including dozens of Red Army Choir singers, dancers and orchestra members, crashed into the Black Sea on its way to Syria on Sunday, killing everyone on board.
The Russian Defence Ministry said one of its TU-154 Tupolev planes had disappeared from radar screens at 0525 MSK (0225 GMT), two minutes after taking off from Sochi in southern Russia, where it had stopped to refuel from Moscow, on its way to Syria.
Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a ministry spokesman, told reporters that nobody had survived.
As fellow musicians the Mayo Male Voice Choir offer our most sincere condolences for this loss to their families and to the world of music.