Russia and Ukraine mourn victims of Tu-154 plane crash

Russia is mourning victims of the Tu-154 passenger plane, which crashed on the outskirts of Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, two days ago. According to the decree signed by President Putin, August 24 has been officially declared the mourning day in Russia nationwide.

State flags have flown at half-mast today in Russia, all television and radio companies canceled their entertainment programs. Moscow authorities ordered to lower Russian flags crowning the buildings of administrative and social institutions. In case it is impossible to lower the flags on some buildings for technical reasons, black ribbons will be pinned to them instead, Itar-Tass reports.

“We also sent recommendations to all municipal cultural institutions with a request to cancel all concerts, discotheques, and other entertaining events,” an official of the Moscow City Administration said.

The official added that the owners of private entertaining organizations, as well as the owners of restaurants and cafes, have their own right to choose which program they can offer their clients on the mourning day of August 24. “We only ask them to take the ethical aspect into consideration,” the official said.

The crash of the Tu-154 airliner flying from Anapa (in Russia’s south) to St.Petersburg has cost the lives of 170 people, 45 of them children.

Ukraine is also grieving about the victims of the air crash. President Yushchenko declared the mourning day for Ukraine on August 23. The Ukrainian government ordered to delay the celebrations of Independence Day originally slated for today.

Based on Russian media news reports

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov