Russia, Armenia mourn for victims of Armenian jet crash

Xinhua, China
May 5 2006

MOSCOW, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Russia and Armenia mourned for the victims
of the Airbus A-320 Armenian jet crash on Friday, the Itar-Tass news
agency reported.

The tricolor national flags of Russia and Armenia were hoisted
half-mast on the buildings of the state institutions of both countries.

The Russian tricolor, raised for the first time next to the Kremlin,
at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexandrovsky Garden, was also
elevated half-mast. The mourning will not interfere with the planned
solemn functions, timed for Victory Dayon Tuesday.

The Airbus A-320 of the Armenian airline belonging to the air company
Armavia crashed into the Black Sea near the southern Russian resort
town of Sochi at around 2:15 a.m. local time (2215 GMT Tuesday),
killing all the 113 people on board, including six children and eight
crew. The remnants sank to a depth more than six hundred meters below
the sea surface.

The national flags of the Russian Federation were hoisted half-mast
in Sochi, too. All the culture institutions and TV companies of the
city have canceled their entertainment programs. The same was done
in the entire Krasnodar Territory of the south Russia region.

A steamship carrying relatives and near ones of the crash victims
will lower wreaths onto the surface of the sea at the place, where
the tragedy occurred.

According to the latest reports, 53 bodies of the crash victims
were found in the sea on Thursday. Thirty-seven of them were
identified. Twenty-six identified bodies were flown from Adler to
Armenia's capital city of Yerevan late Thursday night.

According to a list of passengers submitted to the Russian Ministry
for Emergency Situations, all the passengers were of Armenian descent,
but 26 of them were citizens of the Russian Federation.

Former Armenian Interior minister and KGB -- the state security
committee-- chairman Major-General Usik Arutyunyan was among the
victims killed in the plane crash.

On decision of Sochi Mayor Viktor Kolodyazhny, the Municipal Council
will pay 500,000 roubles (18,000 U.S. dollars) to each family of
the crash victims, which will get a compensation worth 20,000 U.S.
dollars from insurance company too.

"The city will not forget their children, too. We shall help them
get an education, including higher school professions," Kolodyazhny
stressed. Enditem